How to Pray for Your Unsaved Spouse: The Power of a Testimony

Are you serving Jesus alone in your home? Are you tired of doing life with Jesus alone? Friends, be encouraged by their story.  In this episode, we hear the powerful testimony of Chevas and Josh. Josh followed Jesus. Chevas didn’t. Tune in to hear their story and the role prayer played in Josh’s life. Life was hard for them when Josh gave his life to Christ. Now they follow God together and we all get to listen to Chevas lead us in worship every week! AMEN!

“You never know how close someone is.”-Chevas

“I was reading divorce books. Looking for a way out. ” Josh

“You can’t out run God and a praying spouse.” Chevas

This show will bless anybody who lives with people who don’t follow Jesus. Maybe they believe in God, but don’t want to come to church with you. Whatever your situation is, I know you will be encouraged by this episode!! You aren’t ALONE and all of Heaven is for you!

If you’d like to subscribe to my podcast click on picture below and you’ll get each series sent right to your inbox! You can listen to any episode you missed here! Don’t forget to join the Friends with God community on our facebook group! You can do that here.

As always!

Praying for ya’ll

xoxo-Lauren

 

Friends with God Podcast Ep-006 How to Know and Make Peace:Blessed are the Peacemakers

There was time in my adult life where I didn’t believe in Heaven. It seemed like a load of you know what to me that people believed in to make their hearts feel happier when life got hard. There was another time in my life when I gave up on prayer completely. The weight of all the evil in the world hit a little too close to home and I found myself thinking what’s the point?  Then there was the time I felt the most powerless in the world, had little hope, and wanted answers…But I didn’t stay there…Obvs.

In this episode of the Friends with God podcast we take a look at how Jesus ended the Beatitudes. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.” Sons of God receive the inheritance. I am here to testify how I met Jesus as Prince of Peace, and the hope that comes with it.  The conclusion to the beatitudes has so much encouragement in them. I hope you enjoy!

As Always, Praying for Ya’ll!

xoxo-Lauren

If you missed out on any of these episodes, listen below!

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The Peacemakers are called sons of God. Sons and daughters receive the inheritance. Tune in to find out what we should expect and why we might not be feeling very "blessed"
Jesus says peacemakers are called sons of God. Sons get the inheritance. These glorious riches include mercy, vision, more hope, power, and lots more. Why aren’t more people living this kind of life? They might not be a peacemaker yet. Tune in to the podcast and be encouraged by how Jesus ends the Beatitudes.

Friends with God (EP 05): How to Get to the Good Part of Following Jesus; My missing link

Can I get to good part of being a Christian please?

If I was “doing” everything right in my life. If I was saved by grace, mourned my sin, was hungry and thirsty for righteousness…then why wasn’t I having any of the good stuff about being a Christian? Where was all the joy and peace I was promised? I talk a lot about how Jesus can change lives, but I realized I’ve never shared the truths that changed mine.

In this episode I’ll share what scripture says about mercy and what it looks like in the believer’s life. It seems like an easy thing to understand, but my life didn’t match it AT ALL. I had a false understanding. I don’t think I’m alone. If mercy has such a simple definition, then what was the problem?

It simply doesn’t get enough attention.

We’ve been going through the Beatitudes and the process of the maturing believer; poor in spirit, mourning sin, trusting God, and being  hungry for righteousness. (It’s easy to catch up, just check out podcast player under podcast tab.)

Mercy begins the section of the Beatitudes describing the mature believer. This is why it’s super important for believers to understand how the enemy distorts how mercy in the believer’s life is played out. It’s my opinion that a proper understanding of mercy will change your walk with Jesus. It’s certainly changed mine.

If you would like to subscribe to this podcast, click here 🙂

Praying for ya’ll!

xoxo-

Lauren

If you would like to catch up on previous episodes, listen below!

 

How kind are your thoughts about yourself? Understanding mercy changed this for me.
Do you really understand Mercy? Ask yourself this;What do you say about yourself in your thoughts? How kind are you to yourself?

