The Testimony Tour: He Sees Good.

Thank you so much for joining us on the Testimony Tour!  You can check out Shannon Geurin’s story at shannongeurin.com if you missed hers! Her story is amazing and I know you’ll be blessed!

blogpostgraphic-large

 

I’m sitting in a semi dark room with a handful of people and we are told to “feel what we feel” as the words of the song You know Me by Steffany Gretzinger are playing.  I hear the words you know when I rise and when I fall. You know everything and I feel…well…super exposed.

All my sin, shame, and guilt were bubbling to the top and I was almost scrunching in my seat. I was physically uncomfortable.  I don’t like thinking about my sin. I don’t like remembering the seasons of my life where I was in glad rebellion of God’s design for my life.

The words came again. I see you. I know you. I know all about you.   I remained uncomfortable, all my sin exposed.  Then glory happened.

Out of nowhere, I heard God speak to me. Not in an audible way, but it was the moment that changed everything. With all my sin bubbling to the top, with all the shame and guilt and sins of my past screaming for attention, God spoke, “When I see you, I see GOOD.”

And a picture of a pink wave washed over me.  You can imagine the ugly tears that followed.  You see, I’d been searching to hear those words for longer than I can remember.

I’ve always known God was real. I remember talking to Him when I was child. My early years consisted of private Christians Schools, hours at church, and the smell of anointing oil. You’ve got to love smells that last past bath time.

I loved church. It felt like home to me and thinking of God as my Heavenly Father was very easy to do.  My dad wasn’t around, so it seemed fitting for me to just talk to my Heavenly Father. At seven or eight years old, I wanted to get baptized. I’m not sure of my motives at the time, but I believed in God and trusted Jesus died for my sins.  We want to complicate the gospel, but really…. that’s it.

Those who confess their sins, admit a need for a Savior, and chose to follow Jesus become part of God’s family. A childlike faith is what I had. That’s all I’ve ever needed, but didn’t know it.

I spent the next 20 years testing God’s love and faithfulness. I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing, but if you aren’t sure…then you don’t believe it’s true.  Will He love me if I sin this kind of way? Will He love me more once I stop screwing up so much?  Will he still love me after I’ve done all that??!! Those were the questions I didn’t know were motivating my actions and choices.

When God sees me, He sees good.
How many times I hid behind shame and guilt, trying to “clean” myself up.

You see, I didn’t really trust God. How could I? I didn’t know Him.  I knew about Him. I knew God was powerful.  I knew He was present. I knew He was good-ish, but didn’t know His love for me was unconditional.

I received a phone call in the middle of the night in my early twenties. Phone calls in the middle of the night aren’t usually good. This particular one left me realizing I didn’t know what I believed about God.

I ran back to God and surrounding myself with truth.  My spirit had been begging for the truth for years. Guilt and shame didn’t seem to leave me as I continued to ask God for “signs” that I was truly forgiven. My thoughts were: fake. liar. dirty. liar. fake. sinner.

I believed the lie, You have to do ______ before you will be good. NO bigger LIE in the WORLD! Tweet that

I had all the head knowledge in the world, but my heart had some re-learning to do about my Heavenly Father. I started reading the Bible with different eyes.  I began asking myself the question, “What does this say about God?”

I started getting to KNOW the God of the Bible.  It was only then I could recognize His voice.  It was only then I was able to separate truth from lie and enter into friendship with God.

I became friends with the Sovereign, perfectly just, infinite Holy God. I let go of all past mistakes.  It’s a process that is more fun every step of the way.

I asked God to change my desires.  I became so hungry for truth I couldn’t get enough worship, scripture, prayer, and podcast.  God continues to get bigger and bigger in my life as I follow Jesus.

he-cancelled-my-debt-and-hecalled-me-his-friend

One of my favorite things about following Jesus is noticing how redemptive He actually is.  He redeems everything; including my personality. I used to think God wanted to change me…that lie wasted so much of my time!

I am a passionate person.  Jesus is making me passionate for him. I’ve always been good with words.  Jesus is redeeming my words to point people towards the cross.

I now have fun with my Heavenly Father with a faith that stays active. Most of the time, it feels like playing. Jesus removed shame and guilt. I now pray and intercede for others instead of just always begging for forgiveness.  This is the space where miracles occur.

The Kingdom of Heaven truly belongs to the poor in spirit. Tweet that

I prayed that God would help me love the Bible. I love studying scripture and sewing those truths into my everyday life. Now, I teach those truths on the Radio! It’s amazing to see God’s faithfulness!

