3 Ways To Overcome The Defeat Of The World

We live in a world that teaches power comes through knowledge. The world constantly bombards us with ideas and philosophies aimed to help us succeed. The philosophy is we can do and be anything we want to be. Money is poured into schools and colleges, to help train the minds of tomorrow. Grasping for knowledge, we fight our way to the top. Only a few make it. The world’s knowledge has grand offers, with very little value of return. In 2 Timothy 3:7 we see man in his search for knowledge, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

The world will give you just enough, without giving you the truth you seek. The world wants you defeated and powerless.

1 John 4:5-6 “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

We see two ways of thinking in these verses, the spirit of error and the spirit of truth. We are all aware of the spirit of error. We were born into this corrupted way of thinking. We have become familiar with its lies. It is a worldview. It controls how we think, how we feel, and how we act.

Trusting Jesus Christ for salvation gives us the spirit of truth. Once we start listening to this truth, our worldview begins to change. We begin to desire a different knowledge. Something the world never offered us, and something it can never provide.

If you have salvation and this spirit of truth, why live powerlessly?

When you live defeated you are reverting back to your old way of thinking, the world’s way.

Jesus Christ is the truth you need. It is easy to take your eyes off Christ and return to your old way of thinking. If you are going to fight this battle in your mind, you need Christ.

Here are 3 ways to overcome the defeat of the world.

1. Think on Christ in your daily life. Remember His goodness to you. Think on all He provided in salvation. Study Gods word and look for truths about Christ.

2. Speak of Christ. Talk about Him in conversations. Bring Him up in the midst of problems. Express His love to others as you go about your day. This concept will encourage you as you encourage others.

3. Pray in Jesus name. Remember why you can come before God. Remember in whose power you pray. Take advantage of this gift. God knew it was good therapy and a lot cheaper than counseling.

These are concepts you know to do, but overlook. Rest in Christ, He is the truth you need to live.

Question: How do you combat defeat and discouragement in your life? Please comment below. I look forward to hearing your answer.

The Year Of A Thousand Laughs

“I have never heard a baby cry like this.” This was my second thought about my new son. The first being, “He looks so big” and he was.

What an introduction he made into this world. He cried and did not stop crying all night.

I thought for sure it was my fault. I struggled with the idea of pregnancy at first. My emotions were a wreck. I cried, at the drop of a hat, until the fourth month of the pregnancy.

I wanted God to make everything right. Why did I have to act this way? Why couldn’t I just be right? Why did I have to be so messed up?

God brought me to the point, and it seemed like he asked, “Can you trust me, even if you never get better.” Could I trust God even if I was depressed and emotionally out of balance?

I have never felt so close to God as I felt as I began to trust Him not to fix me or my situation, but just to trust him for who he was.

My emotions eased over the next months as I trusted God, changed my eating habits and grew healthier physically and mentally as my waistline became nonexistence.

Back to the crying baby.

He calmed and began to sleep mid-morning. Just in time for his brothers and sister to visit. He seemed like a perfect little angel, in front of all his guests. This lasted for a while.

He had his days and nights mixed up, and he would let you know loudly he did not appreciate being moved.

When the doctor visited, I asked her to check and see if anything was wrong. Maybe the foot bands where to tight. She said he was fine.

The crying continued through the second night. I knew none of my other children had cried like this when they were babies. The sound was not right. It sounded like he was mad.  Something was wrong!

A new doctor came the second day to check him out before we left the hospital, and she justified my thoughts. This big baby boy broke his collar bone during birth!

As soon as we knew, his mad crying practically stopped. Everyone held him different. Wrapped him tighter. We pinned his sleeve down and made our own version of a baby sling. This helped immensely.

The mad little boy became the happiest, most content baby I have ever known.IMG_9675b

Thru all his early crying, God weaved love in my heart for this surprise child.

IMG_9846BMy baby boys first year of life started out desperate and turned into something amazingly beautiful. The year of a thousand laughs.

 

In trusting God alone, He worked out all the things I was trying to force and figure out. He wanted to help the whole time, but I was more interested in my way and being right.

What do you need to let go of fixing and just trust God?

Can you trust God for who He is, even if your problem never goes away? Even if you are never healed? Even if your situation never changes?

We have a mighty God, and he requires us to give up our way and look to Him. You might be surprised how he will work if you rest in Him and quit struggling on your own.

