Sunday, December 15, 2013


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
—Romans 15:13

Hope is the most important thing we can possess.  I have learned from experience that I can have all the money I could want, private planes as my mode of travel, red carpets that line the doorway entrance, and friends with names that make others giggly and excited, but without hope these things would be empty.  Amidst my Hollywood existence, one most people kill to have, I lost my very idea of what my hope was in. It's why I walked away to focus my attention on my sons hopes and dreams. His seemed more worthy.  His are more worthy. 

My son is a leader not a follower. He always has been. He is called to leadership from birth. He quietly takes people in as he prays for them, and his assessments are so correct he usually dares not speak, especially to adults, who can't often handle truth that comes from the very throne room of grace through him.  He has a gift. One that God knew would be so powerful, and so powerfully used, that he sent me a husband fashioned completely to nurture and teach my son about this gift and how to use it to impart hope.  

I am in development now on a new tv show.  It's the only show I am excited to see on television today.  It's a passion project that I will co-executive produce with an amazing filmmaker and documentary maker. The one factor I'm sure of is that it must include my son and the use of his gift on a global level.  It will inspire hope, as he does daily all over his university campus, for a world that exists to rob people of this very thing they need so greatly! 

We need hope that God is real.  We need hope that He sees us, that He cares, that He has a plan for our life and that plan is infinitely better than the one we may be in the middle of making even now.

We need hope that our prayers have been heard and will be answered. 

Isn't that all anyone wants.  It's all I really want. And, like any parent, when it comes to my son I hope that The Lords promises over his life will come to pass and soon. Soon, I add, because in the natural, through my own eyes, time appears to be running short for some of those promises in particular.  However, Hope cannot look through fleshly eyes. "For we walk by faith not by sight." (Hebrews11)

Interior battles are most intense when the hope we cling to is tested by the reality we see.  Then again, I've learned to never be fooled by my lying eyes for God is a God with a reality all His own.  

Living with hope is a state of mind found deep inside your faith. Remember the man who said to Jesus "Lord I believe only help my unbelief?"  Doesn't this man capture our heart and the struggles
we have to hold onto our hope, in faith?

Lord, I believe, I want to believe, but there's a grain of doubt and fear deep inside the pit of my stomach and it needs your help.  It needs your help to walk strongly, to live in love with your children who speak negativity and faithlessness all around me, and to overcome what my eyes see and look only to what you've promised you'd do exactly where I am.  Jesus I believe only help my unbelief. 

What was this man asking Jesus?  What are we asking Him for?  We are asking Him to restore our hope in Him and all that He has said to us directly, in His word, or through His prophecies.  We are asking for our hope that He is real, and that He really will turn our situations around, to be restored
and strengthened. We are asking for faith. 

Jesus knows when we believe and only He can help our unbelief. 

Unbelief battles daily against hope.  Unbelief breeds fear and doubt at an alarming rate. Unbelief
breeds acceptance of mediocrity, and hopelessness in the greatness of the visions God places inside us.  

My reflection for today is only to get you, and myself, to a place of restored hope for all that you hope for in life.  Mediocrity is an unacceptable compromise.  Jesus is not mediocre and His children are not meant to be either. We are called to greatness as our Father is great. Your hope is found in the depth of your faith and belief in Jesus Christ. That is the same place your dreams are found.  That's the same place your power, your joy, and your victory is found.  

How do you live for Him? 

How does your life reflect Him? 

How intimate and real and alive is your relationship with Him?  

Only you know the degree of the answer to each of these questions.  To that measure is the strength of your faith and hope. To that measure you will live a life with a cup overflowing with answered prayer and the presence of power and joy in the midst of all that you see. Or you will be bitter, feeling as if He never answers your prayers, blaming Him for the lack in your life because you never become intimate with Him and His abundance.

How your life reflects Him is your choice.

I am learning that The Lord will allow you to live with hope but if you don't live for Him in what you hope for, your hope will be deferred while He works on your character.  There are plenty of Gods children with great hope and... zero character.  The world doesn't need any more men and women who lack character!

