Thursday, December 29, 2011


"...make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance..." 2 Peter 1:5a-6a (NIV)

No matter what your struggle has been, victory is possible today. Sadly, most of us don't think that's true. The problem is we tend to measure long term success while downplaying the absolute victory found in small successes. These small successes equal long term victory.

Sometimes victory seems so far away because we measure it by the end goal. And end goals can seem overwhelmingly huge, daunting and just plain hard to reach. Instead, if we start measuring our victories by the smaller choices we make each day, victory won't seem so impossible. Make small choices to do something to add to your faith in the bigger goal. A small choice to build and strengthen a relationship. A small choice to spend more time working on something.

Big things are built one brick at a time.

Victories are achieved one choice at a time.

A life well lived is chosen one day at a time.

Dear Lord, I know that with You, victory is indeed possible. Day by day and choice by choice. Help me to believe this truth today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Going through something, anything? Tired, weak, Over it all!!!? Whatever the season of issues in your life stand on God's promises. Here are a few of my favorites!

Salvation & Eternal Life

Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God’s Help in Troubled Times

Psalm 91:14-15, “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”


John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

His Faithfulness

Deuteronomy 31:y, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God’s Power

Revelation 12:11, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

Finances & Provision

Malachi 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

Matthew 6:25-26, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”


James 5:16, Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

Isaiah 53:5, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”


Monday, December 26, 2011


We have so much to thank Jesus for. We thank Him for dying for us, healing us, filling us with His Holy Spirit, changing us, giving us a roof over our heads, food to eat, shoes and clothes to wear, a sound mind and body, and the list goes on. And yet, there is another side to Thanksgiving that I only started realizing here lately.

Thanksgiving is a power tool to the children of God! We see this so clearly in His word that says, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:57). In this scripture, we see that if we will begin to give God thanks for the things in our lives that we need victory for, we shall receive victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Our victory begins with giving God thanks for it first. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory . . .” We give thanks to God, then victory follows!

If your spouse needs to be born again, begin giving thanks to God for it now and victory will follow. If you’re in need of a healing in your body, give thanks now for your healing has come. If there is a need that has to be met, give God thanks that He has met it in full now in Jesus Name.

And don’t stop giving thanks. Keep giving thanks until your victory has manifested. When God hears you thanking Him over and over, His promise to you and I is VICTORY. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Your thanksgiving in the midst of your need will usher in the victory. Tap into the power tool of thanksgiving every day of the year. There truly is victory in your thanksgiving.

Scripture Of The Day: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” - 1 Corinthians 15:57 (KJV)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Rescue 911

I view my life as if I am running a physical rescue station within a hundred yards of the gates of hell in the spiritual realm, guns loaded and my knees scarred from prayer. This type of rescue station is completely possible because hell is located closer than we often think and because rescuing those in close proximity to it is not impossible for God.

For some, hell is the address they write down when they fill out an application. Some people go to work and can feel the heat as soon as they leave their home. Children wake up all over the world and dread going to school because their education includes emotional, physical and mental torment. There are communities all over the world where the sidewalk isn’t part of the block but part of a war zone. A fight for children’s innocence, women’s esteem, and men’s honor happens every day. Hell is right here on earth waging a war to pull us in, pull us down, and destroy us.

Every one of us has the opportunity each day to be more like Christ, not only as pastors, teachers, evangelists, apostles, prophets, prayer warriors and intercessors inside the four walls of the church but as tangible conduits of God’s love in our local communities. This is the perfect time of year to start a “rescue station” of your own, as a part of your celebration of Christ as the word made flesh. Churches and ministries around the world offer limitless ways for us to have a “rescue station” in the lives of at-risk children, disadvantaged women and weary men. Even if you’ve had a rough year or are currently experiencing hard times, you still have the ability to allow God’s spirit to move through you. Give of your time, talents, and if you are led by the Holy Spirit to do so, your financial resources and become the word made flesh, too.

Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, defeated death and hell. The more like Him that we become the more victory over hell we achieve, the more fortified our 'rescue station' is.

Scripture Of The Day: "You show and make obvious that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, not written with ink but with [the] Spirit of [the] living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." - 2 Corinthians 3:3 (AMP)

Friday, December 2, 2011


Every day we thank the Lord for something that He has done. We thank Him for His blessings and we thank Him for who He is. We thank Him for the blood running warm in our veins, the activity of our limbs, having the opportunity to be clothed and be in our right minds. Today He would have us to consider that we also give thanks for His grace and His mercy.

It is His grace and mercy that keep us receiving blessings even when we don’t deserve them. It is His grace and mercy that keep us from day to day. When we give up, He’s still holding on. When we quit, He’s still going. When we’ve had enough, He is just starting.

In Isaiah 6:1-11, Isaiah declares that his destruction is sealed. He is a sinful man and a member of a sinful race. Isaiah has been called by God to declare His word to a people who didn’t want to receive God’s word. Isaiah declared that he was not fit to do God’s work. But God had chosen him.

It is recorded that Isaiah’s service spanned the time of the reign of king Uzziah, King Jotham, King Ahaz, and King Hezekiah. As a prophet, Isaiah’s responsibility to declare what thus saith the Lord was not only to the people, but to the kings as well. The book of II Kings 15 tells us that King Uzziah did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but he did not destroy the pagan shrines where the people offered their sacrifices and burned their incense. As a result of this, the Lord struck Uzziah with leprosy which lasted until the day of his death. God could have just totally removed Uzziah, but he didn’t. Grace and mercy.

How many times could God have just taken away all of the blessing because of our disobedience? But He didn’t. He just slowed it up; delayed it. God said, I still want you to have it, but it’s going to take you a little longer because you need to recognize how much I love you.