Sometimes Miracles Take Years, Not Minutes

We all long to see miracles. We want to see someone healed of cancer or radically changed for Christ. While I believe, both of these things take place, they are not everyday occurrences. Sometimes miracles take place over a period of years, not minutes.

Have you ever found yourself planning how God could take care of the situation? Deciding that he should just act and bring about miraculous healing. Have you ever felt the letdown, the discouragement, when He did not perform.

What if we are looking at the idea of a miracle all wrong?

What if most miracles are slow and occur over long periods of time?

Here are 3 things to remember if you are looking for a miracle.

  1. Look to God, not a miracle. I love the part of C.S. Lewis’s story The Chronicles of Narnia where Aslan is described as not being a tame lion. It reminds me of God and how He works. He does not fit a cookie cutter mold and perform the same way every time. When we pray for a miracle so often we are not trust God we are trusting in a miracle. A tame God who performs on request and does exactly as told. When you or a loved one needs healing, restoration, or release, remember to look to God first and not just to a miracle.
  2. Peace comes with trusting Christ. As good Christians, we know we are supposed to trust; however, we scurry around full of worry an anxiety. We talk about trust while holding tight to our problem. Peace of mind comes in releasing our grip and demands about how God should fix what’s going on and simply falling into Christ’s capable embrace. In trusting Christ alone, we can rest in peace despite what is going on around us.
  3. Celebrate the small changes. God often comes like a soft cool wind that floats through on a hot day and refreshes a tired soul. Look for those moments and rejoice in your great God. He knows where you are. He is there and will not forget your need. These small victories often lead up to the ultimate miracle for which you are waiting.

 

Let go of desiring a miracle and begin to desire God alone. In this trusting, the small miracles are made visible. So if you rest in Him you might just be surprised when the miracle you need just falls in your lap. When He sends the miracle, you will praise your good and holy God, who gives good gifts to His children, not praise the gift alone.

 

Question: When did God perform a miracle, big or small, that you know He did it just for you? Comment below.

 

 

 

Why I Quit Trying To Be Right With God

Trusting Christ has not come easy for me. I wanted God and wanted to be right, however, being a Christian felt more like something I had to do. Something for which I was responsible. I worked hard trying to be good enough.

On the surface, it was easy. I looked good. I did not do bad things. My visible sins, before people, were limited and not that bad. It was in my heart and mind that the battle raged.

I never felt good enough. I was trapped in the dullness of my own life, wrecked by my emotions, and carried away by what I wanted. “I can do better.” I would tell myself. “I can find a new book and then I will change what is wrong. I will not feel empty. I will not be such a mess.”

I was always looking toward tomorrow. Knowing that one day, I would get it all together. One day I will be right. One day I will not have to struggle at life, anymore. Surely, God will just fix everything and won’t leave me in this shape.

The tomorrow I was waiting for never came.

I could not blame Christ for what was wrong. So, I did the next best thing, it must be me. I must be fatally flawed. Something is just messed up in my life.

In one way, I was right. I was fatally flawed, and it went all the way back to the fall of man, in the Garden. On my own, I could not produce the change I desired. I could not be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, and the perfect Christian.

Even if I was partly right about being flawed, I was  wrong in my approach to be right with God.

Here are two reasons I was wrong.

  1. I was no longer fatally flawed. I had been raised from my original state and had been made alive in Christ. I had been given life. I was a new creation.
  2. My desire was wrong. My desire was not after Christ or righteousness, it was after a skewed vision of what I thought was right.

All of my struggling was useless, because, it never was about me and how right and perfect I could become. It was about Christ and His righteousness pouring down into a broken soul.

Now, today I may not look different on the outside. If you have known me over the last ten years, you may not think I act any different. I am still the same person, most of the time I look and act the same. However, the battle that raged in my heart and mind is not the same.

Why?

Because, I resigned my role of the change maker in my life. I gave up trying to be right. I quit working and began to rest in Christ.

Christ is the change maker. It is in Him we obtain our righteousness. Our feeble attempts to be right will never produce true righteousness.

Are you willing to give up your desire to be right and only trust Christ and His Righteousness?

Question: When have you trusted Christ after a season of trying on your own? How did you feel? What happened? I look forward to hearing your story below in the comments section!

 

 

Four Truths To Help Any Dreamer

I am a first class dreamer. There is nothing I like better than a fresh idea, a clean sheet of paper, and a day of planning. I am not picky about what dreams I choose. I love them all. I like to think I can plan out any thought you could give me. I have planned out countless ideas, started several and quit most.

