Confessions of a Super White Girl;Reconciling Heart & Mind

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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

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Do You Have a Rain Cloud Following You?

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Have you ever looked at your life/past or your family’s life and thought… When is this going to change?  This dark rain cloud is never going to leave me alone! I’m never going to get out of this mess or this cycle of dysfunction!  It can be exhausting and leave you feeling helpless.  Feeling helpless is the opposite of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

What sin patterns do you see in your family? Don’t know what I’m talking about?  What personality traits “run” in your family? Anger, fear, anxiety, insecurity, depression, entitlement, pride, racism, poverty, alcoholism, laziness, divorce?…..pick your poison!

What does it look like for you? We all have junk due to our families and our own poor choices that creep into our lives. They can leave us feeling hopeless with no way out!

In Matthew 1: 12-16, we learn about the genealogy of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father.  In that long list of genealogy ( that most of us skip over) we read the name Jeconiah….that guy was legit cursed!  Like LEGIT. CURSED.  Through Jeremiah, we learn that God said none his offspring would prosper, no one would sit on the throne of David because Jeconiah was such an evil king!!! (Jer 22:30)

But that didn’t stop God from using Joseph in HUGE WAYS! God put Joseph in charge of raising HIS son, our savior, Jesus Christ! He made a way around the curse! He is God! He can always make a way!

Anytime words like stuck, no way out, like this forever, never change, or doomed  enter your thoughts, you can bet it’s Satan whispering lies to you.

Once you are in the family of God, your junk from your past or your family’s past has no power over you. It is true that Satan will try to use the sins of your past against you to jack with your mind and mess with your life.

God made a way through Jesus so that hope is never lost! God can overcome our past mistakes by the power of the cross!

Let’s say you looked at the list above and saw some sin patterns in your family and you want NO PART OF THEM!  Or maybe you didn’t, but some other situations came to mind.

Below is a prayer to break the power of these patterns in your life.  This might sound a little cookey, but I’ve prayed this with people over and over and over and it’s nuts what God ends up doing!!

Honestly…it’ super fun for me for me write this because I know freedom is on the rise.

I’m excited for anyone who continues forward and prays these powerful, sin pattern breaking prayers.

God’s blessing is replaced when we use the power of the cross to cancel the consequences of sin. Tweet that

That’s redemption!

Pray God shows you what steps of obedience should follow. You need to know the word of God (Bible)in order to grow in your faith.  You need the community of believers (church) to encourage you! These are important habits that allow us to continue to walk in freedom in Christ Jesus.

Surrender to God the junk in your hearts and lives so you may live in freedom from the effects of sin. Tweet that

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Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Amen. To. That!

My prayer is that God reveals to you areas where he wants to begin to heal and restore. There is freedom in Christ! Those words aren’t just a cheesy saying believers in Christ use to sound extra faithful.

They are said by people who have seen God do amazing things in their lives and the lives of their loved ones.  I pray one day you say those words and mean it too!

Click here to download your printable, Pattern Breaking Prayer!

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you for Jesus and the cross. I praise you for making a way where we don’t have to live in a cycle of sin and dysfunction.  Jesus, show us what we need to surrender to you in Jesus name.  Help us to be obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and have mercy on us as we continue to seek you.  I pray that every eye that reads this comes to know the saving grace only found in Christ. Father God, reveal your love to your people.

In Jesus name I pray,

Amen

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How to Move Mountains in Prayer: 7 Days of Scary Prayers

how-to-2Have you ever prayed scary prayers?  They are the kind of prayers that are so big and bold and outside the normal prayers we pray before bedtime. Only God has the power to answer scary prayers. Have you ever seen God answer any scary prayers? I have.

Nothing has increased my faith in God like prayer.  It’s what keeps me praying and worshiping even when some prayers don’t get answered and the healings don’t come.  I’ll talk about prayer, teach about it, write about it, try to get you to start doing it all. day. long. if you’ll let me!

Jesus says if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. (Matthew 17:20) That. sounds. crazy. Jesus! What Jesus is really inviting us to is a deeper faith.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray saying Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Then, He teaches us to pray/ask for three things:

1.Provision-Daily Bread

2. Personal Relationships- Forgive us as we Forgive others

3. Against Sin and Evil- Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil

When we pray on Earth as it is Heaven, we are praying and trusting God to provide for our physical, relational, and spiritual needs.