How many times could God have just done away with us, but He didn’t. And the blessings just kept coming. We count ourselves out, when God is lining us up to have His way.

Isaiah thought he was through, but God said you’ve only just begun.
Isaiah threw in the towel, but God threw in a life line.
Isaiah saw the end, but God saw the beginning.
Isaiah started counting himself out, but God starting counting over.
When we’ve given up, God is saying no, now I can use you.
After all of the mess, I can use you.
After all of the shame, I can use you.
After all of the pain, I can use you.
After all of the disappointment, I can still use you.

No matter what the challenge might be, His grace is sufficient, and His mercy endures forever. God’s grace has brought us this far, and His mercy has kept us. Thank you God for your grace and mercy!

Scripture Of The Day: "He touched my lips with it and said, 'See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.” - Isaiah 6:5-7 (NLT)

(Dr. Marvin Moss)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beauty for Ashes

Last night we watched the Passion of the Christ with about 15 of the most amazing young people and I am happy to wake up this morning knowing that our home is a part of the bigger story-line that is happening around the globe in these last days. The bride is preparing herself for the return of her bridegroom. The body of believers around the globe is uniting together in prayer groups, large and small, calling for the return of Jesus Christ. We are all calling for Him to come and make the wrong things right. And, He will! He will look at our ugliness and give us beauty for ashes.

I often wonder about the Samaritan woman who had the privilege of meeting Jesus at the well. What was she like before that day? I imagine she was beautiful; so beautiful that she stood out amongst her peers. Yet beneath the surface of her ravishing beauty, was a woman scorned and abhorred by those around her. I imagine she carefully hid a well of emotional pain beneath her veil, and her struggle with depression and low self esteem was safely tucked away from the curious glare of inquisitive eyes.

You see, her life story wasn’t like those of the other women in her village. No, far from it. Her personal life was in shambles and everyone knew it; but instead of embracing her, they derided her and made her the evening walk’s gossip. Undeniably, her hurt ran deep. And though she trained herself to become numb to the pain of rejection, her wounds grew still. And even when she taught herself to endure the heat of the midday sun in order to fetch water in isolation, her wounds grew still. And though to the naked eye she was a sight of beauty, from the viewpoint of the Spirit, she was a walking heap of ashes.

This Samaritan woman had a limp that no one perceived. She had issues that her peers were negligent of, and her value was discounted by everyone who whispered her name in anger. However, that day at the well, when she met with Jesus, her life was transformed and her broken spirit was mended.

For many, the trauma of our pasts act as a prison that holds us bound, and the truth is that many of us walk around hiding deep emotional wounds that fester behind the veil of our smiles. These wounds result from broken relationships, devastating past events, forms of abuse, rape, assault, rejection, abandonment, just to name a few. But Christ sees what we hide inside; He sees the wet pillowcases that bear the evidence that you cry even in your sleep. He sees the pang of rejection you feel whenever your mind drifts to certain memories, and He’s aware of the barriers you erect to protect yourself from ever being hurt again.

Today, God is calling for your attention; don’t hide from Him. No, really, don’t hide from Him that one place that hurts the most. Today, allow Him to reach deep inside and make all things new. He promises to give you deep emotional healing for your deep emotional pain. He promises to give you beauty in place of your ashes.

Scripture Of The Day: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me ... To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” - Isaiah 61:1-3 (NKJ)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


"Do not be anxious about anything..." Philippians 4:6 (ESV)

"You are not liked."

"Who are you to think you could do that?"

"Why did you say that? Everyone thinks you're annoying."

"Your kid just illustrated every inadequacy you have as a mom."

"You are invisible."

Have you ever been taunted by these thoughts? I have. Why do we let such destructive words fall hard on our souls? Toxic thoughts are so dangerous because they leave no room for truth to flourish. And in the absence of truth, lies reign.

The other day I was discussing something with my husband and I said, "I know you think I'm being annoying and overly protective about this but..."

He stopped me and said, "How do you know that's what I'm thinking? Please don't hold me liable for saying things that are really only thoughts in your mind."

Wow. He's so right. He hadn't said those things. I was assuming he was thinking them and operating as if those toxic thoughts were reality.

I think we girls do this way too often. People aren't thinking about us and assessing us nearly as much as we think they are.

As Christian women we should hold our thoughts to a higher standard. How dare these run away thoughts be allowed to simply parade about as if they are true and manipulate us into feeling insecure, inadequate, and misunderstood! Oh how much trouble we invite into our lives based on assumptions. We are instructed:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me - practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9 NIV 1984)

This is probably a verse you've read before. But, have you thought of applying it to your every thought...especially the toxic ones?

We are to think on, ponder and park our minds on constructive thoughts—not destructive thoughts. Thoughts that build up not tear down. Thoughts that breathe life not drain the life from us. Thoughts that lead to goodness not anxiety.

So, here are three questions we'd do well to ask ourselves when thoughts are dragging us down.

1. Did someone actually say this or am I assuming they are thinking it?

If they actually said it, deal with it then. If I'm assuming it, that's unfair to them and unnecessarily damaging to me. Instead of staying anxious, I need to seek truth by seeking God and asking Him for peace.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

2. Have I been actively engaging with truth lately?

The more we read God's truths and let truth fill our mind, the less time we'll spend contemplating untruths.

Thinking run-away, worrisome thoughts invites anxiety. Thinking thoughts of truth wraps my mind in peace and helps me rise above my circumstances.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

3. Are certain situations or friendships feeding my insecurities?

If so, maybe I need to take a break from these for a season.

I need to seek friendships that are characterized by truth, honor, and love.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Good gracious I know this is tough stuff. I know these issues can be more complicated than three simple questions. But it's a good place to start holding our thoughts accountable.

After all, how a woman thinks is often how she lives.

