I’ve spent some time this past spring and summer guest-posting on various websites. Some posts are refreshed favourites and others are new. I hope you are blessed as you read them.
Press On, Sweet Sister
July 16, 2020
When my husband and I first entered full-time ministry, I was confident I knew how life would play out. But after five short years, we had packed our bags to leave, convinced we were unfit for the calling. Ministry has a funny way of turning our certainties on their heads.
We might both be involved in ministry, but your journey will be distinctive to you. You have brought your own set of expectations and certainties to this adventure. Your relationship with the Lord is uniquely yours, shaped by his sovereign hand to craft you into the image of himself. The edges he sands off of you might be vastly different from my sharp edges. The stretching you endure will be intimately tied to your needs and his will for your life. The only certainty I can claim that we share with 100% confidence is our need to remain before the cross in humble dependence upon God’s mercy, admitting our constant need for him.
Be a Woman of Bravery, Dignity, and Perseverance
June 12, 2020
Queen Esther’s character emerged when she, along with many other young women, were swept into a human-trafficking ring of sorts. Their custodial pimp, Hegai, spent 12 months beautifying them in a preparational harem, and then they competed for a prize that would make them little more than a sex slave with the title.
One by one, Hegai sent them to the King.
In the evening, she would go in and in the morning she would return to the second harem, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the King’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines.”Esther 2:14
These girls didn’t parade before the King twirling batons or displaying vocal talents; their audition was an overnight visit. Esther wins this twisted Old Testament beauty pageant and joins the King’s concubines.
God’s Presence in the Community of Believers
April 17, 2020
“As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.” (Psalm 84:6-7, ESV)
I love to run. Well, maybe it’s more accurate to say that I love how I feel when I run. I love how running clears my mind and quiets my soul. I love how strong my body becomes after running regularly. I register for races because I need the motivation of a goal, but after I register, I question my sanity. Why do I keep doing this to myself? Why did I commit to another grueling workout schedule? And most importantly, why did I join with a friend? Now, I can’t back out. I have to continually remind myself that the discomfort of training is worth the glory of finishing with a strong body and mind.
Race day dawns with excitement. The crowd cheers, the gun explodes, and thousands of feet hit the pavement, but soon that excitement fades. The crowd thins. I’m left in the race, just putting one foot in front of the other, looking for the finish line. I am tempted to quit, but my friend encourages me. She wants to stop, so I support her. And as we pass mile marker after mile marker, the strangest thing happens. Our strength and determination increase instead of decreasing. Every stride brings us closer to the finish. We are encouraged as we help one another overcome difficulty and exhaustion. We pump worship tunes through headphones, and the remaining distance to the finish line shrinks. Mental fatigue lessens. Soon, people are lining the streets again, cheering because we are close to the finish. We become invigorated. The prize is in sight.
The Certainty of Joy
March 27, 2020
… It’s in the difficult moments of uncertainty that the testing of my faith produces steadfastness, and I must let steadfastness complete its work in me because the trial ultimately leads me to hope (James 1:3-4). Romans 5:3-4 is clear, if I want hope, I must understand it comes from character. Character is produced by perseverance, and perseverance is birthed from suffering. Every leader must decide if it is worth fighting through suffering to find their hope and joy in the Lord.
Unshaken: How to Face Chaos and Danger Without Fear
March 23, 2020
There was a morning quite a few years ago when my children were small that the wind picked up. Three nearby trees went down and every boom and crack sent the neighborhood running into their backyards to investigate.
I watched out my window as our giant maple swayed like a hula dancer at the mercy of the wind. I felt a bit like the third little pig waiting to see if the huffing and puffing would blow our tree down onto our house of bricks.
Our children were at school 1KM down the street, so after a few more booms and the power failing, I walked out front and looked toward the school. In the distance, I could see the flashing lights of emergency vehicles.
My husband has also visited the Fear Warrior blog, and he is giving away his book, Anxiety Attack. Visit the post below for information.
How Your Response to Problems can Conquer Anxiety
by Kevin Weeks
June 1, 2020
The date was April 1, 2018: Easter Sunday morning. I was only minutes away from preaching the first of two services, and I had major knots in my stomach. More than normal. Far more.
I couldn’t think straight. My brain slogged through a dense fog.
My emotions were all over the place. They had been for some time.
I wasn’t sure if I had the physical strength, the emotional strength, or the spiritual strength to stand up and preach again.
As this storm raged in me, I sank into a chair at the back of our Worship Centre. I cradled my head in my hands, occasionally looking up.
People were walking past me, finding their seats, ready for the worship gathering to begin. I was trying to smile and say hi to people, but the smiles felt fake. I could barely maintain eye contact.
There I sat, alone in a room full of people, wondering what in the world was happening to me. Raw emotion smouldered, ready to burst through the surface in a blistering mess, and all I could manage to do was quietly quiver in my plastic chair and wonder to God why I was suddenly overcome by a fear that I couldn’t explain.