SELF-PROMOTION

SELF-PROMOTION

SELF-PROMOTION: Self-pro·mo·tion – noun. The action of promoting or publicizing oneself or one’s activities, especially in a forceful way.

JESUS PROMOTION: Jesus-pro·mo·tion – noun. The action of promoting or publicizing what Jesus has done in one’s life, especially in a bold and confident way.

You have permission to own, brag and share all that Jesus has done in your life!

HE SEES ME

I love Monday mornings. I have the house to myself and crank out a ton of work! The Lord said to go to the prayer house and just sit with Him. It took me a moment to lay down my agenda, but here I am. Someone walked up to me and handed me a note containing a prophetic word so spot on, so big, so encouraging, and life-giving that all I can do is sit here in AWE. He sees me. The prophetic is a coffee date with Jesus. Take a risk today and ask Jesus what He wants to say to someone around you.

BUT GOD…

1,000’s of people have been affected by my life because the forces of darkness were not successful. Death came knocking hard and almost won. Many years ago, I was slipping into a coma enduring 76 long hours alone, slowly dying. It would be another full day before I was found. Hell thought it won that day. The enemy thought he succeeded in killing a life that didn’t appear to matter much to anyone. A heart that hurt more than it loved. A mind that was tormented by lies of utter unworthiness and despair. I took more than I contributed and shared my brokenness with anyone brave enough to try and get close to me. But God… But God saw the value of what He created! But God knew the plans He had for me! But God was confident in His power! But God knew my day of salvation was near! But God decided life was better for me! But God sent His Son to die for ME! But God knew it would be the final blow before I began to rise up like a lioness! But God knew that my ache would turn into my roar! But God knew my future included pulling others out of the pit! But God, He had four precious babies in store for me! But God knew the lies were just that – lies! But God sent people in my path to help me! But God knew my pain would turn into worship! But God was aware of what He was doing in me! But God knew I would be His weapon of destruction against the forces of evil that almost conquered me! 

Baby, I do not know what you are facing today, but the same God who moved in my life is MOVING in your life. Keep going, for He is not done with you yet. He trusts Himself with your journey. 

ASK HIM

Random acts of kindness are when people go out in the name of Jesus and do good, kind, helpful things for others. While this is indeed praiseworthy and profitable Christian behavior, we need to be asking Him the who, what and where in order to be abundant in our harvest. Let me give you an example: One day, I was having a really hard day. I decided to get my eyes off myself and asked God what we should do with our day. I heard Him say to go be a blessing and rake leaves. I jumped into action. Logical thinking concluded that going to the poorest part of town and blessing the souls there would be best. I loaded up the van with kids and rakes and waved to my neighbor as we took off searching for the family that needed to be blessed. After forty-five minutes of driving around endlessly looking for a single family that had not yet raked, I was growing frustrated. What was supposed to help my day ended up making my day even worse. Defeated and somewhat mad, I made the trek back home. Upon entering our community, I heard the words, “What? You don’t think your rich neighbors need Me?” and instantly, I knew God gave me the WHAT (raking), but I ran with it before I asked the WHO or WHERE. I repented. Immediately upon parking in the driveway, the kids flung open the van door and ran across the street to the neighbor’s house (yes, the one we waved to on the way out) and raked all of the leaves. But the story doesn’t end there. Days later, I received a letter from the single elderly lady with a check saying she was so overwhelmed by all the work that needed to be done and was crying out to the Lord about her needs AS we were driving by waving at her. She finally had to leave the house with the yard work not done, and when she came back, she found ten bags full of raked leaves.

That is a perfect example of the harvest being ABUNDANT. God is a perfect economist. While one woman needed to take her eyes off her circumstances, another woman needed an extra set of helping hands. We can’t just DO in the name of Jesus. We need to ask Him the who, what, and where, too! And this requires communication – both talking and listening.

LET THE CHILDREN FLY

The heart behind the theme “Let the Children Fly” is a vision that the Lord gave me, where I saw a beautiful, vibrant red helium balloon soaring effortlessly higher and higher to new heights high above the clouds. The freedom it displayed was breathtaking. The sky was crystal clear and vibrant, rich with warm, welcoming shades of blue. It was safe and inviting. Then I saw a gentle tug, and the scene changed to dark black and stormy. Suddenly it felt unsafe. The balloon was no longer free to soar but was captured by the string holding it back. The balloon wrestled with being free but grew weary in the battle and could not free itself. The vision was so captivating to me that it took months to unpack with the Lord all that it meant. The red balloon represents a child’s heart. The helium represents the natural draw in every child to their Father’s heart. The string represents the hurts, lies, and offenses that hold them down and keeps them from soaring higher and being free. My passion is empowering parents with tools for cutting the strings so their child can FLY!