I think we need to read that one again, don't you? How a woman thinks is often how she lives. May we think upon and live out truth—and only truth today.

Dear Lord, reveal to me untruths throughout my day that can so easily distract and discourage me. Help me see You and Your truth in all I do. You have taught that only Your truth will set me free. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Friday, October 21, 2011


My beautiful girlfriend Claudia wrote this and it moved me to sit in His presence grateful for the fact that I share the same beliefs she does! So, I celebrate her by sharing it here on my blog.

As you read it, I ask you what do you believe?!

I believe that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe that true friendship continues to grow even over the longest distances. The same goes for true love.

I believe that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I believe that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I believe that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take it's place.

I believe that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I believe that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want him or her to doesn't mean they don't love you with all he or she has.

I believe that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe that you shouldn't be eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I believe that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe that your life can be changed, in a matter of hours, by people who don't even know you.

I believe that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I believe that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is Submission To God A Loss Of Freedom?

Many people believe that if they submit their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, they will lose their freedom; they cannot do anything that they want to do in life. A tragic flaw in this reasoning is that a person who is not under the lordship of Jesus is not free. The Bible says that you are in bondage to sin, to the lusts of your own flesh, to the whims of an evil spiritual opponent who wishes you destroyed, and to a world that is alienated from the one who brings true freedom. Or as Bob Dylan put it:

You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may the Lord
but you're gonna have to serve somebody.

This myth then precipitates another lie: You can be a disciple of Jesus without a radical submission to Jesus in every area of your life. This desire to have it both ways took on a very seductive heresy a few years ago when we heard about Jesus being our Savior but not our Lord. This is a lie. If He is not Lord, He is not Savior.

Simply put, you cannot serve two masters! In both Matthew and Luke this statement references serving God and money. Jesus says you will inevitably love one and hate the other. The same is true of serving God and Satan. ultimately, one will bring a comfort and devotion and the other will be completely uncomfortable and unwanted. Which will be the one that brings you comfort and devotion? God or Satan? In choosing God there is freedom. Im choosing Satan there is bondage of every kind. Look into the eyes of those whose choice is not God. You will see a deep, dark, torture. Their life is never peaceful, their spirit is never at peace.

Prayer for Today: Help me Lord to know that there is no loss of freedom, yet a full measure of freedom, in submitting to you in my life. Be my Savior and let me live in the protected, provided for, reality that a life with you brings!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Hard Truth!!!

I struggled for several weeks with whether I should really answer a question that a friend, wanting my opinion, posed to me. I didn't struggle with the wisdom I would share. Nor did I struggle with my ability to communicate the truth in a way for it to be understood. My struggle wasn't even about my friend’s reaction or our relationship long-term. My uneasiness was focused on the lifestyle adjustments that this new wisdom would require. It would require him to do one of the hardest things in life to do. And that is, change.

It was a hard truth that needed to be heard, but it would be much harder to implement and live by.

This is the same reality that we face in the area of holiness. Many of you that are reading this today know that holiness is not a denomination, nor a cultural phenomenon. It is a biblical mandate that still holds true, despite its branding of being out of date, out of style, or even that it requires what I call 'spooky religious' behavior.

The mandate of holiness is a hard truth that can be hard to discuss and converse about, but it still requires change, accountability, consistency, maturity and obedience.

New believers don't believe that it's attainable. 'Churched' Christians minimize it as old fashioned. Carnal Christians ignore it. And rigid (Pharisaic) Christians use it (the concept) as weapons to belittle and manipulate others.

With all of this division, God’s Word still carries the expectation and requirement that holiness is the standard, which leads us to the question: If God’s Word expects it, how do we actually live that out in our daily lives?

1 Peter 1: 13-16 provides clear instruction on this process of moving toward holiness. Indeed, it is a process that is more marathon and triathlon than sprint and quick jogs. This passage shows us in a very practical way how to begin to live out holiness in our daily life.

Peter writes to believers, in a simple approach, that we must:

1. Prepare Ourselves (v. 13)
2. Purge Ourselves (v. 13)
3. Position Ourselves (v. 14)
4. Purpose Ourselves (v. 14)

We prepare our hearts, minds and bodies to act in a way that pleases God. This requires an intentional plan of action that puts us on alert to doing God’s will. It is the same effect as when we drive a car and immediately our sense of lawfulness arises and we begin to check our speed, confirm that we are buckled in, ponder our tag expiration, etc. When we prepare for holiness, we alert ourselves to the presence of God.

We purge our hearts, mind and bodies of things that don’t reflect the character and nature of God. The good news is that God doesn’t require us to complete this process alone. He has offered the Holy Spirit to be an active part of our lives and thus enable us to live according His Word.

We position ourselves on the hope that the grace of Jesus Christ provides. This provision is one that is of faith, hope and love – all of which are unconditional. We position ourselves to live holy lifestyles when we extend to others what we have been recipients of.

Finally, we purpose and commit to living holy regardless of the adjustments, change and awkwardness it takes. The tension that comes from pursuing God is well worth enduring and embracing. This hard truth may hurt our toes, but it’ll help us walk better.

Scripture Of The Day: "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do." - 1 Peter 1: 14-15 (NIV)

By Overseer Christopher J. Harris

This week's topic: Holiness

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


As I travel my path, the best I can provide as a guide to others, is that they truly understand how powerfully placed they are. It is when we don't really believe that God has erected us in our current situations and environments because He is doing something there that we diminish the power of the altar He has built out of our very lives.

Have you ever considered why the attack on your life and ministry amplifies as the intensity with which you press into the realm of the spirit increases? What if I told you that your life, much like that of the Ark of the Covenant, symbolizes God’s presence? The fact is, the devil trembles as the sound of your voice engaged in prayer echoes through the heavenlies. He trembles because you and I are walking, living, breathing altars.

