LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR

LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR

Isn’t this a beautiful testimony from a father?

“Our family went on a family hike, and our eldest daughter was having fun running around. We got to the falls and took some pictures, but on the way back, she started whining about wanting to be carried and kept her whining and crying all the way back to the car. I told her if she kept it up, I would give her a spanking, and I could see the fear come into her eyes. She started trying to force herself to stop crying, and it was like something had switched inside me. I asked if she needed to be held, and she gave a huge nod with obvious relief, so I took her out of the car and held her on a nearby rock. I felt prompted by Holy Spirit to ask if she liked the waterfall, and she said no, that it was too loud. I asked if the noise and force of the waterfall scared her, and she said yes. I told her I was sorry for not realizing she was scared and asked if she would forgive me. She did, and I walked around holding her a little longer, and we ended up having a nice time again. This wouldn’t have happened before taking the mentoring class. When we were at the critical moment right when we got back to the car, I felt God cut in and remind me (gently, but in a way that couldn’t be ignored) that my connection to her heart was more important than her outward behavior, and it just froze me. I just wanted to share how the things you shared with us continue to bear fruit in our lives.”

BEING A DAUGHTER

I love how God sets us up for success as parents. My daughter was really hurt by someone and needed some room to work through the messy emotions. After we were done processing, the verse of the day popped up on my phone and read, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21). Instantly, I heard in my spirit that I was to apply that in this situation and said, “Do not be overcome by an orphan but overcome the orphan by being a Daughter.” Spiritual orphans operate differently than Sons and Daughters, even in pain. There was a profound shift in her when she realized the other person’s choices were not a reflection of who she was. Teaching our children WHO they are is critical to helping them navigate life.

THE GOD WHO SEES

Someone needs to declare this over themselves today. “YOU ARE THE GOD WHO SEES MY NEED!” Say it until you have faith for it.

JESUS AND NAILS

 We had to catch a morning flight out of Sacramento, and I kept changing the time I thought we should leave. Finally, half joking, I said, “Jesus, what time should I leave?” We left at that time. In the middle of nowhere, my light comes on, saying my back tire is low. We stopped, and the nice attendant turned on the air for free. I filled it up but heard God tell me to check the tire. I kept moving to rotate the tire so I could inspect it. Sure enough, there was a nail! I decided to see if it would hold, but I was losing pressure quickly within minutes. I pulled off, and a tire place was right there. But it was only 7 am, and they didn’t open till 8. If I waited till 8, I would have missed my flight. We called, and the manager answered, saying he would start his day early for me. As I pulled in, he was waiting for me. Expecting to walk out with two new, unexpected tire purchases, he said he could patch it and then had the heart to not even charge me. I tried to tip him but to no avail. From the time I pulled off till I was on the road again was *15 minutes*. Had that happened just two miles later, we would have been stranded on the side of nowhere! I swelled with His goodness and laughed when I heard Him say, “I know about nails.” He knew the nail would be in the road and had me leave earlier, stop when and where we did, and provided each step of the way. Wow!

POSTER CHILD OF HIS POWER

I was raised in the church, so I assumed I was going to heaven, but my near-death experience proved I didn’t have a heart connection with Jesus. It was scary. My mom died while I was in a coma, making my recovery process even more difficult. I was so sick the plan was for me to go to a nursing home to wait for my new kidneys and liver. I received hundreds of greeting cards during my three-month hospital stay, but one stood out. It read, “With God on your side, you will never have to be alone.” At that moment, I realized I had missed the boat and told God I wanted Him. I warned Him, though, that my heart was shattered into a gazillion pieces, and I wasn’t sure even He could put it back together again, but I wanted Him to try. I told Him I needed a real, living, and powerful God, and either He was real, or He wasn’t. If He was, I wanted to be a poster child that He was real. A deep peace came over me for the first time in my life. A few days later, the doctors told me I no longer needed dialysis three times a day, and a few days later, they removed me from the kidney transplant list. The following week my team of doctors, who had followed my care from the first day, came to tell me that I was going home because, much to their surprise, my liver was ‘suddenly’ healed. My God is indeed real, living, and quite powerful!!