I used to pray that God would use me as a vessel to help carry out his will.  I grow in awe of God because He ACTUALLY does use me. It’s crazy that He would include us! Thank you Jesus for making a way! He can use you too!

Now, it is my passion to help others learn how to recognize God’s voice and allow it to spark a life in Christ that draws others to Him. I love to teach what I’ve learned about Scripture and let it be the lens through which I see God.

You see, for years I wanted to hear the truth.  I wanted to know what God said about my doubts, insecurities, fears, desires, and my sin.  I couldn’t hear the truth. I had been listening to lies that I wasn’t good enough for God.  I wasn’t convinced Jesus was fun enough, or ever satisfied with me.

How beautiful the truth is. It’s now my passion to empower women by speaking the truth of the gospel into the places of fear, doubt, sin, and pride by exposing lies and replacing them with God’s glory.  The gospel of Jesus can restore what’s broken in your heart.  Yes.  It is possible.  It happens when we completely surrender ourselves to Him.  It happens when we become friends with God.

TESTIMONYtour1

Please be sure to visit my friend,  Alisa Nicaud’s story at flourishingtoday.com as she ends our tour strong!

Click here to Sign up to follow my blog & receive your free weekly prayer schedule

 

Advertisements

To My Jesus Loving, Lady Blogger Friends: How to Stay Strong and Remove the Fog

We are committed to truth. We are committed to prayer. We are committed to giving our yes to God every time we sit in front of a blank white screen. That means, our enemy is and will continue telling us no.
It takes bravery to speak the words our Father God whispers to us. It takes commitment to take your stand in the mission God has given you. And believe it….God has given you this.

Our mission is the same: speak the truth of the gospel to every eye who reads each word we write.

We need to know we aren’t alone because we have an enemy who HATES us. When God the Father gives His daughters His words to tell His people we become very dangerous warriors.

We shed light on the lies women believe.  People who know the truth can’t help but share it.

It takes bravery to speak the words our Father God whispers to us. It takes commitment to take our stand in the mission God has given us.  And believe it….God has given this to us.

If you have an audience of 1, 100, or 10,000 you have been called to speak-end. of. story.

We type the words of encouragement that touch the parts of brokenness that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can heal. Those words are read all over the globe!

We are committed to truth.  We are committed to prayer. We are committed to giving our YES to God every time we sit in front of a blank white screen.

That means, our enemy is and will continue telling us no.

No. You aren’t any good at this.

No. That wasn’t God’s whisper.

No. This isn’t important. It’s all been said before.

No. Nobody cares about your thoughts or your walk with Christ.

Most who write in Jesus name have tasted and seen that the Lord is GOOD! Satan will try to do everything in his power to convince us that this kingdom work isn’t important or necessary.

He’ll wreak havoc in our lives trying to convince us this kingdom work isn’t worth it. He’ll jack with our health, our kids, our marriage.  He’ll cause confusion, doubt, and blank spaces.

But Heaven is here. It’s at our fingertips as we grab onto Christ and His word. Heaven is here. It’s all around our stories. It’s in our struggles, our gladness, our moments of rejoicing, and our moments of suffering.

Heaven moves each time we hit publish. Tweet that

For two months I had a fog all over me. I didn’t know what it was. I knew what God wanted me to write and how He wanted me to say it. I was fully prepared to do the Lord’s work, but for two months I sat down to write and …….nothing.

I literally couldn’t get it out of my head.

My mentor told me when you begin to put yourself out there in ministry you are “flying a plane.” Before, I was driving a car.

He asked my process and expressed more safety precautions are required when flying a plane because more people are involved.

Ladies, we are flying planes! We need MUCH prayer! Ever since receiving this great golden nugget of wisdom, I’ve created my prayer team. Each time I sit to write, they all get a text.

I am then covered in prayer in the name of Jesus and nothing the enemy wants to do can stop me. There is power and confidence when you know you can’t be touched.  That protected, safe place is where we glorify God with our words, graphics, and click to tweets.

So get a team! Mine has four members. That’s it.  It doesn’t take many. I pray and intercede specifically for bloggers each Wednesday! I consider us small ministries. BECAUSE WE ARE.

Be encouraged today! Shine your little or big light with conviction…I’m still not over that..read more on that here:

How to Shine with Conviction

1 Corinthians 4:1

“So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.”-Paul

Pray up. Study up. Listen up. And keep hitting publish.
That’s right my Jesus loving lady blogger friends, we are servants of God, entrusted with the secret things of God.