In ancient times, and still today, altars served the purpose of being a place where sacrifice and offerings were presented to a deity. Due to the intensity of worship that was performed at these structures, they functioned as flags, signifying territory and ownership. In other words, altars spoke to their environment and dictated the lordship of that territory. Hence, there was a consistent struggle in the Old Testament as Israel’s polytheistic neighbours sought to replace the altars of God with the altars of Baal and Ashteroth amongst others.

Know this: where altars are erected, principalities wage war. Therefore, God instructs the Israelites in Deuteronomy 12:2, “Ruthlessly demolish all the sacred shrines where the nations that you're driving out worship their gods—wherever you find them, on hills and mountains or in groves of green trees. Tear apart their altars ... obliterate the names of those god sites.” (The Message)

When we walk in holiness, undefiled by the systems of the world, we stand as altars erected strategically throughout the land, draped and dripping with the blood of Christ. The presence of our lives then, as altars, tells the enemy that we will not hand over this space or territory without a fight. We are altars erected in our homes, on our teams, in our places of work, our cities and our nation. YOU ARE AN ALTAR OF GOD! A symbol, a reminder, of His presence and His intentions to destroy the enemy that is gripping and controlling those around you.

However, broken altars surrender territory; hence we must guard our altars diligently. In other words, when we walk in unrighteousness and allow sin to corrode our spirits, we surrender precious territory to the enemy. We must NOT compromise. What if you walked into a church, with a friend, and the cross had a naked woman, or a buddha hanging next to it? The cross would lose some power to the other images placed along with it.

Today, do not take it lightly; your life is an altar that affects the atmosphere around you. You are a symbol of hope, and power, and change. Therefore, live a life of holiness.

Scripture Of The Day: “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” - Psalm 29:2 (NKJV)

(Thanks to: Kerri-Ann Haye-Donawa)

Friday, September 30, 2011


“O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
2 Chronicles 20:12

Have you ever been there? At a place in life where the troubles and problems before you are so great and so numerous that you don’t know what to do?

In the Old Testament, good and godly King Jehoshaphat found himself in that uncomfortable place. The enemies of Judah had banded together to make a super army … and they were coming to wipe God’s people off the map. The circumstances were dire and destruction seemed certain.

Jehoshaphat did not know what to do except pray and get his eyes on the Lord. And that is exactly what God wanted him to do. When he took his eyes off his problems and put them on the Lord, God responded in mighty power.


Are you facing great and frightening problems today? Is it cancer? Is a layoff coming? Is the marriage ending? Is some destructive addiction taking you down? Is the devil coming at you with both barrels?

What do you do when life seems to be caving in all around you?

You join with Jehoshaphat and honestly say, “God, I am powerless in this problem I am facing, and I don’t know what to do. But I choose to take my eyes off my problems and put them squarely on You.”

You see, you and I are not able to handle the problems of life, but God is able. And God will arise in your trouble IF IF IF you will just look to Him and trust Him, no matter what.


In the story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20, it is interesting to note that God told him:

1. Do not be afraid because I am with you.
2. Do not be dismayed because I am able.
3. Do not think this is your battle because it is Mine!

How’s that for an answer to prayer! So, the people gathered the next day to face the enemy. Judah’s army was ready, but they did not have to fight. In fact, it was the choir who led the army out to the battlefield. And when the choir began to sing and praise the Lord, the Lord responded to their praise (their praise was proof of genuine faith) and routed the enemy before their very eyes. WOW!

What to do when you don’t know what to do? Get your eyes on the Lord and praise Him! There is great power in praise! Praise shows God you know He is in control, and you trust Him.

The wonderful old song says it best:

When you’re up against a struggle, that shatters all your dreams.
And your hopes have been cruelly crushed by Satan’s manifested schemes.
When you feel the urge within you to submit to earthly fear,
Don’t let the faith you’re standing in seem to disappear.

Praise the Lord. He can work through those who praise Him.
Praise the Lord. For our God inhabits praise.
Praise the Lord. For the chains that seem to bind you,
serve only to remind you, that they drop powerless behind you,
when you praise Him.

Read 2 Chronicles Chapter 20 today and be blessed as you trust God to see you through.

(Pastor Jeff Schreve)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

His Love, New York, & The WIE Symposium

Good Morning fellow 'Hip Girls.' As your guide down the road to a deeper spirituality I am moved by something in particular this morning.

First of all, I MC'd this years WIE Symposium in New York City this past weekend. WIE is for Women. Inspiration. Enterprise. As you can imagine there were plenty of powerful, famous, women present. There were even some powerful, famous, men; ala Ted Turner and Hugh Jackman....ahhh so easy on the eyes and what a lovely man and husband!

Anyway, beauty was everywhere, because in New York City everything must meet a certain criteria for excellence and beauty that surpasses anything else in the world. Truly, walking down Madison Avenue, strolling through Bergdorf Goodman, I was struck by just how BEAUTIFUL and elegant and luxurious the creative aesthetic of this city is. The best of the best in creative vision is all that emerges to the front. The best of the best in thought, service, fashion, and art is everywhere. The city is a collection of the world's finest. And, there will always be a turnout of gorgeous women, Supermodels even, young and younger. Iman, still eclipses them all!

This very complicated and amazing mix of all things beautiful was tremendously eclipsed by another complex, yet very simple, greater beauty. For me there is a deeper truth that is so much deeper, so much more creative, so much more alive than all that I saw on parade.

