Where is your authority hiding?

The moment you are saved by grace you have authority over sin and death because of the work Jesus did on the cross.  As I speak to women, I learn they have no idea the authority or influence God has given them. They have a specific group of people in mind that God uses and they discount themselves completely.

Some are reading this thinking- Power? Authority?  I can’t even get my four-year old to listen to me.  You’re telling me I have authority over sin and death? My answer to that is… well… kind of!  It’s the Christ in you that has the authority.

Where is your influence hiding_ the ugly scale

Galations 2: 20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

You are righteous because of Christ and now God is working on healing your heart; putting it back together so that it looks more like Jesus’ character.  It’s in this process were the power of the cross hits  areas of your life.  That’s where your authority and influence comes from.

Why isn’t it the norm that woman feel empowered and ready to change the world? Why aren’t more women walking in the power and influence that changes lives?  One reason: The Ugly Scale.

A favorite pastor of mine shared the equation:

 humility + empowerment= influence 

One MAJOR reason ladies can’t relate this truth to their life is due to the ugly practice of comparing ourselves to others.  On one end, comparing yourself to another person means you are better than them.  On the other end… you are the loser.  You are the failure.  You don’t measure up. You’ll never be like her… You’ll never be that kind of mom, wife, friend, co-worker.  Your authority and influence can’t be seen because you don’t feel empowered.

You can’t feel strong or bold and like a failure at the same time.  People who see themselves as failures lack the empowerment part of the equation.

I’m not sure what end of the scale is better or worse, but when you compare… sometimes you view yourself as the winner.  This ugly end of the scale breeds entitlement, pride, and superiority complexes.  This end is completely lacking the humility part of the equation and doesn’t match the heart of Jesus at. all.

Confess this as sin to God and ask him to redeem this area in your life.

You need comparison gone so you can realize the power and influence Y.O.U. have because of the cross.

The reason comparing  plagues women so ferociously is because it ROBS us of our influence. Satan wants to keep us there. The last thing Satan wants is the daughters of the Most High King walking around in all the power and authority that comes with being His child.

Can you imagine a world like that?  Where we only speak life to each other and into dark situations? That’s a life of a difference maker. There are hurting people everywhere dying for someone to save them. We know that only Jesus can save.  It shouldn’t be our best kept secret!

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Humble yourselves before the Lord if you struggle with pride.  Feel strong and bold because of what Jesus did on the cross if you lack empowerment. Only then can you come out of hiding, see yourself properly for who you are, and begin to bear fruit in your life for Christ.  Whatever God redeems, he replaces with power and grace.  This includes all your junk, as well as your personality traits God created to use for Him.

Below are prayers for both sides of the ugly scale of comparing.  I pray you come to a place where you walk in your influence for Christ.

Prayer against pride

When you feel like a failure

Dear Heavenly Father.

Thank you that you are never finished with us. Thank you for Jesus and that because of Him we are your daughters.  I pray that every eye who reads this comes to a place where they see themselves through your eyes and are forever changed because of it.  Thank you for allowing us to do life closely with you.  In Jesus name.

Amen.

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#weekendcoffeeshare-Athens edition

Ike

If we were having coffee I’d thank you for meeting me at Ike & Janes.  It’s chemo week for mom and this lovely little cafe and bakery is a favorite spot of mine! It’s in Athens right down the road from the hospital.  I’d comment on my maple bacon doughnut and wonder why I ever diet…ever.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you my back was fine from the fall, and the curly one is still upset she wasn’t allowed to call 911. I’d mention how I secretly hate whatever yahoo in Washington changed Tax day to the 18th because I might loose my ever loving mind if I have to tackle bedtime one. more. time. by myself.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you the best food I’ve eaten all week was the sample at Publix.  I’d share how delicious it was and make another vow to start cooking again next week.  Uncle Ben’s is getting old.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I actually squeezed in a T25 this week.  We’d laugh because you wouldn’t be surprised to discover I couldn’t find my weights anywhere! I resulted in using two giant books: BBQ USA and Websters New World college dictionary.  I couldn’t lift my arms for two days… And I have no idea where they are… I guess they got lost in the move.

I’d ask you if you’ve ever seen the Tinker Bell Neverbeast movie and describe how it turned me into a ball of tears at the end! Geeze Disney.  It was a major case of animated feels. I suppose it partly because I miss my granny.

I’d ask you how things were; we’d encourage one another in Jesus, and part ways enjoying the first childless encounter we’ve had in six months!

What would you share?  Praying for y’all! Happy Weekend!

 

 

I told you so! The Not -so-Secret Powertool

Fasting is one of the most untapped sources of power for the believer.  It’s not something you hear that much about for whatever reason.  I think it doesn’t come up that often because  Jesus flat out says don’t make it obvious to men that you are fasting and that it should be done in secret. [Matthew 6]

I TOLD YOU SO!!!!Fasting should never be anything that you to do to appear to be “super spiritual” but it’s a discipline that results in deeper love and admiration for our Great God simply because it increases our dependence on Him.