In all the dreaming and planning I reached a level where my dreams were not happening. The plans and ideas were not lasting or making the impact I truly believed they would. What was wrong? I could not follow through or I  stick with a dream long enough, it felt as if something was wrong with me. I must be messed up. Why do other people appear successful and I seem to fail?

When a dream dissolves, there is something in the heart of the dreamer that dies alongside of the dream. To the dreamer, it is the death of a friend. A companion that you nurtured, loved, and brought to life. It is a painful experience, to see the end of a dream.

I have loved and grieved many a dream.

Through all the ups and downs I have come to realize a few truths that help me understand myself and my dreams.

Here are 4 truths to help any dreamer.

  1. Not every dream is for you. Great ideas are a dime a dozen. They come from walking down the street or playing on Pinterest to long. Just because I can see the dream and plan it doesn’t mean it is for me. I had to realize that even if it is a great idea it may not be right for me or even what I want.
  2. Your worth is not based upon the success of your ideas. It is difficult to look back and see botched dreams and not feel like an absolute failure. I have had to acknowledge that my identity is not in my dreams and how successful they are. I am the same person I was yesterday even if one of my awesome ideas is a major flop.
  3. It is ok, to let go of a dream. As a professional dreamer, this is a tough point for me. Like, I said my dreams are my friends, I like to hang on to the dream, carrying around the guilt and shame in my pocket. This behavior is vicious. A dream that is heavy with guilt is a dream that will destroy you. It is suffocating to any good thing in your life. It holds you back from moving on and seeing the everyday joy that is all around you.
  4. Relax, and stay calm, your life is not over. So, you have realized your best idea is not for you. You have sufficiently let go of the guilt, now you can just breath. Your life is not over. You have not ended the story, it is a new chapter.

As a dreamer you have a unique gift, the ability to see a different future. You can look and see that your tomorrow does not have to be like your yesterday. Give up the past! Trust God with your future and take another step toward change!

Question: How have you dealt with the death of a dream? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

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God Tell Me What To Do

“I need to know what to do”! A friend cried over the phone line. “Where can I go to find help in the Bible? I need to know what God wants me to do!” My mind searched for an answer as my heart ached for her. I thought of times I had called out to God in similar ways, searching, praying, and needing to know Gods way. I hurt for her, knowing the struggles she faced.

I smiled, thinking about the sweetness of searching for God, the way it feels the moment when you find rest even before he has answered. As he tenderly and lovingly draws his child near him.

I did not give her an answer about where to go in the Bible for guidance because there is no such place. It is all a dance of love between God and his child. It is about a relationship, getting to know each other. God does not tell us specifics because he deals with each person differently.

Look at the story of the woman with the issue of blood. She had a problem and she could not get help. She heard of Jesus and thought this might work. She was desperate. There was no specific set of things to do from God that would solve her problem. She sought Jesus out. She looked for him, drew close to him and reached out to touch him. She found healing. (Matthew 9:20-22)

God gave Joshua a promise as they were going into Canaan. “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:9).” Why could Joshua and the children of Israel be courageous, strong, and unafraid, even when they faced great battles ahead? They were trusting in God, who had promised to go with them.

God has given us his Word to allow us to know him, so we can come in close and snuggle on his shoulder. He does help and answer questions, just not always the way we think he should answer.

If you are desperate and need a touch from God look in his Word. He is there on the pages and in your heart. He will speak to you and help. If you quiet yourself, come close to him and listen.

 

Here is a suggested reading plan.
1.Once a day read Psalm 1, for a month.
2.Read the daily Proverb. (One chapter from Proverbs. whatever day it is, read that chapter)
3.Get a small spiral bound notebook and write a prayer journal to God
4. Listen to Psalm 119 out loud while you relax. It is less than twenty minutes long.

Here are tips to keep you from becoming discouraged.
1.If you cannot read both Psalm and Proverbs daily start with reading Psalm 1 daily. It is just 6 short, but powerful verses.
2.If you miss a day or two do not try to catch up. Read the Proverbs for that new day only.
3.Read the chapters in different ways. Read it quietly to yourself. Find a Bible app for your phone (YouVersion) or www.BibleGateway.com and listen to the chapter. Read it out loud to yourself or to another person.
4.Look up commentaries and read about the chapters you have been reading. The website www.BibleGateway.com has a button above the passage that says, “show resources” click it, and there are a few commentaries there that are good helps.
5.Ask God to speak to you as you read, it is his words he knows what he meant, and he can help you understand.
6.The journal is just a small written prayer from you to God. It does not have to be fancy or formal.
7.Write in journal form, like you are talking to God. Take a minute to tell him what you are doing that day, what you did the day before, or how you feel right now.
8.Keep the journal prayer easy, one to three paragraphs is enough.