What I wanted to add to WIE 2011, however, in addition to keeping the business of the day rolling smoothly for my gorgeous and talented friend, June Sarpong, who co-founded the event, was an element of this greater beauty that eclipses all of the most beautiful finery this world has to offer; God's grace and love. I wanted the truth of Jesus Christ to emanate from my eyes and heart like a bright shining light, because after all, why else would the Lord even allow me to be there. I am long past doing things on my own initiative. I don't even care too. I pray first. I listen. I get a yes or a no from deep inside that comes from way up high...and I proceed or back out. Since I heard a yes, I proceeded to hop a flight to NYC for an enjoyable few days in which I was used again, in that gloriously satisfying way that occurs when it's God doing the using. You know like the old song says:

"If it feels this good gettin' used then just keep on usin' me...Until you use me up!"
So, I let His light shine in me and when asked, 100 times what are you working on, I got to explain what inner healing really is. The kind of inner healing that comes from the power of the Word, the mission of Jesus Christ, and the release of the spirit from it's own emotional captivity! Hallelujah!!!

Some women said, "No I mean in television." Laugh. To which I answered "only that which God would have me do." I know they were dissatisfied with that answer. Yet, truly, who cares?! I care that someone was dissatisfied by my answer, but I don't care what I am working on in television. I have a couple things I am actually Executive Producing right now. One very Big thing. But, who cares?! I even have things I am writing and finishing and deals I am brokering for a lot of money, which I like to refer to as a 'bigger tithe!' But, who cares?! Except about the fact that I can give a bigger tithe, anyway.

Really, who cares about exterior beauty, fashion, art, the best of the best in all things luxurious, whose famous, whose not, who wore what, who made what, who designed what, who said what, who was there, who was not there, which restaurant is the most 'in' right now, which car is the fastest, whose dating who, whose coming to the party?! WHO CARES?!

My point? My point is that all that we do, if not done for the glory of God, is worthless! It's idle talk and vanity, at best.

Inside God's will there is no failure. Outside God's will there is no success! No real success. There is just one failed attempt after the next, and a growing hole in the heart, because when getting more worldly success doesn't fix that inner hole, or alleviate those inner fears, or get rid of those inner demons, WHO CARES?!

So, what I am working on is the healing of His kingdom. The sharing of the good news. The binding up of broken hearts and the setting free of captives. I care about what God cares about. And, it's no coincidence that this was the announcement of what Jesus Christ's ministry was all about, because my work, as all of our work should be, is modeled after Him:

"The spirit of the Sovreign Lord is upon me, because the LORD has annointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up (heal) the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners." (Isaiah 61:1)

I firmly believe that if we are about HIS business, He will be about OURS. There is little we need to pursue, chase after, dress up for, or woo...except Him! This awareness has caused me to make Him the object of my affections in such a way that I am moved to the core by my passion and love for Him. This love places a burden on my heart that all would understand the Love that is theirs too in Christ Jesus.

I often share a wonderful song, written by John Mark McMillan, called He Love Us. If you lose yourself in the truth of the truth he is singing about you cannot help but understand...

He is jealous for me,
He Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain ANY regrets,
When I think about, the way…He Loves Us

If I can share, or shared, ANYTHING that reflects the power of His LOVE then I have succeeded. So, as the MC of an extremely successful event in worldly terms, my success in it was found in those who listened with curiosity in their eyes, and hugged me back with love and acceptance, and saw something in me that they couldn't explain.

Was it my Gucci leather slacks? No, who cares?! Was it the fierce Chanel over the knee boots and matching handbag I wore?! Doubtful, who cares?! Was it even the amazing Nina Runsdorf diamonds twinkling on my person? Nope, who cares?!

You see I am a child of the King. What it was, was the light of redemption, the ocean of grace, and the realization of how much He loves me that causes me to emanate love for others. That's what you'll see in me, as MC of a TV show, an event littered with the rich and famous, or walking across campus at my sons school in Kansas. Him in me is the magnet that I know attracts anyone to tell me what a great job I do when I am working or doing. It is all of Him that you see surfacing that touches people in an inexplicable way.

I don't take credit for anything except that He loves Us!!! How can I care about anything more than that?! His grace is an ocean, and I sank long ago!!!

Love to ALL Of you today and every day...May His peace and truth bless you...
Your resident Hip Girl guiding you to truth in your spirituality!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Your Thoughts Have Wheels!

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7a (KJV)

The day started off just fine, but ended with confusion and tears. As a timid middle-schooler, I climbed the steps of my school bus eager to get home after a long afternoon.

Sitting quietly in my seat, all of a sudden I got this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Although my surroundings appeared to be the same, something was not right.

The bus was the normal sunshine yellow. The seats were standard black vinyl, displaying rips and tears from years of students. The floor was littered with the usual misplaced pencils, erasers and wadded-up papers. Yet, I felt out of place.

That's when I realized I did not know any of the kids sitting around me. And I had never seen the bus driver before. Frantically, I searched for anything familiar. My cheeks grew hot and my heart raced with panic as I realized I was on the wrong bus.

Although I WAS headed somewhere, it was NOT where I wanted to go.

I'd been distracted by conversations with friends, thoughts of sleepovers, and how much homework I had. My thoughts were not focused on where I was going. The actions that followed caused me to end up somewhere I did not want to be.

Thinking back on that day, I've considered how our thoughts determine a lot about the direction of our lives. Like my school bus, our thoughts will always take us somewhere, but it may not be somewhere we want to end up.

If we spend time thinking about how our boss does not appreciate us, our thoughts will take us straight to a bad attitude at work and possibly poor performance.

If we focus on how much we do for others and how little we feel appreciated, our thoughts will take us to a place of resentment, with lack of patience and love.

If we spend an entire day fuming over something our husband or kids did, and mentally practice the harsh words we plan to say to them, those thoughts will lead us into a place of arguments, hurt feelings and damaged relationships.

If we dwell on why God has allowed certain problems in our lives, we will transport ourselves into a state of insecurity and unhappiness as we stop trusting God.