FWG 004 Learning to Trust God;Meekness

Steps to trusting God.

Learning to trust God can be Really. Really. Really. HARD!! Meekness is how we do that. In this episode we take a look at what meekness is and the role it plays in the life of the believer. It’s my favorite thing to talk about because it’s how we learn God is good. It’s my opinion that seeking meekness is the game changer in the believer’s life!

As always!

Praying for ya’ll!

xoxo-Lauren

If you missed an episode, you can catch up here!

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FWG Episode 03: Preacher Man Chats: Is Friendship with God Possible?

In this episode of the Friends With God podcast, I interview a special guest, Jason Britt, pastor of Bethlehem Church in Winder, GA.  Friendship with God is the name of my podcast and blog, but is it even possible? It’s not something you see a lot in scripture. Friendship with Jesus, yes. But what about friendship with God? Tune in to find out! Jason and his wife, Nan, have been such a blessing to our church and community. I love their heart for Christ and community! I can’t wait to hear how this message impacts you and how you view God.

Praying for y’all!

xoxo-

Lauren

If you missed any other podcasts, you can listen to them below! Don’t forget to subscribe!

Episode 001: Finding the Humanity of Jesus; A Beatitudes Study

Finding the Humanity in Jesus.
Struggle with relating to Jesus as a human? Me too! Not anymore!

 

Welcome to the Friends with God podcast! In this episode we begin a five part series on finding the humanity of Jesus in the Beatitudes. Raised in church, I had trouble separating “super hero” Jesus in my mind. My life began changing when the gospel stories became facts about the person of Jesus Christ. It’s my hope you are able to trust Jesus with more parts of your life after this study on the Beatitudes!

As Always!
Praying for ya’ll!

Lauren

 

Have troubles relating to Jesus? Me Too! Not anymore.
Finding the humanity of Jesus changed my time in the word. It’s my hope it helps change yours!

 

How to NOT Yell at Your Kids all Summer

HOw to NOt yellat your kidsAll summer-2 practical tips

Ya’ll… only 10 more days of having to get small people up and out the door by 7:15.  Who am I kidding…. 7:25, but the point is SUMMER IS HERE!! This is celebration time because ya’ll know I struggle with punctuality and a break from the shame brought on by the tardy bell is welcomed with open arms!

This also means more hours in the day for me to hear I’m hungry. I’m bored. She hit me!

I am normally a pretty patient person, but I’m also a screamer if I don’t make a plan to specifically NOT be a screamer!

Yes, it’s totally normal to lose it on your kids, but we can’t forget how powerful our words actually are. Check out this short video (3 min) below to learn 2 strategies to use INSTEAD of screaming.  I’ve used them before and they totally kept me from sinning and destroying my kids with my words, tone, and actions. I’m also going to be praying for all mamas for the summer!

Prayer precedes a move of God, let’s pray God moves in our responses to our children this summer! Tweet that

If you are like me, you might not quite be at the singing praises stage. Here are some promises to yell instead!

If you have to yell, yell this!

And remember, your words are so powerful. Speaking these truths over your children will plants seeds and write truths on their little misbehaving hearts!

The tounge

Praying for y’all!

xoxo-Lauren

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for the gift of motherhood. Thank you for Jesus. Father God bless this summer break with lots of love and laughter. Help us to remember how powerful our words are and remind us of the truths you want us to speak over our children. Thank you for seasons and I pray a special blessing over every mama. Jesus help us to know how much you love us and teach us to swim in grace when we screw up. Help us to live open handed lives with our children. We love you, Jesus. You are everything.

In Jesus name I pray,

Amen

Hot Mess Express and Friends with God Anyway

HotMessExpress

I might be the tiredest person in the world.   I swear my kids plot against me as to whose turn it is to jack with my sleep each night. With three kids and the messiest van in the neighborhood, I wonder if there will ever be a day when I’m not the hottest mess in the world.