We are praying for the perfect provision in Heaven to unleash into our lives on Earth. (This stuff gets me super jacked in Jesus name… btw.)

But sometimes there are mountains in the way!!!  Some mountains we create on our own. Others are simply there because life. is. hard!! We live in a world full of trouble, strife, and hardship. And we DO have an enemy who hates us and will do anything to get in the way of us seeing God.

What does Jesus tell us to do with mountains BY FAITH??? He says… Tell them to move! That’s a scary prayer.

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In the physical world mountains are HUGE!  My dad lives in Montana. We would drive all around mountains on the way to our campsite… our destination.  It would take a while!

Jesus is always speaking directly to issues of our hearts and souls… the things that last.

In the spiritual world, in your Christian walk (heart)… what mountains are in the way of you seeing Heaven or experiencing and seeing God? What mountains are in the way of your spiritual growth?  Jesus tells us to move the mountains… not drive around them.

The Challenge

Will you join me for 7 days of scary prayers? For 7 days, let’s pray for mountains to move and Heaven to invade those places with His glory.

I love love love Matthew 16: 15-19- And on this rock I will  build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven.

Let’s intentionally loose Heaven on Earth in Jesus name for  7 days. Tweet That

What do your mountains look like?  Are they financial? Relational? Physical? Do you need healing? We will pray through the Lord’s Prayer for 7 days.  Over these 7 days, I will send a prayer every day to your email that teaches you how to pray for a specific mountain to move.

I won’t be able to cover every mountain in 7 days, but it’s my hope that these 7 days serve as a jump start to a faith building prayer life!

Some of you reading this have had some really jacked up things happen to you and you don’t even know if you have a mustard size faith. If that is you, then borrow some of my faith and sign up anyway.  I have enough faith and hope to carry you. Yes. You. I pray for every eye that reads any word I write or say.

We can have perfect peace and provision this side of Earth.  We can have contentment in Jesus name.  It might not look like what you thought it would, but God’s promises remain true.

So what do you say? Will you join me? Starting Monday, January, 16th, will you join me for 7 days of scary prayers?  Will you join me as we seek God and tell mountains to move in Jesus name? I pray you say yes!

Click here for your Printable 7 Days of Moving Mountain Prayers!

You can find my Youtube teaching videos here to go along with them!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNIVIjoxuhUTximNwgd61sA

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for showing us how to pray. Thank you for Jesus. Father, help us to keep your words in our minds and hearts as we seek you! Give us the strength to trust you once again..or maybe for the first time. Jesus let us feel your presence and encourage us as we seek to move the mountains in our lives and the lives of our loved ones in Jesus name. Father, we can do none of this without you. You are everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

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#FiveMinuteFriday: Connect

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I don’t always want to connect. I mean I do, but sometimes I don’t want to put in the effort it takes to connect. Sometimes, I want to be a lazy friend, a lazy wife, a lazy mom, a lazy church lady.

Connections. Take. Effort.

With my family, friends, God, bloggers, social media. ect….it’s takes time to connect. However big or small the connection may be still requires some sort of effort.

But that’s not how God has called me to live. He hasn’t called me to not put in any effort.  God’s people are worth it.  God’s church is worth it.  My friends are worth it.  I am worth it.

Connections are what build relationships. Connections are what make people realize we aren’t alone.

Connections are what remind us God is extremely relational. Tweet That

When we fail to connect…we disconnect.

That is a dangerous place to be.  That leads to isolation and idle thinking with yourself.  You know, that whole devil’s playground mess.  I don’t know about you, but my mind can go to crazy places!

I need connections with God, family, friends, and social media (Yes, social media…I’m a huge fan) to remind me the world is bigger than me.

Take the time and put in the effort to connect this weekend! Actually get up and go to church, call a friend, have dinner with a family member.  You and the people around you are worth it!

Hebrews 10:25-Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus and allowing us a way to always connect with you! You are everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Where do I stand?

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This is the most fun show! Prepping with the amazing Tanaya is always a blast! Lots of laughs…lots of Jesus. Tune in as we answer the questions, what did Jesus really mean when He said He didn’t come to abolish the Law or the Prophets? Why did He start talking about this after saying we are salt and light and before murder? Who are the least and greatest in God’s kingdom?