My son plays basketball at the University of Kansas and I tell him, and his teammates, ALL the time, that the NBA doesn't need anymore young men who lack character.  The NBA needs young men of character whose hope is grounded in Christ's power at work in them to change the ugliness of the game that was inspired by God through James Naismith, a man of God, for young men to grow and develop character!!!  Powerful stuff exists in the original intention for this game! 

Yes, our God is mighty to save. But, are you mighty to hope in Him to do so?  

Or is your hope in your fleshly manipulation of people and things, hurting others with the carelessness by which you use them to get your way?!  Do you actually breed false hope in others by telling them anything you think they want to hear to sway their path? And, in the end, hurt them because of your lies? 

I pray daily, Lord, let my hope and faith in you be so strong as to always tell the truth even if it means losing something I want.  Lord, help me support and advance those whose hope is truly deeply in you, for this is supporting the kingdom of God.  Lord, let me live and walk in the hope of your power at work in me daily.  Lord let my needs be satisfied completely in you. 

And, Lord I submit my emotions daily to your love and to the knowledge of what is right, in spite of the evil I see.  Lord give me hope in you, faith in you, and obedience to you. 

Lord be my Lord!  It's that simple. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Some folks are just hard to love.  At least by human standards, there are times when I can't imagine why some people deserve my kindness at all.  Not that I wanna be mean, but I just can't find a warm fuzzy feeling about them especially once they've shown me a total lack of sincerity and kindness. Once I've seen the ugliness of someone's heart it becomes very difficult to just love them, only to risk my own heart being stepped on again.

However, there are people in my life whom I have loved who barely deserved to be tolerated.  People whose partiality and insincerity, whose lying and judgement, deserved for me to not see them, much less see the 'good' in them.  Yet, I did it and it moved mountains.

Jesus called us to love our neighbor as ourself.  Grappling with this, I asked my son, who exactly is my neighbor?

He answered, mom just like Jesus told the parable about the Samaritan and the Jew, who historically hated each other, your neighbor is everyone! Everyone needs love and you are to love everybody!  I hate that my kid is so aware at times.  He is much better at the loving his neighbor thing than I am because he doesn't seem to wrestle with it as I do.  I'm a work in progress.

The whole conversation about this parable made me think of a saying that my dear pastor friend Charles E. Blake from the West Angeles Church Of God In Christ always says...I see you in the future and you look much better than you do today!  Thats so awesome. That's how Jesus sees, and once saw, us.  He saw, and continues to see, our future and it looks better than the ugliness of our present.

Yes, it's hard to see some folks in the future and imagine they look like anything more than the sneaky, self possessed, caught up, fake, sold out sinners that they are.  However, if Jesus can we should!  We must.

We must, not just because Jesus said we must, although that could certainly eliminate any other reason why we must.  But, I will go further into some practical reasons.  We must because it's the only way to walk above this world un-offended and unaffected by people and their current sinful conditions.  If you cannot get above the daily offenses of people you'd be a walking bucket of anger, bitterness, jealousy, and hate, instead of an overflowing well of love and life.

But, people hurt me, you reply?

We'll, I too have been affected, deeply hurt even, by people's lack of love for me in return to my outpouring of love for them. I have been talked about, lied to, used, abused, attacked, publicly humiliated and accused for no reason, and worse seen my very own child suffer these things from folks.  Now you know how much a mom can hate you when you lie to and hurt her child!  Yet, I can't help but understand how much more was, and is, Jesus hated daily in return for His abundant love.

He poured out His life.  We pour out our humanness in a fleshly, prideful, display of thinking we got it all under control ourselves. He poured out His mercy.  We pour out politics and self serving agendas.  He poured out His grace.  We pour out lies and deceit.  He poured out His love.  We pour out destruction.  He poured out His eternal support.  We support eternal ugliness, killing the hopes and dreams of righteous children, while promoting the hopes and dreams of the unrighteousness.  He poured out His leadership for us as an example to follow.  We promote men to positions of leadership who shouldn't be followed and who are a bad example.  He poured out His divine friendship. We prefer friendship with a world who follows Satan. He poured out eternal justice.  We pour out unfairness and injustice daily.