That’s right my Jesus loving lady blogger friends, we are servants of God, entrusted with the secret things of God.

Pray up. Study up. Listen up. And keep hitting publish.

Praying for y’all.

xoxo-Lauren

Dear Heavenly Father,

I praise you for Jesus and for the cross. Thank you for allowing us to do your work alongside you. Protect us Father from our enemy.  Protect us from confusion and doubt. Continue to give us your heart for your people. Give us the words to encourage and uplift them as you would have it. Give us favor with our readers and prepare the hearts of minds of every reader you put before us. I pray this in the might name of Jesus.

Amen

 

 

 

How to Shine with Conviction

Shinewith Conviction

Are you convinced you can shine? I wasn’t until recently.  I’m sure I was convinced at one point, but life happens, people hurt us, and sin occurs.  Little by little I believed lies that I was only to shine my little light….a little.

There’s one problem with that; my light isn’t little and neither is yours.

Why aren’t we shining it with more conviction?  I stumbled upon a YouTube video of Marriane Williamson. She was speaking on the difference in people who hate and people who shine.  She said people who hate, hate with conviction.  They don’t hold back.

The truth in those words struck me to my core. She spoke about the power of God. She said the power of God is greater than hate.

This is absolutely true, but sometimes I forget. Hate is so obvious.  Hate is fueled by passion, hurt, anger, and evil.

It was this moment Holy Spirit dropped a truth bomb on me. I have NOT been shining with conviction. 

Why? Because of fear. What if I’m rejected? Or annoying? What about those people who think I’m wrong? What if I am wrong? What if I slip back into controlling things or let God down? What if I screw it up again? Is it sinful to put myself out there for Jesus? Is it a thing to shine too much?

I didn’t want to manipulate my light because it felt like I was manipulating the God in me. So I held back.  NEWS FLASH…I can’t manipulate God and neither can you.

He is God the Father, the Lord God Almighty, the Most High God, Lord, Jehovah, the Everlasting God, the Lord of Peace, the Lord of Host. He is God our Healer, Jehovah Raphe. He is God our Deliver, God our Hope. He is the Lord who Provides, the Lord who is There. He is the Lord our Righteousness. He is God our Redeemer. He is the Holy God, Sovereign Lord of the universe.

Phew…get’s me jacked.

He can’t be manipulated. I can’t screw this up, but  I can keep quiet and still…the opposite of those who hate with conviction.

He is our God and in the powerful name of Jesus we get to SHINE. FOR. HIM.

Matthew 5: 16- In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.

Find out how to Shine with Conviction.
Why aren’t we shining with conviction? People who hate don’t hesitate.

Hate and pain are LOUD! Let it be that we shine so brightly with CONVICTION that those hurting, affected by hate, can see Christ in us, and be reminded of the Father God we serve and the Jesus Christ who saved us.

I realized I was shining, but it certainly wasn’t with conviction.  I had been holding back because of fear of upsetting God and not shining the “right” way.  I believed another lie, fueled by fear.

Most people don’t shine with conviction because they aren’t convinced they can shine.  Tweet that

What are you hiding behind? Are you waiting to “get it together” or “stop sinning” before you shine? Don’t. Jesus talks about shining and doing good works, before he talks about sin and our shortcomings.  Don’t wait!

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs in the kingdom of Heaven. Shine whatever part of Heaven you know. End. Of. Story. And also…. a total mic drop moment.

Where in your life TODAY can you shine with conviction?  Don’t let fear, shame, or insecurities hold you back any longer.

Slam your Yes on the table for Christ Jesus and shine whatever light you have in Jesus name. Tweet that 

Only you know what that looks like. Maybe it’s you buying someone groceries,  or doing a random act of kindness. Maybe it’s you actually play tag today with the wee tots or call that friend that’s become distant.  Maybe it’s you pray today on behalf of the broken. Maybe it’s you call that crazy girl and ask her for coffee.  Crazy girls need friends too.

I don’t know what your light looks like today, but I know the evil one isn’t waiting to steal, kill, or destroy. Don’t wait to shine, spread hope, and give away the love of Jesus.