If we focus our thoughts on money, career, success and pleasure, we will find ourselves in the land of the lost—feeling frustrated and discontent.

Our thoughts are powerful and require great self control. If we allow them to run rampant, focusing on things that lead us away from God, then we will wind up at a destination we would never deliberately choose.

In today's key verse, God shows us why we should choose carefully what we think about, because our thoughts determine who we are and how we live.

My childhood memory reminds me to consistently ask God to help me keep my mind on Him and on the thoughts He has for me. That way I can live according to His plans and with His perspective, seeking to be acutely aware of where my thoughts may lead me.

Our thoughts really do have wheels. Where are your thoughts taking you today?

Dear Lord, please help me take my thoughts captive, and focus on things that are pleasing to You. Please give me the desire to honor You and abide by Your Word in any area of my thoughts I am struggling to do so. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Application Steps:
Make a list of all the negative or sinful thoughts you may have had lately. Ask God to help cleanse you of those emotions and start anew, with a fresh attitude and a positive, Godly perspective.

Have I been guarding and guiding my thoughts, or have my thoughts been leading me to a place I don't want to go?

Is there anything I need to remove from my thought life?

Power Verses:
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (NIV)

Romans 12:2a, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (NIV)

Ephesians 4:23-24, "Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy." (NLT)

This was from an excerpt by, Tracie Miles, and it's an awesome reflection and exercise to help you with those negative thoughts that threaten to drive you into a wall instead of the positive thoughts you need to drive you into your joy filled destiny!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


The most amazing thing hit me in the last couple days.

We go to God, especially as parents, and ask Him to care for our kids and bless them with every good thing. Yet, we treat God's son, like crap on a regular basis. Many don't seek to know Him. Many don't really have a real desire to serve Him or tell others about how cool He is. We treat Jesus, God's SON, like someone it's best not to talk about because He's controversial and we want others to like us, more than we want Him to. After all, we can't SEE Him right?! So, who knows if He is really real, or there at all. We have a major faith problem in this country but that's another issue!

This morning I woke up and I was hit with a CNN blast about Hurricane Irene so I immediately checked on my girlfriend, Nina in NYC. She was OK although she woke up to the ocean at the back door of her beach house in the Hampton's. Since her house is 5 blocks from the beach that was a little scary. Then I checked on a basketball coach friend in North Carolina.

I was soon on auto pilot, with the day crashing in on what should be first thing first; morning time with God to start the day. I made a coffee, and began scanning the Restoration Hardware site for new furniture for our place in Kansas. Oh, then I had a thought about my mom, so I called her to chat.

Eventually, my husband called and we decided to say morning prayer. I begrudgingly turned the computer off and we began. Not, 5 sentences into prayer I asked God to bless my son's day and began my to do list of gifts that I expected from God for my child for the day.

And, it hit me. Deep in the gut.

I had totally ignored His son, yet I wanted Him to pay CLOSE and FULL attention to mine AND with an armload of victories and blessings for the day, of course! I basically told GOD that my kid was more important than His. Basically. Sugar coat it in your own life, if you want, but that's what's going on amongst believers DAILY.

Because I TRULY desire to please God, shame, regret, and fear flooded my heart. I almost stopped there but the Holy Spirit urged me to move forward and not get stuck THERE. I apologized to the God I fear, yet love even more. I expressed my shame, felt tears in my eyes, and asked, no begged for forgiveness and mercy.

I am pretty sold out for Jesus. I live a fairly full life of service and am trying and growing daily in my efforts to really SEE myself and my actions through God's eyes. I value my relationship with Him and I realize that the way to really see God is by gazing deeply into the life of Christ.

Yet, even I, at a decent level in my walk, make the mistake of letting the auto-pilot of the day occur and the cares of the world easily flood in and before I know it I am off to the races without saying; Thank you Father, Thank you Jesus. Thank you. I have so much to be thankful for.

In my case, thank you that my Friday night was spent with my 19 year old and his teammate and their 2 girl-friends in church praising Jesus and then driving around campus laughing as we picked drunk kids up and witnessed to them about the love of Christ before dropping them safely off at their sororities or dorms. A VERY different College experience than my own I might add. These passengers, on our first Friday night experiment, were shocked that 2 Kansas basketball players were picking them up, not drunk, filled with the light of Christ, and helping them out. It was like Mick Jagger driving by and offering you a lift and then telling you about a really cool dude, whose our Savior! My son and his teammates are seriously rock-stars on campus, because they're on the team, and I think the weightiness of this really hit my son squarely last night. I saw the lightbulb flashing in his mind, and the wheels spinning, and he was forever changed. In a world where most kids, and I was one of them, spend Friday nights getting drunk, high, and looking for love in all the wrong places, my kid and his friends were loving Jesus and laughing and hanging out having good, clean, fun...with ME, the mother.

God blessed me with this relationship with my son, in spite of the madness he has seen, and I KNOW what a miracle I have been given. I have much to be grateful for.

But, back to the point. We have to stop treating God the Father like we don't truly love His only begotten Son, whom He has given us salvation through. This is very serious. If you come to me, saying you know my son, I am gonna receive you and listen...but if you then charge off by ignoring my son in the room, and treating him like he is second to your desire for me to take care of your son, I am gonna kick you out! Fast. Thankfully, I am NOT God. I have yet to arrive at His level of mercy, forgiveness, and love. I am trying. But, you get the point.

So, not to beat you up, because by this point you should be feeling pretty small and horrible, but here's the question.

Shouldn't we show Jesus how much we love and respect Him for his gift of love to us? Shouldn't we adore our Heavenly Father and shower Him with love and gratitude for doing something we could NEVER do, tell His only son to die for us; a bunch of folks who would forget Him, not find Him very cool to talk about, and treat Him like a secondary friend at best? Second to the laundry, the emails, the telephone and the TV! Shouldn't we?