I laughed at myself this morning as my kids ran to beat in the tardy bell….again. I’m such a good mom to allow them this opportunity to exercise before school. There is no telling what those ladies in the front office think of me. They are the sweetest ladies ever, though. Thank God for that.

With no make-up on and a toddler on my hip, I head to grocery store.

When Things Got Weird

There was a lady who was struggling to get her shopping cart situated.  I spent five seconds helping her return it back to the kiosk.  As I walked away, the thoughts spirit of fear, spirit of fear, spirit of fear came to my mind.  I thought to myself Huh… That lady must be afraid of something. I got into my car and it was still there…spirit of fear, spirit of fear, spirit of fear.  

I said out loud, “I mean….God, do you want me to do something about this?”

He gave me NO answer to that question.

When random thoughts or people pop into your head, it could be Holy Spirit telling you something.

I just kept hearing spirit of fear in my head.  It was a very “loud” thought.  I saw these people were parked next to me. With great hesitation, I got out the car and approached them. I kept thinking, I can’t believe I’m doing this…..

Praying for Strangers

“Excuse me, I know this is weird, but after I walked away from you, all I could hear was spirit of fear, spirit of fear, spirit of fear in my head.  I was wondering if there is anything I can pray for you for? (Meanwhile I’m freaking out in my head)

They quickly said, yes… please. Relief consumed me as I thought they don’t think I’m crazy. I prayed a very generic prayer.  It probably covered all things protection and peace n Jesus’ name.

After the Amen, I asked if they could relate to anything that I prayed.  She replied with, “Yes!” and shared that she has been really, really worried about something.

I have no idea how I knew what to say next. Out of NOWHERE, I said, “Remember that there is no fear in perfect love.  Fear comes from punishment and that is not from God.  You have a God that loves you perfectly and I pray you are able to receive that perfect love from Jesus in a way that will cast out all your fear. God loves you and he doesn’t want you afraid.

I then asked them if they knew Jesus like that, and they answered yes.  I asked them their names and told them I’d be praying for them the rest of the day.  They continued to thank me and I walked away.

What. In. The. World. Just. Happened!!  I couldn’t believe what just went down in the parking lot of a discount grocery store!

I had never even spoken to strangers about  Jesus, much less gotten out of my car, asked them personal questions, prayed in a public place, and busted out with scripture!!! I’ll tell you what happened.

That day, God used hot mess me to make a difference in the lives of these two strangers. My ideal self had arrived; except she looks differently than I had ever imagined.

I’d been trying to become this perfect Christian lady before doing anything cool for the kingdom of Heaven. That’s the kind of people God uses, right? Wrong. He uses hot messes.

This was an act of God’s love for me. He knew I’d go nuts over it… I have a passionate personality anyway.  Add that to the fact that God had used me…with a stranger.

The results of that equation are a life filled with excitement and a desire to do life closely with God.  God knows my heart and knew that it would change our relationship in a powerful way.

That day made me realize God wants to have fun with me. Embarrassing at first, but I felt like I had “hung out” with God or something.  It made me want to put myself in positions for Him to use me like that again and again and again.

This story occurred years ago, but it’s what began my friendship with God.

God desires friendship with you too. You don’t have to change or improve. You don’t have clean yourself up.

You are enough. Wake up. Give God your Yes and rock Y.O. U….Hot mess and all. Tweet that

You are enough.Wake up.Give God your Yesand Rock this day.

But do spend some time simply talking to your God like you would a friend. It’s an amazing beginning to a glory packed Christian life.

Praying for y’all!

xoxo-Lauren

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus and the cross. Thank you for desiring a relationship with us. Thank you for loving us enough to provide a way for communication. Help us to come to you first in all things through prayer. Help us not to hide. Jesus we need you and love you.

In your name I pray,

Amen

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How Motown led me to the Secret Place

God used Motown to lead me to the secret place.
It’s impossible for me to sit still and quiet before God…not anymore.

Y’all this morning my quiet time with the Holy, Supreme, God of the universe accidentally began with Motown.  And it. was. awesome. We are talking the Temptations, Jackson 5, Bobby Day, and Marvin Gay.