LOOKING THROUGH GOD’S EYES

“You can’t. You are a single mom.” I will honor those involved by not sharing details, but I have been told this on more than one occasion over the years. The first time was when God called me to go on a mission trip. I had no desire to go, yet He began to speak to me so clearly that I gave Him my ‘yes,’ and within a week, all the funds came in. I was told, “There is no way God would call a single mom to go.” Those words stung! I beg to differ. Jesus always went after the weak, the sick, the broken, the least of these, and those overlooked. It isn’t the ‘less than’ part that qualifies a person. It is what Jesus does IN the weakness. Our weakness simply becomes the ground in which we are aware of our need for Him. No one needs to convince a solo parent (or their children) that God’s best is a family with both a mother and father, but it is incorrect to disqualify someone based on weakness alone. Judge them based on what God does through the weakness. Man may need a perfectly polished resume to qualify you, but God does not.

FOREVER BABYSITTER

The kids wanted to go somewhere alone, and I had mixed feelings about it. As I processed my thoughts, I told them, “You can go, but only if you listen to your babysitter.” They looked at me like I had three heads. Surely they were too old for a babysitter. I told them Holy Spirit was their babysitter, and if they agreed to listen to whatever He instructed them to do, I was fine with them going. They agreed, and I was able to hand them over to their sitter just like I did when they were younger, leaving them for the first time. I love how I can actively give my children the freedom to grow up yet trust Him to guide and protect them. 

I BLESS THIS MESS!

God knit your child in HIS image but with YOU in mind. He knows what you did and didn’t get in childhood and continues to parent you through your children. Parenting seems to be just fine until you have that one child who challenges you to the core. Is something wrong with the child? More times than not, no! God knit that child together in a way that aligns, restores, and heals things in you. This child is not a ‘black sheep’. This child is being used by God to change something in YOU. You can either spend the next 18 years shutting them down and disciplining them, OR you can heal what God is revealing through them.

The church is about to enter its messiest season ever. God does not make black sheep and knows what He is doing when He brings people together in the church. We have become masters at looking good, but underneath, people are bleeding. The amount of hurt in the church, youth who walk away, and spiritual abortions performed are staggering, and God is dealing with His family. Our wakeup call has already been sounded! We have endured the ‘time out’! Now that we are coming back together, we will see messes in the church like never before BY GOD’S DESIGN! He is exposing operating systems that need to be aligned with His Kingdom. He is revealing where leaders are leading from orphan places. He is highlighting areas where impurities have been allowed in. He is giving eyes to see patterns and cycles that are not bearing fruit. It is time to put away our spanking sticks in the church and discipline those GOD IS USING to create the change. 

Nothing brings more chaos to a home than siblings. Nothing brings more training and character development than siblings (by God’s design). Nothing brings more chaos to a church than sibling conflict. Nothing brings more training and character development than taking those messes and allowing God to reveal, heal, restore, and deliver. 

God is purifying His church and getting us ready, but we will miss it if we fail to see the areas He is cleaning up.

GOD IS MY PROTECTOR!

We had just moved into our new home in California when I had the strangest dream about a yappy dog outside my patio. He wasn’t annoying me but trying to tell me something. It was so real. I woke up and sensed God telling me to turn the outside light on. I didn’t partner with fear but heard Him say, “Do not look outside. Just turn on the light.” I ended up staying up after that and never felt afraid as I knew God had my back but knew something was happening outside my patio door. It was the strangest thing. There is power in TURNING ON THE LIGHT!

PLAYING IN THE KINGDOM

When my kids were little, I would drive 45 minutes south to attend a church in Denver that believed children could play in the Kingdom. I was so undone by the power they carried. They needed some coaching in the ‘how,’ but when it mixed with their childlike faith, INCREDIBLE things began to happen. I never wanted my children to feel like God was a religious burden or that walking out our faith meant putting them in uncomfortable situations. I wanted to teach them that it was a JOY to love those around us and that the Kingdom truly is FUN. I called it ‘Playing in the Kingdom,’ and they came to life. They are older now, and we all still look for ways to play in the Kingdom and love those around us in everyday situations.

PARENTING MANUAL

Picture someone baking a pie for their evening gathering with friends. Could you imagine someone else coming to take the pie out of the oven and running to the corner to consume the whole thing on their own? They would not only develop a stomachache but have robbed themselves of the joy of consuming the pie with friends and family as it was intended. Your child comes with a parenting manual, and His name is Emmanuel – God with us. I say this in love, but some of you need to repent for taking His creation and running away with it. He did not spend nine months knitting them together and ushering them into the world only to have you run away together. He desired all along that you would parent together with Him. God wants you to parent with Him, not for Him.