I always encourage people to fast, but the main reason is because Jesus says so! There are some mysteries in the Bible that can leave us confused as to what God wants us to do.  Fasting is not one of those things.  In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount he clearly uses the words “when you fast.”  He assumed his audience would be fasting and we are His audience.

He assumed His audience would be fasting…

We are His audience.

I always like to check in on people who I know are fasting because God is usually doing something awesome.  It increases my faith because I always end up saying, “I told you so!” Fasting is awesome!! That is God’s desire!  He wants to increase in our lives in amazing ways!  When we fast, we are creating space that wasn’t there before for God to show up! Whether it’s clarity or breakthrough on an issue, God spoke, or a financial breakthrough, when you fast; God moves.  He has always been faithful.

Scripture backs up the power behind fasting.  I love what Isaiah 58 says about the practice.  In my Bible, the heading is called True Fasting, but I love the amplified version of this text.

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

Yes. And. Amen. To. That!!!  Fasting is bringing out the big guns with it comes to spiritual intercession.  It’s simply another invitation from God to come along side Him in doing His work in Jesus name.  Jesus is the breaker of all bonds of wickedness.  Jesus alone can undo to bands of yoke, Jesus sets the oppressed free! And Christians are the carriers of Jesus Christ.

For me personally, fasting brings me right back to my constant need for Jesus.  I can do nothing without Him.  He is my source.  This is an important position to remember when going through life; especially when life gets hard… and everyone’s life gets hard.

There are lots of ways to fast.  Spend some time in prayer asking God how he wants you to fast.  It could be one meal a week, one day a week, one week a month, one weekend a year!  The options are endless, but Christ’s power is not.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus.  Thank you for constantly calling us to know you more deeply.  I pray you speak to every eye who reads this and that a time of fasting turns into a special time between You and Your child.  I speak empowerment over the lives of those seeking you as we continue to  humble ourselves in your presence.  You are so good to us, God.  May your praise ever be on our lips.  

In Jesus name, Amen.

 

#Weekendcoffeeshare-Advil edition

Advile edition-1If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m sitting this way because I fell down the stairs this morning… with a wee one on my hip.  She was fine… I just laid there for a few minutes thinking I was dying.

I couldn’t help but think it wouldn’t have hurt so bad if I wasn’t carrying this last bit of baby weight.  I wanted to laugh because…..well…it’s still kind of funny to me when people fall.  I blame the 14yr old in me.  I couldn’t because it freaking hurt.  I might not laugh anymore.   I’m afraid to go to sleep tonight because of pain I’m sure will come in the a.m.

If we were having coffee, I’d thank you for meeting me at McDonald s today.  I know we normally meet at Chick-fil-a,  but the Golden Arches have Super Barbie toys this week and they are a huge hit. I’m also out of arguments…..so I caved and the oldest got Sprite with her nutritious meal of Nitrates.

I’d tell you how excited I am that tax day is approaching.  Hopefully, when he is home in the evenings I can actually squeeze in a T25.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I had a great week.  Mom is well and we aren’t worried that she no longer has a donor.  I’d encourage you to read 1 Peter because it really is awesome and I’d share how excited I am to start working on my lesson plans for the Beatitudes.

I’d tell you I’m praying for your marriage, friend, kids, etc and encourage you to keep up the good fight.  I’d remind you that God speaks to you in all kind of ways.

I’d hug you goodbye (because I’m a hugger now) and I’d look like a hot mess getting the kiddos back into the car because I’m NOT missing nap today!

Hope ya’ll had  great week too!  What would you share if we were having coffee?

Morning Y’all

Morning y’all!  Yes….those were the first words that came into my mind one morning after I hit snooze for the 5ooth time.  I giggled when I realized what I had done.  I referred to the Holy Trinity as Y’all.

Morning

Anyone who has ever been around me in the a.m. knows I spend the first ten minutes sleep walking. I’m a complete zombie in the morning. I finally learned that if I start each day with a quick prayer, getting out the door tends to include less tears.  There is truth to starting your day off getting your mind set on things above.  Acknowledging that God is with me all day… all day long… is harder to forget when I think about Him first.

Years ago, someone gave me a prayer that I prayed over a person in my life.  I taped it on my mirror in the bathroom.  I said it while brushing my teeth.  Eventually, I had it memorized and I could say it in the car as well.  Then I would be able to say it before bed.  It got the point where I was saying it in my sleep!

I got so used to praying this prayer that I realized I could literally pray most of the day.  The words of this prayer are scripture.  Those truths were being written on my heart and were coming out even when I wasn’t really thinking about it.  They became my thoughts when it was idle due to repetition.

I then started praying for other people.  I started praying for healing, marriages, the guy in the line in front of me, my pastors, children, and neighbors.  I learned how to pray without ceasing.  It started with a prayer I’d say while brushing my teeth.