So my gloves are off! I pray from now on God gives me the strength to shine with conviction.  I pray I don’t hold back. I pray I’m reminded I do life the God of the Bible and he has told me go…and shine for Him. I pray you are reminded of this today too.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus and his work on the cross.  Father God let us see you today. Let us feel safe in your arms today as your children who you love and delight over. God, I pray you open our eyes and ears to those around us today. Show us how to shine with conviction in a way that brings you Glory.  Help us to show the world who it is we have given our lives too.  Jesus, protect us and strengthen the nervous and anxious as they step out to shine for you today. I speak boldness and truth over every eye who reads this. Let it be God that we are a people who shine with conviction for your glory. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 

 

Do You Fear Disobeying God?

God has redeemed my definition of Sin and Obedience…Find out how!

does-god-test-us%2f-1

Do you fear disobeying God?

I have…it’s the worst. Those situations usually leave me analyzing every decision I make. Is this what God wants me to do? Will this choice please him?  I want to “grow “ in the Lord, if I fail this test, will I miss what God wants for me? Yes…I’ve actually thought/felt all these things. Talk about a stressed out Christian who is lacking joy and peace.

The problem with this thinking is you walk through life with the emphasis on you and your righteousness instead of God’s response to our entire life…Jesus Christ and his righteousness.

I had a wrong view of God. I was so afraid every time a trial entered my life that it was some sort of test from God….and I was afraid of not responding correctly.

Then I started actually studying the Bible and learning who the God of the Bible…

View original post 787 more words

Monster Mom Strikes Again

monstermomstrikesagain

I’ve been such a monster mom this morning. We’re talking weeping and gnashing of teeth before 7:30 a.m.  We’re talking the misery of some bedtimes, but instead we haven’t even had breakfast. We are talking there were tears in the car while I prayed kind of bad morning.  I should note the loud child kept saying I was the one who needed prayer because I was being so mean.

To read rest of article click here to go to Healthy Moms Magazine!

click-here-to-sign-up-to-follow-my-blog-receive-your-free-weekly-prayer-schedule

 

 

 

5 Benefits to Shutting Up; a list for Christian Wives

Happy Love month!

Shut up and Be a Better Wife

Some of you may be wondering if I’m having a guest blogger today.  If you know me well, you know I’m a lot mouthy and a little opinionated and you are wondering what in world I know about shutting up.

Every time preacher man starts talking about the wonderful qualities of the kind and gentle women, I hunker down and wait until it’s over.  These aren’t exactly the first two words people would use to describe me.

Over the years, 3 to be exact, I’ve learned the value of shutting up and I’ve seen some pretty amazing things happen…especially in my marriage.

One of the main things I hear leading women’s groups is, “I just want my husband to be the spiritual leader in the family!” Yes… This is God’s design, but ladies… We need to check ourselves first.

Are we actually doing anything to HINDER this from happening??  I…

View original post 921 more words

Confessions of a Super White Girl;Reconciling Heart & Mind

confessions%e2%80%a8of-a%e2%80%a8super-%e2%80%a8white%e2%80%a8girl

I’m a “super white girl”…my friend who is black told me I could say that. Or should I say my African American friend? Or should I say my friend of color? Ughhh…never mind! I’m going to stop talking now. I’m unqualified — and completely afraid — to speak anymore.

Except I can’t. Not after reading these words in Kelly Balarie’s book, Fear Fighting: “What I have realized is that stopping and stepping into the unsafe, forces us to receive God’s new safe.“

Okay God. Yes, I am safe because of You. Gulp. Yep. I’ll keep talking…

How can I read these words and ignore the prompting of God to share this? To step out of my “safe” place of my encouraging blog posts and into the “unsafe” place where I might say something wrong or hurt someone’s feelings or offend someone accidently or look stupid.

Jesus, help me.

A Little Bit Racist…or Prejudice

The ugly truth is that this summer God showed me I was a little bit racist…or prejudice. Apparently, there is a difference. I didn’t know that because I’m a “super white girl.”

There is also something called “Black Twitter!” Who knew? I sure didn’t. Because I have no idea what it is like to be Black in America.

Ughhh. I’m just going to go throw up now because who am I to talk about this kind of stuff?

I’ll just go stick my head in the sand and go back to pretending God doesn’t hate the divide in our country — the divide that seems to be even wider since November 2016. Relax, I’m terrible at discussing politics and I won’t start now.

Except I can’t do that, either. How many times have I told y’all the Church can’t stick its head in the sand and look the other way?

To be honest, I didn’t think I was looking the other way until this past summer when God revealed something ugly in my heart.

Let’s just say it was a TOTAL. BLIND. SPOT!

It’s so ugly that I was simply going to confess it privately and walk in grace…privately. It’s the ugly kind of sin that doesn’t get talked about much among my “crowd.” In fact, I’d rather not talk about it now!