I say we should. And, after I came to this monumental reality this morning I dared not ask for anything today, except mercy and forgiveness, and the ability to live in love for Jesus.

The kind of love that makes Him first in my day and in my heart in a real way.

Seek first the Kingdom of heaven and all God's righteousness,' and He will do as He says and 'add all the rest' of your needs, wants, and desires, to your day. He will handle your business if you're about understanding His. It's a simple deal that He has NEVER not honored in my life, so I am diligent about these little lessons that show me what I do that in any way dishonors who I want to be before Him.

In His presence is where your true value is determined folks. And, in His presence I challenge you to ask yourself if you have valued Him enough to be there. We all fall short. Yet, when you care, you change. Be grateful if you're feeling rebuked right now. It's good to be lovingly chastised into realizing these seemingly minor, yet huge character flaws, for our father only rebukes those whom he loves as His children.

And, even we forgive our children and our friends and ourselves often. How much more does He forgive all of us?! What a mighty, loving, forgiving God we are privileged to know and serve.

This Hip Girl is off to lunch, happy that Jesus is my guide!

Friday, August 26, 2011


“And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.” (Mark 11:13) (NKJV)

Jesus lifted his eyes and saw a fig tree in the distance with leaves on it. He got excited. A fig right about now would really hit the spot. It was time to eat! In that culture, trees on the roadside provided good sources of nutrition for weary travelers. This situation was no different. Mark’s Gospel gives us a little bit of insider information. At the time Jesus walked along this roadside, it wasn't the season for figs.

Jesus was expecting the unexpected and was disappointed.

Why did he expect the unexpected? Because of the presence of leaves on the fig tree. In Palestine, fruit appears on fig trees before the leaves. So when Jesus saw leaves he got excited. Leaves were there. Surely leaves on the tree signified that there was also fruit on the same tree. In fact, the entire purpose of a leaf on a tree is to make and nurture fruit for the entire tree by trapping light energy and converting it to chemical energy. As Christians, we are, as Mark’s Gospel demonstrates, trees in leaf. In other words, we are showing our leaves. We are built in such a way, spiritually, that we are to trap the light of Christ and convert it to energy, in order to produce fruit. That fruit is the fruit of the Spirit:

"...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..."-Galatians 5:22-23

Please keep in mind, just like the fig tree in the passage:

Jesus requires us to produce fruit in and out of season.

Recession? Produce fruit. Anger? Produce fruit. Sadness? Produce fruit. Frustration? Produce fruit. Irritation? Produce fruit. Tumultuous relationship? Produce fruit. Somebody’s getting on your nerves? Produce fruit. Being mistreated? Produce fruit. Situation getting out of control? Produce fruit.

Do you know that this tree could have enjoyed the privilege of providing Christ one of his last meals before His act of love on the Cross. This passage occurs right before he enters Jerusalem. Instead Jesus was met with disappointment when it failed to meet his expectations.

What kind of tree are you going to be? More importantly, what kind of fruit are you going to produce? When we demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit to others, we meet Christ’s expectations. May we be ever mindful of His great expectations and go to great lengths to properly display our fruit.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit." - John 15:1-2 (ESV)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gratitude Is Always The Right Attitude!

Psalm 106:7
Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.

"I want it!" She screamed.

Her father turned to where the little girl stood red-faced and defiant. He looked at her and said, "I don't want to hear another word. I bought you a toy last week, and I told you not to ask for anything else. You've had ice cream and I took you to see the pets, now you straighten up. Do you understand?"

Whether she understood or not may still be in question, but her behavior is all too familiar.

Some of us want what we want when we want it, and we really don't care whether we're being ungrateful or not.

God has showered us with blessings, and sometimes we stand defiantly demanding more. God is willing to give us many good things, but not when we refuse to value what we've got.

Christian maturity requires that we learn to be satisfied with what we have. It is pleasing to God when His children say "Thank You," instead of "More."

So, today I say Thank you. I forget how gracious and giving You have been, O Lord. Forgive my lack of gratitude and appreciation. I have no reason to desire more. I have more than I truly need already. Help me to use my abundance for the sake of others. Help me to be happy for others with less when life gives them more. Help me to realize that the more it appears they have, is still quite possibly less than I have. And, help me to understand that the more I need will always be provided, but the more I want is a reward that comes from my gratitude for the more I need that I have already been given. Amen.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We Have The Majority!!! by Charles Spurgeon

"And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (2 Kings 6:16).

Horses and chariots and a great host shut up the prophet in Dothan. His young servant was alarmed. How could they escape from such a body of armed men?

But the prophet had eyes which his servant had not, and he could see a greater host with far superior weapons guarding him from all harm. Horses of fire are mightier than horses of flesh, and chariots of fire are far preferable to chariots of iron.

Even so is it at this hour.

The adversaries of truth are many, influential, learned, and crafty; and truth fares ill at their hands; and yet the man of God has no cause for trepidation.

Agencies, seen and unseen, of the most potent kind, are on the side of righteousness.

God has armies in ambush which will reveal themselves in the hour of need.

The forces which are on the side of the good and the true far outweigh the powers of evil.

Therefore, let us keep our spirits up, and walk with the gait of men who possess a cheering secret, which has lifted them above all fear.

We are on the winning side.

The battle may be sharp, but we know how it will end.

Faith, having God with her, is in a clear majority: "They that be with us are more than they that be with them."

And, He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The only survivor of a shipwreck came upon a small, uninhabited island. He prayed repeatedly for God to save him and everyday scanned the horizon for his answer. Even though he was exhausted and in despair, he eventually managed to build a little hut to keep him out of the weather and to store his provisions.