What verses do you read when you are seeking help from God?

Do you have a plan that has helped you?

Comment below or send me an email. I would love to hear your ideas!

 

 

When A Creative High Is Reduced To An Emotional Low

The embers of a dynamic week burned quietly in the back of my mind. I slowly made myself get out of bed. My mind felt confused and discouraged. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was actively and confidently facing my world.

I had an extremely productive and demanding week. It felt great! I was focused. I knew what needed to be done and when it should be done. I created some awesome stuff and I met a demanding deadline. Thursday and Friday were extremely stressful and rewarding. Late Friday evening my work was accomplished. Great, now I can get on with life. We will have a wonderful Saturday as a family doing a little cleaning and a lot of playing. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

I woke up Saturday morning completely drained. I had lost all focus, any sense of purpose was gone. I was down and felt very discouraged.

It was as if the rug had been pulled out from under my joyful, productive world.

What do you do when you are on a creative, physical, spiritual, or emotional high, then the bottom drops out?

 

Here are three things to help you recover.  

  1. Rest and get good nutrients. Take a nap and eat a nourishing meal. Your body is recovering from the stress and demands you have placed upon it and will need the physical rest and nourishment.
  2. Try to reach outside of yourself for help. If you are confused and discouraged the resolution to your problem will not come from your own thoughts. Look at what has helped you in the past. What gives you hope? What has eased your mind in the past? Here are some things that I reach for that are outside of my own thinking.
    • God’s word. It is my lifeline. It does not beat me down as my mind will do. My thoughts pull me away from intimacy with God. It pulls me closer to God even if I am still discouraged.
    • Music. Listen to something uplifting. This is not the time to listen to “Lonely” (by Akon). It does not matter how cute the Chipmunks sing you will be pulled into the isolation of the lyrics. The point is whatever your style of music stay away from the songs that suck you into down or depressive emotions.
    • A movie. Ok, it may not help to escape and watch TV all day long. However a good inspiring drama, comedy, or fast paced action movie may help. Just don’t pick the tear jerker.
    • Essential oils. My favorite to reach for is lemon. It is uplifting and helps pull me out of sadness. Lavender, peppermint, and lemon work well together to relax your mind and rejuvenate a tired soul. Some other good choices are Ylang- Ylang, lime, and Balance from Doterra essential oils. Put the lemon or lime in water. The lavender, lemon, and peppermint is taken in a capsule or with water. Ylang Ylang and Balance can be applied topically on your feet or over your heart. 2 to 5 drops each a few times a day. Check out Essential oils.
    • Get out of your environment. Go for a walk in your neighborhood or at a park. Take your family out somewhere to get ice cream or coffee.
    • Read or listen to something you want to learn about. Reach for a good book or listen to a podcast. There are many inspiring things to listen to on iTunes
  3. Remember this is not you. You are in a recovery zone. You will get through this. If you had surgery you would not expect to be better the next day. You would have to lay back, take it easy and rest. This is a similar process. You will get back up and continue moving forward. You just may need to rest and be refreshed today.

Acknowledging your feelings is one of the first steps to overcoming.

Question: What do you do to get out of a low? I would love to hear what helps you! Comment below.

 

 

3 Signs of Personal And Spiritual Growth

“Is that you, wow, I don’t remember you looking that big,” said my very considerate husband as we looked at some of my pregnancy pictures. Picture capture our appearance. We know our appearance changes with time. We age and get wrinkles. Hair and clothes style change, but what about personal and spiritual growth. Pictures do not capture these forms of growth. How do we see personal and spiritual growth, or lack thereof?

 

3 signs of personal growth

1. An understanding of one’s self

Personal growth is evident in the understanding of one’s self. It is in knowing that you are made in the image of God and you have worth. It is in viewing your intellect and your body as gifts from God that He personally gave you for his glory and service.

 

2. Acceptance of strengths and weaknesses

Personal growth is portrayed in accepting your strengths and weaknesses. In the ability to say that it is ok that you are not good at certain things that that is not how God designed you. You have distinct strengths that he expects you to use. You were also given weaknesses from birth and training. You may never be coordinated or get rid of cellulite, however, you may increase your weak cooking abilities or poor listening skills. It is in the acceptance that we can grow to maturity in our person.