But the grace of God revealed it, so He could begin to clean it.

The ugly sin? I was a little bit racist.

The Ugly Truth

For two weeks this summer, all I would do was notice somebody by the color of their skin.

I would catch myself and I would hate it! I would immediately say: “God, what is this? What am I doing? This isn’t me. I love Jesus and I love all His people. This isn’t me!”

But it kept happening. For weeks, I was simply doing life while noticing what my eyes saw – color, gender, socio-economic status, people who looked like me and those who didn’t.

It was awful and I was MORTIFIED and ashamed. I kept thinking “God, take this away from me! This isn’t me. I have black friends. I taught and loved my Hispanic students and LOVED their families. This isn’t me.”

God showed me that this ugly was absolutely me. It’s in all of us. They were MY thoughts, and if I spoke them out loud, they would be my words. We know that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:3).

Yes, I can say I love Jesus and I love everybody, but if I were to say I am color blind, I would be telling a lie. God loves me too much to allow me to keep lying.

This wasn’t the most fun revelation I’ve ever had from the Lord. I countered it with: “But I’m a nice person. I’m nice to everyone. I love Jesus and serve in the church.  I’m a lover of people.”

I don’t judge people. Lie

I don’t judge people by what they are wearing. Lie

I don’t judge people by the color of their skin. Lie

But I love Jesus! True

I was loving people of color out of obedience with my MIND — but not with my HEART.

It’s no secret that I’m very much #TeamJesus. I knew I was supposed to love people, and I desired to do so, but until I confessed the ugly place in my heart where prejudice lives, no matter the amount, there wasn’t any room for real love.

I humbly confessed: “Father, you are showing me that I have racism in my heart. I confess it to you and I ask You forgive me and take this sin away from me in Jesus’ name.  I want to be a lover of ALL your people.”

Then I asked God to fix it….that’s part two of this story.

Matters of the Heart

I’m a nice person. I’m nice to everybody. I don’t go around committing hate crimes.

But it’s not okay for followers of Jesus to be even a little bit racist. Tweet That

I also learned that I wasn’t racist all the time. There were triggers.  Maybe it’s watching the news or driving through parts of Atlanta or walking around in downtown Athens. Now that I know this, I pray for God to help me see with His eyes.

I definitely wasn’t a little racist while I was at church. It’s easy to be color blind there! Thankfully, I worship alongside lots of people of color each Sunday. It’s outside those walls where things get messy.

There are always two responses to God shining truth on a situation in your heart and life:

  • humbly admit that the ugly is there and take it the cross; or
  • stick your head in the sand and pretend this kind of ugly isn’t in your Jesus-loving heart.

Racism is a HEART issue. Only Christ can deal with this kind of ugly. Tweet that

I cried out: “Father, I can’t get rid of this. Only You can. Forgive me and fix it, God. And cancel the effects of my judgments on Your people.”

I am the church. You are the church. And the church can’t be a little bit racist.

Is my heart perfect? Of course not! But the Lord has started the process of allowing me to see and love HIS world with my WHOLE heart. Fight any fear and judgement in your heart with confession.

We have been commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. It’s always been God’s desire for his people to worship and obey Him out of GLAD obedience rooted in love….real love.

There is talk that it’s too late for our generation to make a real impact in this “love revolution.” I disagree. I follow the Jesus who busted down walls created by pride and judgment. I say it’s not too late!

It’s not too late because I’m watching God do amazing things in my church.  I worship with lots of people of color every Sunday. It’s my prayer that my story sheds a little light on the possibility that this ugly lives in your heart as well.  Trust me when I say the Gospel of Jesus Christ can only be good.

If you’re like me and can be tempted to love people with your mind out of obedience, but not out of your heart — confess it to the Lord and allow the beauty of the Gospel to wash that part of your heart clean.

A Prayer for Help

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you for your mercy and grace. I thank you for your example on how to love people. Help us, God. This is too big for us. Give us the grace and strength to see the ugly in our hearts and confess it. Help us to be hearers, see-ers and doers of your Word. I pray that every eye that reads this comes to know the saving grace and mercy found on the cross and can extend it those around them. I ask this in Jesus’ powerful name,

Amen.

To learn more about this awesome book, Fear Fighting go www.fearfightingbook.com or www.purposefulfaith.com

click-here-to-sign-up-to-follow-my-blog-receive-your-free-weekly-prayer-schedule