Recently, I had a riff with a dear friend who mistakenly misinterpreted some things my husband said with the best of intentions.  It's not important. God will heal it with love.  But, her response really hurt me and I've been so sad about it.

Hurt can challenge our ability to see past peoples present condition into their future more than anything.  The pain people can cause us is often overwhelming and undeserved.

The point is, I have been asking Jesus how I love my neighbor when he or she hurts me?!

Jesus answered, rather simply, love will give you the wisdom to see past what happened in that moment into the future.  And since love thinks the best, the future will look much better than it does right now from your viewpoint of your own personal hurt, pain and disappointment.  This is how I love you daily.  Awesome.

She may hate you, she may have even caused others to hate you, and provided fodder for them to gossip about, and be fake with you about, and dislike you about, but she is your neighbor and you should love her as you would want her to love you if the situation was reversed.

In fact, Jesus continued speaking to me, you want me to love you when you fall short.  Right?!  You want me to see YOU looking better in your future than you do today! You need me to see you looking better in your future, because trust me sweetie, your today isn't as beautiful as you'd like it to be!!!  OK Jesus that was harsh!!!  But true!

To Me, my dear daughter, Jesus continued, you are as ugly sometimes as the Jews were to the Samaritans and vice verse, yet my command is that you love one another.  I died because I love you.  Respect why I died by killing your own point of view and adopting mine.

He's asking us to die!  To die to our own feelings and embrace His.


And, it's not easy.  Nothing worth having ever is!

I have learned that the Jesus of the Bible expected Christianity to be a lifestyle, not just a Sunday trip to church, a get out of jail free card, or something you embrace when it's convenient and easy to walk out.

Christianity should be your life!  I am a walking epistle of Jesus.  I am a walking lesson of His love and grace. I am a surrendered vessel.

The Jesus of the Bible, not Jesus as He's been watered down, marginalized, and manipulated, by Christians today who've ruined His image in the world, expects me to represent Him well and He asks that I love my neighbor. It's really not that much at all when I consider how much like my neighbor I can be, if I'm honest.  It's really not that much at all when I consider how much I want Him to continue to bet on the fact that I'm gonna look even better in the future than I do right now.  It's really not that much at all when I rely on His love for me.

As I know Jesus so my life reflects Jesus. And as my life reflects Jesus He is honored, He is loved, and others experience Him.  When others experience Him and His love in me the transforming power of Christ is released to work miracles.

I've been away from the blog for a while because I'm immersed in developing my new tv show and finishing book number one.  But, this lesson of love and hurt and our neighbors and the injustice we see around us that causes us to naturally question how an intelligent God could expect us to love others has been tugging at my heart for weeks.

Love is the most critical and essential piece of everything!  Not passive, numb, love.  Powerful, consuming, victorious love!

He keeps leading me back to trust Him.  He keeps leading me back to the promises and prophecies which lead me to the place I am in my life right now.  A place that doesn't look anything like I thought it would I might add.  He keeps telling me to love in the face of attacks and to stand strong in prayer over everyone, and everything, because He, and therefore we, will win before it's all over.

The glory of The Lord will be seen and His name will be exalted above every other name that has taken a false throne as god. His standard will be lifted up.  His servant will see victory. And, His people will know His love.

How?  Because of how I choose to respond in love to every situation that's how!!!

He keeps leading me back to love and showing me the aggressive, powerful, competitive force that love is.  Love is not passive.  Kindness is not weakness.  Humility is not a lack of self-confidence.  People have it all twisted and they see these qualities through fleshly, worldly, eyes.  A child of the King sees these things as they really are.  Weapons of mass destruction against the enemy.  Weapons of warfare that are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds.  Weapons that will eventually destroy obstacles in front of us and deliver into our hands the starting position on the playing field.  Love conquers all. Love always has a winning season.  Love made, and will make, a way out of no way.

And, I love, because He first loved me.

If Life is truly a sermon that you live out loud.  Then, Love is truly the words on life's pages.