 Later, God gave me a picture of how a spiritually healthy child has two solid legs to stand on. One leg represents the releasing of the Kingdom (identity, destiny, hearing His voice, knowing scriptures, healing the sick, etc.). The other leg represents the tools needed (forgiveness, recognizing and rejecting lies, refusing offense, shifting negative atmospheres, etc.) to effectively deal with the things from the enemy that cut off the other leg! One without the other causes an imbalanced and frustrating ‘walk’ – rather hobble – with Jesus. Why do we heal the sick, call out the treasure in others and prophesy? We do it to take back what the enemy has stolen. But if we only teach our children how to release the Kingdom and never equip them with tools to reject the hurts, lies, and offenses sent their way, one day, they will be the people who need to be healed and restored. Are you following this concept? I am passionate about equipping parents with heaven’s tools to cut the cords that hold us down and how to raise children who stand firmly on two legs. Just take a moment and PRAISE God for all that He has done already to redeem you!

DESTINY

Sometimes I think I could write a book titled MY DESTINY KILLED ME! I am opening up a window into a part of my journey to see some of the lessons God has taught me along the way. May it encourage you in your journey! I have wrestled these past years deeply with managing Let the Children Fly. Is it a business? Is it a ministry? Many would say it is both. Yet as others attempted to empower me on how to GROW my platform, it only increased my inner agitation. There is an insane amount of pressure in the Body of Christ to create and establish something by the labor of your own hands. Years of seeking wise counsel would tell me how to increase and grow my ministry, yet I could never get peace about it. Until recently, when God told me why… I never set out to run a business or lead a ministry. Growth organically occurred AFTER I stewarded what He gave me. To grow my platform outside of my intimacy with Him felt scary, even risky. It’s like working with a publisher before the book is finished. We can only faithfully steward something within our capacity. God isn’t about increasing the platform. He is about increasing capacity to steward more of what He wants to give you, and IN THAT, the platform increases naturally. To do it the other way around is nothing short of pride. It will not reap a true harvest. God will never give you a platform in your name. Banning once said, “Do not go after being the most elegant speaker. Go after the anointing and authority”. The first produces fame; the second produces transformation and eternal fruit. Everyone wants a platform, but few survive the resistance training between the audience and the stage. There has to be a process, a journey. Before you can carry the weight of a platform, you must be refined in key areas of weakness, or the stage will crush you. It is God’s mercy not to elevate you beyond your capacity. He isn’t denying you; He is protecting you. Everyone has patches of ice they slip on, and God wants to teach you how to endure things without falling. This is a process of growth that takes time. God is a master at growing people for the long term and is not interested in fifteen minutes of fame. He wants fruit that will last into eternity and later generations. Fruit takes time to mature. The Body has lost the art of serving others for no other motive than helping someone else succeed. Not everything needs to be turned into a marketing or financial funnel to profit you. Social media is a power that exposes what is inside us. If a sense of significance comes from the number of likes, we are partnering with a dangerous pit. While the temporary high of the ‘likes’ feels good, it leaves us feeling empty. There is nothing wrong with social media as long as it is from a place of being a Son/Daughter. Our motive is everything. Some people do not have a calling to reach the world. They have a calling to change the world of a few people well. You will be rewarded, not for what you grew, but for how faithful you were with what God has given you. I was lamenting to God once about the world’s value around numbers. The pressure that says you are only as good as your followers. I had an intimate time surrendering the pressure to God and being okay right where He has me. The next day I woke to a message from FB saying they helped me clean my group up and deleted **2K** people from my group. Gulp. I felt the loss for a moment and knew deep down I was okay because the numbers + or – do not define my faithfulness, worth, or value. The pressure broke off, and I refused to let it drive me. You can’t find your calling/destiny until you first have discovered your new identity as a Son/Daughter. To give you your destiny before you know how to operate in your calling would be a recipe for disaster. If you want to know your destiny, first learn your true identity. Finding your calling is one thing – overcoming the battle to remain in it is another. God isn’t looking for the most significant person, ministry, or platform. He is looking for YOU to be faithful in stewarding what He has given YOU. You contribute something on earth today that is vital, and you can’t afford to waste it on anything outside of where He has you. There is only one Kingdom ROCKSTAR, and His name is Jesus. He didn’t come to promote but to steward well all that His Father gave Him to profit others, not Himself.

I SALUTE YOU!