God has increased in my life mostly because I learned how to pray.  If you want God to be big in your life… learn how to pray.  I have three kids, a husband, laundry, dishes, and I’m currently potty training.  I don’t have an hour to sit quietly and pray.  That doesn’t mean I can’t still pray all day.

Pray

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing.  Paul encourages us to do this because he knows how important prayer is for the believer.  It starts as an act of obedience, but with practice; it becomes the habit that changes lives.  Prayer is simply getting your thoughts fixed on Jesus and it’s easier than you think with a little practice.

I no longer always say this prayer in morning, but it birthed the prayer life I have now.  I feel safe to say that God smiled when I woke up, stretched,  and yawned,  “Morning Y’all!”  I believe He was glad I woke up thinking about my Heavenly Father.  In my head he chuckled at the sight because I really am a hot mess in the morning.

He wants His children to know how much He loves us.  He wants to show us.  He wants to get rid of fear, shame, and guilt.  He wants to get rid of those thoughts and replace them with safety, trust, and perfect love.

Here is the “Wake Up Prayer”given to me years ago.  I had on my mirror. My prayer is these words of power have the same effect on you as it did for me!

Wake Up Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for being an approachable father full of love.  Help us to learn how close you are to us.  I pray every eye who reads this learns the value of a solid prayer life.  I pray you increase in our lives as we learn to seek you all day long.  Thank you for your faithfulness. 

In Jesus name, Amen.

After Easter Instructions

He has Risen! Now what can we do? It’s safe to say that some can experience a spiritual high after being reminded of Christ’ death and resurrection. It’s celebration of the forgiveness of our sins as well as the tomb being empty.  Jesus had the power to rise from the dead.  In Christ, this power is how we overcome the world around us as well as serve the heartbroken people we encounter. It’s easier to know what to do as a follower of Jesus once you know who you are as a disciple of Christ.

“You are the Salt of the Earth.” This is what Jesus calls his people… salt. He tells us this in his first sermon. At this point Jesus’ followers are gaining in number.  He had performed some miracles and the people are starting to believe that He is the Messiah who has come to save them.  After all the “blessed s” in the beatitudes, the first words Jesus uses to tell us who we are are…. You. Are. The. Salt. Of. The. Earth.

“She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head,And whispered to her neighbor_ _Winter is dead.”

To the crowd of people Jesus was speaking, this was really significant.  Salt was very valuable.  It was used as a preservative.  They would rub it into meat to preserve it.   You might have heard the phrase, “worth your weight in salt.”  This constantly reminds me of how I am supposed to live my life as a follower of Jesus.

If I am salt, then I should be in the world.  Not only should I be in the world, I should be so close to the world that I am “Rubbed” in it.  Preacher man reminded us yesterday, that sometimes we want to stick our heads in the sand and ignore the big bad world around us.  I get it…it’s scary out there.  You feel unqualified and completely unprepared.

This is the biggest lie Satan whispers to the church.  He puts so much fear in us that we forget what we are really here to do; shine the light of Christ into a broken world.  After Jesus tells us we are the salt of the Earth, He says, “We are the Light of the World.”

I find the order of these descriptions interesting.   He says we are Light AFTER we are Salt.  We can’t shine the light into the world if we aren’t involved in it.  Another misconception that people have is that darkness is half way around the world. Let me be the voice to tell you it is right next door.

It’s the lady at the grocery store who is deeply depressed and feels invisible.   It’s the lady in your small group who is so overwhelmed she cries all the time.  It’s your friend who carries the burden that her husband is an alcoholic, or addicted to porn, or physically abusive in secret.  We are surrounded by hurting people.  Don’t feel powerless in these situations when they come to light! We are the carriers of Jesus Christ, period.

Jesus just wants our Yes.  He will equip and prepare us in each moment through the Holy Spirit.  If you know about the ugly in people’s lives, it’s because God has positioned you in such a way to shine truth into the situations. Don’t shy away from speaking truth or giving hope due to fear.

Remember that you are a solution.  Yes, you!  You are salt and light.  Because of Jesus, you are the hope of the world.  Pray that God removes whatever fear is keeping you from serving others around you. God loves us so much that He allows us to be a part of what He is doing in the world. Let your light shine, friend!

I didn’t start really knowing how powerful the Jesus was in me until I started serving others.  Jesus does what He says He will do.  Jesus want us to see Him for who He is. Jesus empowers His disciples so that we can be used to glorify His name.

Remember who you are because of Easter and walk in that obedience.  It’s where joy is found.  I can’t stop listening to Lauren Daigle’s song, Salt and Light.  The lyrics are my prayer for every eye who reads this.

Let my eyes see Your kingdom shine all around.
Let my heart overflow with passion for Your name.
Let my life be a song, revealing who You are
For You are salt and light.

Lord,

Help us to be Salt and Light in your name.

In Jesus’ name Amen.