It’s waayyyy more than you think! Set your alarms for 9:48 a.m. EST as we take a deeper look into the section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount! Grab your Bibles and journals and go to http://www.visionradio105.com See you then! (It will replay at 9 pm)

Here are the verses we will be covering. Read up!

Matthew 5:17-18

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished

Romans 3:31

31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

 Romans 10:4

Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Also Matthew 21-26

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you for your word and for Jesus.  God I pray you prepare our hearts and minds to as we seek to know you a little more. Bless this time Father and may it glorify you and your name.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

Why is Vanity Still a Problem? Ugh

why-is-vanity-still-a-problem-ugh I mean….why is vanity still a problem in my life? At 34, I would hope that I love myself enough and feel accepted enough by Jesus to not be concerned with vanity!?!?

I didn’t even know how vain I still was until I got the radio show six months ago.  My first thoughts were, I have to lose 10 lbs and bleach my teeth!

IT’S A RADIO SHOW for Pete’s sake!  And insta has awesome filters to take away any evidence of my unhealthy relationship with black coffee and I praise Jesus during consumption.

So why is vanity still an issue? We can blame social media, sure…but I’m tired of blaming social media for everything.

The truth is simple.

Vanity is an awesome distraction from the call on your life in Christ Jesus. Tweet That! 

You might be thinking that’s a stretch, but I disagree completely. Once you know who you are in Christ…it’s a fight to remember.  Satan will use vanity to keep our minds fixed on things that don’t matter.

I’ve had so many moments where I have tasted and seen God’s goodness. I know I am loved by God. I know I am accepted by Him and He is greatly pleased with me!

But I can easily fall into the trap of seeking acceptance from the ladies of the world. Vanity is a total distraction for those who have given Jesus their yes. I’m not saying we should all wear jean skirts and no make up- no offense if this if you….I also acknowledge this sounds offensive. But sooo much thinking on our appearance is a total waste of our time, talents, and calling as believers!

Think about it.  Let’s say you are getting ready for church.  We’ll keep our location holy. What do I wear? Ugh..I still can’t fit into those. Why did I have so many dang kids.  It’s their fault. I should really stick to a work out program. Have you seen what her name’s videos?? Girl. Is. ripped! I’ll just wear this. This outfit screams I used to be a teacher…

Now for make-up.

Geeze..I’m sooo pale. I need to do a sunless tanner but I’m still really bad at that…Thank you Jesus for Cover Girl. And eye liner…I’d die without eyeliner. I do still need to get that expensive mascara…this cheap mess sucks.

I’ll stop there. This self dialogue could go on and on and on. Think about how jacked up that two minute conversation in my head was! It covered me thinking badly about my weight, anger at my kids for making me fat, wishing I was more motivated and feeling like a failure, comparison to hot mama (who really is awesome) and then back to low self view of appearance, finishing with  discontent in what I actually have!!

And I’m actually a pretty confident person! I can’t imagine was super insecure people go through!

Maybe it’s just me…but I seriously doubt it.

This isn’t going to be your “love yourself” post, but it might just be time we realize how distracting vanity really is. I could have been praying or something before I went to church….isn’t that what holy people do?

Remember, Satan hates us! He doesn’t want us to remember how accepted and loved we are by our God who made us. People who know God and love themselves are dangerous in the Kingdom of Heaven. They live a focused life with of purpose.

Vanity messes with that.

So take a deep breath the next time you leave the house.  Slap on some of the cheap stuff and leave the house remembering everyone is usually in a hurry and doesn’t notice what you look like anyway.

But for real… Vanity is just that….vanity.  It has no root. It’s a surface picture. I have to remind myself this! The radio show is about me getting to talk to the world about how awesome a life following Jesus can be! I should be praising him…not worried about bleaching my teeth and outfits. That’s ridiculous..and a huge distraction from what I am actually called to do.

Serve, study, plan, teach, love, worship, and encourage.

We are called to do great things; big and small for God. Let’s take away any distractions we can in 2017! Tweet That

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus and the cross. Father, I thank you for telling us we are the apple of your eye. I praise you that because of Jesus, you simply see us as your daughters who you greatly delight in! Help us Father to keep our eyes focused on you and what you have called us to do.  Forgive us for the times we fall under the influence of vanity. Help show us the areas in our lives where vanity is robbing us of real joy rooted in grace. Thank you Jesus. You are everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

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