Lately, I’ve been getting up early (take that Proverbs 31 lady) to sit before the Lord, but I’m so dang tired it hasn’t been very fruitful.  It takes me forever to wake up. By the time I’m actually awake to pray, my mind goes everywhere and I’m anything but quiet before God…and then a kid wakes up or something.

A Motown Morning

Today was different in the most unexpected way. Most days, I obviously start my Jesus time with worship music.  I should note that this “set apart” time with God early is a new thing. It hasn’t been this formal…ever.

My Pandora station was on Motown. When it turned on I couldn’t help but dance!  I pictured God laughing at me as I sang “Aint no mountain high enough to keep me from getting to you” God and “Hold On…I’m coming!” and “How Sweet it is to be loved by you!”

Ya’ll… it was the most fun I’ve had while looking at 5:17 a.m. on the clock!! I was having a dance party before God.

The ridiculousness of it didn’t seem to fit for my “serious” time before God. But God meets us where we are! I’m a girl who LOVES to dance and that’s where He met me this morning. I mean…it’s Motown ya’ll!

Going Old School

I decided to keep it old school and googled the Tabernacle on my phone.  I thought about the Brazen Alter. I can’t help it… anytime I think of what went down on the Brazen Alter, I plug my nose at the thought of the STENCH!

BLECH!  It grosses me out thinking about the nastiness that occurred during the slaughter for sacrifices.

Can I just say, thank you Jesus for living in 2017- post cross!

But what does that stench remind me of? My Sin!!! It settled my spirit and allowed me to enter into authentic praise for Jesus and His work on the cross.

Next, I saw the picture of the Bronze Laver. It was a bowl priest used to wash themselves clean before entering the presence of God.  It settled my spirit even more as I praised God that I am already clean because of the word which He has spoken to me. (John 15:3)

Jesus says you are already clean.
You are already clean, run towards His presence.

I have been washed by the blood.  My sinful heart continues to become more like Christ as I continue to wash my heart with the word of God. (Ephesians 5:26)

I then pictured myself entering into the Holy Place. It’s a place even more precious as it contains golden furniture representing prayer and the presence of God.

It settled my spirit even more as I prayed and prayed and sent lots of prayers up to my God who hears me. My spirit became even more settled and still.

The Secret Place

The next step was into the Holy of Holies. This morning I was able to actually sit, quietly before my God.  I didn’t say a word. I just sat.

It’s literally impossible for me sit still and quiet. Not anymore.

God gave His people this tabernacle for a reason. Steps are taken before one enters into the Holy Place before God.

Hear me: Jesus is the only door you need.

You are literally on Holy Ground everywhere you go when Jesus lives in you. Tweet that.

But, there is something to say about prayerfully dying to self so our spirit can hear His voice.

My time in the quiet place didn’t last long. Kid 3 fell out of bed and a song bird kept chirping and annoying me. My quiet spirit was gone after that. But there’s always tomorrow!

I’ve never been more excited to wake up before dawn. Motown is my official wake up music from now on:)

Same ol’ Mistake

I was trying to be who I thought God wanted me to be before Him;serious, quiet, and still. That’s not me. He loves me dancing before Him!

My morning was a beautiful picture of a life that follows Jesus; he meets us where we are and draws us closer to Him.

He quiets my spirit.

He stills my soul.

I pray you ask Christ to meet you today. Ask Him to draw you closer to Him and wait in expectation.

Praying for y’all!

xoxo-Lauren

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thanks for wanting to spend time with us. Thank you for Jesus and your presence. Father, quiet our spirits so we can know and hear your voice. Bless our time with you regardless of how long it is.  Provide moments to draw us closer to you. Show us areas where we need to get rid of to make more time for you. Jesus, you are everything.  Make us hungry for you. In Jesus name I pray,

Amen.

You can always find me over on Facebook saying something about Jesus. I love me some Facebook live! Click here to like my page and join the fun! Lots of exciting things happen there!

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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!

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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!

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