Category Archives: God is Good

Living word

I feel God. I’ve experienced God. I live my life for God. But do I hear from God? I love this quotation from Justin Peters:

If you want to hear from God, read your bible.
If you want to hear him audibly,
read it out loud.

So I do. I study and I learn. But I don’t always view the bible as God’s voice.  It can be academic or routine at times. I know it’s life-giving, but I can be dense. So that’s why I love it when God is so unbelievably obvious that even I, in my busy, distracted life, can’t miss it.

Let me tell you a story.

Trey went to his first sleep away camp this winter with our church. He’s grown up in church, understands faith and has accepted Jesus as his savior. Big time moment for us, the best moment a parent can have, but that’s a different story. This story is about him being in third grade, old enough now to attend camp, but still only having the Jesus Storybook as a bible. A great bible, but not a big boy, going-away-to-camp-for-the-first-time bible. So we get him one. He picked out a backpack bible. It’s great, it has a camo cover. He loves it. He loves that Jesus’s words are in red. He loves how thin the pages are. He loves that it’s his. He wrote his name in it. I imagine him holding onto this bible the whole of his life.

But on the first day of getting this bible, he didn’t know what to do with it. So I start to teach him about the bible and its books and authors, explain the table of contents and how to look up scripture. Now let’s be real here. When I say “teach” I mean I’m talking to him about the bible, cooking dinner and helping his sister with homework all at the same time. I don’t want to inflate the moment. It was not a “holy” moment. It was a life moment. And that’s when it happens. He asks me to test him. Give him a scripture to look up. In the busy of that moment, I simply string a name and two numbers together without any conscious thought of what I might be sending him to, or even if that verse existed! I said ahhhhh, Matthew 3:17.

It takes him a minute or two but he finds it. It does exist and do you know what it says? I obviously didn’t, but God did, because I hear my precious boy read out loud:

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Y’all. Time stopped. It got quiet. My husband and I look at each other. My daughter puts her pencil down. I think I burn dinner. I hug my boy. In his first bible, in the very first verse he reads, he hears that he is God’s son and he is pleasing. Boom. God speaks. We hear him.

Sure, the verse in context is referring to God’s only Son, Jesus, and the heavens opening up after he emerges from his baptism. But God’s word is living and in that moment he spoke directly to my son. My kid who has been reading through all of Matthew since. My kid who knows, without a doubt, his identity is in Christ and Christ alone. Because he is loved and God is well pleased.

I cried that night. I’m crying now. Because I needed that reminder just as much as my boy. We all need that reminder. So I hope you’ll remember this. And that it will inspire you to open yourself up to all the ways God is speaking to you. His word is alive. And he is well pleased… with you.

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IF:Gathering

I don’t remember how I first heard about IF:Gathering. It was early 2014 and it may have been a friend. It was likely social media. But however it was, I found myself sitting, alone, in front of my computer watching the live stream. Anybody with me? The teaching was on point, the worship moving and the women were simply stunning. Their beauty radiated from within. From God. And still, when buzz started around the 2015 registration, I didn’t make plans to attend. I maybe had a passing “I’ll catch some of that online again if I have time” but it wasn’t real. And then I got an email from Deb.

“Registration for IF is about to open, you wanna go?”

And that’s all it took. Interest and an invitation from a friend and there we were: IF.

I’m so, so very grateful.

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Side note: girls, if you think of a friend, tell them. If you want to do something with a friend, ask them. It means the world.

What is IF? I keep getting that question. It’s really a question itself. IF we believe…? So there’s no one answer. I’m still processing all I experienced but the thoughts that come to mind are:

A gathering place
Honest teaching
A conversation
Worship
Women
Empowerment
Belief
Revival
Ethics
Unity
Inspirational
Too big
Too much
Not enough
A taste of God

Many of my take-aways can be found on Twitter. What can I say? I like to live tweet events. So check it out, but here are some of my favorites:

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So what now? What do we do with this? It’ll be different for each of us, but my prevailing thought is TAKE THIS TO MY PEOPLE. I’m on staff at a church and I want every. single. woman. at Gateway to experience God in this way. So I don’t think I’ll be at IF:Gathering next year. Instead, find me hosting an IF:Local for 2000 of my favorite church ladies.

In the meantime, let’s dig into God’s word. Let’s breathe it in. Live in it. IF was a weekend. A great weekend. But if it’s just that then we dishonor the women who taught us and the God that gave them the words. Let’s take this back to our homes and neighborhoods and churches and grocery stores and schools. Let’s be women of action.

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…
{Hebrews 10:22-24}

Hello again

This weekend I attended the IF: Gathering. It’s a beautiful movement that I will talk more about in the coming days, but first, I feel like I should tell everyone where I’ve been the past eight months. I honestly hadn’t realized it had been that long since my last post! For the love, what have I been doing? Well, IF helped me see that it’s time to put keystroke to WordPress once again. I have a voice and there are things I’d like to say. So let’s take it back to June of 2014, when I told you about my experience in Haiti.

One of the things I learned from my Haitian brothers and sisters was how to live completely in the moment and appreciate every. little. thing. I came back with a desire to be fully present in this life God gifted me and I didn’t know how to do that and also observe the moment at the same time. Observation is kind of important to writing and apparently I’m a very bad multi-tasker. So to answer the question what have I been doing? Well, that.

I’ve been living.

  • I started a women’s group where nine strangers are now starting to do life together.
  • I substituted at my kids’ school – and that will take a whole other blog, and maybe counseling , to fully digest.
  • I stepped into a volunteer role at my church where I’m able to use my ability to communicate and connect with others and share the values of our church – and also explain why we do things the way we do. Sometimes it’s takes a lot of explaining, in the best way.
  • I’ve stood in front of thousands and shared my story of meeting our sponsor child so in turn others picked up that call and lives are being changed.
  • I began serving at the food pantry.
  • I date my husband.
  • I have the neighbors over.
  • I’m planning a family trip to Haiti because everyone should find a place not like their own and go there.
  • I’ve walked with friends in the midst of devastation and despair and I’ve seen them come out on the other side.
  • I bought a foosball table.

I’VE LIVED. And now I want to tell you about it. Not because what I’m doing, have done or will do is anything. IT’S NOT. I am nothing. BUT GOD IS. And let’s glorify him together. Let’s live in his presence and then talk about it. Let’s share the good and the ridiculous and the sad and the beautiful and the real. It’s time. It’s time I learn how to multi-task. Thank you IF for shaking me awake. For reminding me there are seasons for everything and my Spring is here. I don’t know where God will lead me, or you, but I’m excited to find out.

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For anyone stopping by here today hoping to check out my professional credentials, you’re probably confused. #sorrynotsorry

This blog started out as a place for me to file my thoughts on culture, employee engagement, leadership and general human resource practices. And those things are still  here. But it’s so much more now and I hope you’ll stick around.