Veterans are very dear to my heart. One day we were in the frozen foods aisle, and an elderly man was walking towards us in a brand-new shiny Veterans hat. I stopped and asked him if he was a Veteran. He was taken aback, and I quickly mentioned that his hat was so crisp and new. He got tears in his eyes and said he was a Veteran but too ashamed to wear his hat. A week earlier, his buddy had chewed him out for never wearing it and told him he needed to wear it with pride. That was his first outing wearing it. He pulled out his worn wallet and showed me a photo of all the medals he had earned, including the Purple Heart. He was injured as a Medevac but went to sign on for another term. I can’t fully describe to you what happened, but tears came pouring out of my eyes. I stood up straight, grabbed my son, and said, “Hudson, THIS is what a real hero is,” Tears began to fall from the man’s eyes. Another shopper stopped, I introduced them, and they stopped to shake his hand. Then another shopper came to salute him. This went on for a while, and we had a small gathering of people in the frozen food aisle honoring this hero. That man had walked in full of shame but walked out of the frozen food aisle the hero he really was!

JUST A LITTLE

A dad was struggling to get his teen daughters to understand why their choice of music wasn’t edifying. The girls argued that it was ‘just a little’ bit of bad language and that it wouldn’t hurt anything. The dad prayed for a creative solution to get into his daughters’ hearts on the subject. The next morning, he announced he was making a very special dessert with “a very special ingredient.” He made a big deal of the upcoming dessert all day, and after their dinner plates were cleaned, they were begging for the much-awaited sweet treat. They scarfed down the yummiest batch of brownies, and while smacking their lips, they inquired about the ‘special ingredient.’ The dad sat back and calmly announced, “Dog poop, but don’t worry, it was just a little bit.” They seemed to understand in that moment that ‘just a little bit’ can indeed be harmful. This glorious creative teachable moment can be used with music, swearing, drugs, disobedience, alcohol, lying, slander, etc. Sometimes kids need a visual to understand your point.

JESUS LOVES GAMES

My son came for some snuggles while I was having my time with Jesus. I had him ask Jesus if He wanted to spend time with him too, which He confirmed. Then I asked, “Ask Him what He wants to do with you,” and my son said, “Play on my tablet.” Of course, I didn’t NOT think that was Jesus, but guarding against being the middleman, I let it go. An hour later, as I was spiking his hair, he said he didn’t do very well playing his video game. I jokingly said, “How is that possible? I thought Jesus was playing with you,” and he said, “No, I was doing all of the driving,” and it organically turned into the sweetest conversation about letting Jesus be in the driver’s seat of our lives. Where I thought my son was more interested in his computer games than spending time with Jesus, He orchestrated the entire moment THROUGH the very thing that mattered to my son. He is so good!

BELONGING

Ellie was invited to spend the day at the coast with friends. They were having so much fun that it turned into an impromptu sleepover. She came home the following morning 2 minutes after we walked in the door from church. We were rushing around getting things done as we had friends coming over for brunch. I greeted her, hugged her, and continued to get ready. The entire time our friends were here, she was in a funk. She was snapping at her siblings and just being unpleasant. After they left, I heard her respond unkind and asked her to come to me. I inquired if anything happened on her adventure with her friend that needed to be processed. Nope. I asked if she was tired from the late night and needed a quick nap. Nope. I asked if she was hungry as our lunch was off due to late brunch. Nope. I finally said, “Then what is agitating your heart so bad?” and she burst into tears. She began to tell me how much joy and fun she had with her friends and that when she walked in the door, it was like no one cared that she was back. BINGO! I vividly remember Emma having the exact same scenario play out years ago. She cried big tears, saying that when she came back home, no one asked her about her time or stopped doing what they were doing to welcome her. I did not fully understand the scope of it until Ellie experienced the exact same thing. Friends give us a deep sense of belonging, so when a child has a great sleepover, playdate, or outing with their friends, their love tank in the area of belonging is overflowing. When they re-enter the family, they need a few minutes to be welcomed back home with intention, or it can send the message, “You don’t belong here.”

LOVE WON

When my son went to take his entrance test for his current school, he wasn’t even able to test. He knew the answers if you asked him but struggled to read at that level. Finally, a teacher said he would help my son take the test by reading the questions to him.

He was so sad to leave his two best friends in Colorado, and I assured him countless times God wasn’t asking him to give up something without having something in exchange for it. Hudson was given a place in the classroom (thank God) and came home the first day to report God had given him not only one but three new best friends. These three boys were SO good to him and made him feel like a brother. A week later, they wanted to move him into a smaller classroom where he could get more 1:1 time with the teacher. When I told Hudson, he was upset all weekend. I thought it was about the reading level, but he finally told me, “You promised God would have something for me here with friends, and He gave me three of them. Why do I have to give them up, too?” I told the principle we would honor whatever professional decision they felt was best for his academics but shared with him Hudson’s heart. The principle’s response was, “I am not touching that. We aren’t moving him.” He jumped an entire year’s worth of reading levels in ONE month. I have always believed the love of brotherhood with these three other boys created an atmosphere where he could not only catch up but thrive.