Then one day, after searching for food, he came home to find his little hut on fire. The worst thing that could have happened had happened. Everything he had was consumed. In his grief he cried out, "God, how could you do this to me!" Early the next morning, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. They had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the castaway. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

I love this little story illustrating how God's providence works. But, do we remember it when the fire is raging? A new friend said something to me a few days ago that was very wise, yet a little scary at the time. She said when a sudden shift occurs do not be moved. She said to prepare even my son's heart for these kinds of changes in direction or routine, no matter how big or small. The truth is that these shifts can be from God working his plan out for our life and not just from the enemy who wants us ruined and off course.

Yesterday, without really realizing that I had had a similar word dropped into my spirit, my son prayed to God to not be moved by any of life's shifts and/or changes this year. He dedicated his upcoming year to God and asked to be a solid and bolder witness. He also prayed not to be concerned with being the popular kid but with being the kid who says and does what's right. Always. A great prayer from an 18 year old!

But, what about all the rest of us? It's easy to get crazy and scared when our 'plan' is interrupted. But, is that faith? Faith is, as Hebrews 11 says, being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. This promise is much bigger than a shift or change in your day, your month, or your life.

The job you lose, may be the blessing that keeps you home with your kids. The guy who dumps you may be the preparation you need to move on to the one who marries you. The college your kid chooses, may open a door to a whole new world in a whole new city. If you keep your eyes on God. If you continue to abide in Him you will bear the fruit of your dreams and visions.

So, while the hut on your island seems to be burning down pray and praise God for the fact that with the smoke that may be raging out of control, He is sending up smoke signals that will bring the help you really desired.

It has dawned on me recently that God, being a God of love, cannot look upon us and want to see us hurt or distraught. He is love. He loves us. We love, as scripture says, because he first loved us. Nowhere, in the definition or act of love does an intentional infliction of emotional distress occur. We do this to ourselves by losing faith when the fire is burning down our beach shack.

God is not a man that He would lie the Bible says. So...My goal, is to try and stay calm when the floods come, and the fires rage. For God would not lie about caring for me, or you, as He cares for the birds. The goal is to stay in faith, solid and sure, that He that began the work in you will complete it to the end.

Personally, I believe that God would not allow promises and prophecies to be spoken over my life that were not sent from Him. My goal is to not be moved! For, He is my rock and my fortress, my strong tower. Trust in God's promises. And, while this is the goal, continue to pray for a smooth passage across the waters of life...and basketball! Laugh. Because, He knows the end at the beginning and when He is faithful and merciful enough to give you a glimpse into His plan you can take it to the bank and deposit it in an account of faith that's already been opened in your name.

Your challenge today, may be your smoke signal bringing tomorrows help. Embrace the fire and in ALL things give Him thanks and praise.

Monday, August 15, 2011


"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me..." Acts 20:24 (NIV)

My first instinct was to leave the clean, folded clothes on top of the dresser. Granted, my arms were filled with freshly laundered items, so it would have been difficult to open the drawer while balancing the stack. I had an excuse for leaving them on top. Didn't I? Instead, I pushed past my instinct, took 30 more seconds, and placed the clothes neatly in the drawer.

This tendency to not complete a task happens with surprising regularity. I toss my bathrobe on the bed, drape jeans on the tub, and set the television remote on the nearest counter top. However, sometimes, when

I'm a bit more self-aware, I take the few extra steps needed to actually finish the task.

Years ago, I realized my practice of stopping short of finishing what I started led to a cluttered home and office. Back then, I had a multitude of unfinished tasks that I just lived with. It wasn't all simple things like putting away clothes, but included larger tasks like leaving a wall half painted.

Starting a project is fun, and usually involves a burst of energy. Then, that energy wanes as I approach the finish line. Instead of pushing to complete the task, assignment or project with excellence, I lean towards settling for good enough. Unfortunately, when I settle for "good enough" consistently, I learn to live with mediocrity. And accepting mediocrity is far from where God wants me to be. You see, finishing what we start is more than a good organizational or home management skill. It's also a spiritual discipline.

As I identified the tendency to settle, I realized it affected me in a variety of ways throughout my life. In the past I accepted a distant relationship with God rather than one of intimacy. I've limited my understanding of

Scripture to a surface level. My relationships with others have gone no deeper than, "Hi, how are you doing?" Instead of pushing to explore the fullness of what God offers in all areas, it is easier to stop short. Perhaps it's safer. Simpler. And with less personal discomfort or inconvenience.

Interestingly, it's actually been somewhat easy to address this issue. I admit the tendency within myself to settle, and I get firm with myself about it. Now, when I would prefer to leave the dryer full of clothes, or emails half typed, I say to myself, "Finish what you start." I make a conscientious decision to finish the task at hand before I move on to something new. Obviously, there are some projects that require more effort, but this works on many of my issues.

I'm not sure of all the reasons for stopping short of finishing with excellence, but I do know the results. I end up with unfulfilled commitments, open loops and shallow relationships. That's a far cry from the life Jesus came to bring, which is full and abundant. Not a partial life, but one lived with pushing to the limits and exploring the outer reaches.

Maybe that seems a deep principle to pull from putting clothes in a drawer or a dirty bowl in the dishwasher. However, the discipline of finishing well is one that is woven through my life...or it's not.

So I guess I'll take the extra step and actually hang up my robe. It's one more stitch in this tapestry of finishing well that God is trying to create in my life. Just one more push and victory is had!

Dear Lord, thank You for demonstrating finishing well through the life of Jesus. I know Jesus could have stopped short of paying the price for my salvation. But He didn't. For that I will be eternally grateful. Please help me push through mediocrity in my life and explore the fullness You long to bring. In Jesus' Name, Amen.