 

3. A challenged mind

Personal growth is manifest in one’s ability to challenge their self. It takes forcing yourself out of your comfort zone and challenging your spirit to learn new things. In this challenging, your person is matured as you enlarge the borders of your mind. Stepping outside of your comfort zone takes a complacent heart and starts a flame.

 

3 signs of spiritual growth

 

1. A sense of purpose

A sign of spiritual growth is having a sense of purpose. As we grow spiritual we become more like Christ. When Christ was on this earth he knew who he was and knew his purpose. As we grow spiritually and become like Christ our purpose will show with greater clarity.

 

2. Acknowledgement that God is in Control and I do not have to understand

Our response to suffering and circumstances is a way to pin point spiritual growth. When things go wrong are we still fighting God and accusing Him of wrong. Spiritual growth is acknowledging He is in control and I do not have to understand what he is doing.

 

3. Increased love and compassion for others

Are we looking to the needs of others with love and care. Our eyes of condemnation will turn to eyes filled with the love of Christ as we spiritually grow. The same bad thoughts will not be evident as we become more Christ like. Our compassion will increase as we grow in grace.

 

3 signs of a stagnated spirit.

 

1. Preoccupied with control

A soul that is stagnate is a person who is preoccupied with maintaining control of their circumstances. As long as you continue to control your circumstances personal or spiritual growth will not happen. This atmosphere is not conducive for growth. It is suffocation and brings deterioration.

 

2. Guilt driven

A person who is driven by guilt is stuck and unable to move into growth. Guilt over the past is the main focus for today’s problems and events. This guilt-driven mind game damages growth as it hinders us from trusting God with our past and our future. Keeping us tied to the past and old ways of thinking.

 

3. Manipulative of others

A person who manipulates others to get their way is trapped in a state of no growth their obsession on keeping others righteous is a number one priority in their mind. An individual will not experience personal or spiritual growth as long as their focus is on other people.

 

How have you grown personally and spiritually? Is there a difference or are you stuck in a place of stagnation?

As we look back there should be signs of growth that cry out as evidence of change

 

Question: How are you different in your personal life or spiritual life and what caused your growth? Comment below. I look forward to reading part of your story!

When You Are Far From Amazing

I smiled as I read the heart felt words from a previous valentine. My daughter had found an old card and she was beaming as she laughed at the song it played. It was the perfect card from my husband, Stephen. When you opened the card you heard the tune “Anything you want you got it.” It fits our relationship perfect. He teases that I always get what I want and well I cannot deny it’s truth. He simply signed the card “You’re amazing.”

After I had smiled at seeing the words, I cringed deep in my heart. Just yesterday I was far from amazing. Yesterday we had a major blow out. By blow out I mean, I behaved badly and my husband took it, for the most part. Oh, God why do I do that? Why, do I allow my behavior and emotions to get out of control?

Why is it the things we are so set on accomplishing, so often become the things we neglect. “For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do (Romans 7:19).”

It is as if the war is being fought in our soul. An all-out fight to the death for who will come out victorious.

It is a battle! A struggle between a successful life and defeated life. The battle is fought in the mind and played out in the areas that are most important.

“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death (Romans 7:22-24)?”

As Christian women here are 3 ways to overcome this battle of the mind.

1. Acknowledge your actions.

Sometimes we look at things that happen and we regret that it happened without getting to the place of admitting we personally were in the wrong. Recognizing what you did as wrong goes beyond making things right or deciding to never do something like that again. It reaches a level of truth that is hard to admit.

2. Resist justifying your actions.

This point is major. It is so hard to not justify what happened. In almost every action, there are reason why that was a good choice or a necessary choose.

I yelled at my kids, but I had to they were so disobedient. It was their fault.

I was angry at my husband, but I had to be he was so inconsiderate of my feelings. It is his fault.

I did not do what I told God I would do, but I tried life is too hard. It is Gods fault for not helping.

I did not finish needed work, but I can’t be expected to when I have so many other responsibilities. It is not my fault it is life is too hectic.

Justifying our behavior keeps us tied to the behavior. Refusing to justify our behavior and attitudes prepares our mind for growth.

3. Look outside of yourself for power.

What is your first reaction when you know you have done something you acknowledge is wrong? If you are an average woman your reaction is probably similar to mine. “I will do better next time.” You reach out and muster up some much needed will power. However again if you are like me your will power fails more than it succeeds.

To find help that is powerful enough to help with the struggles of the mind you need to look outside of yourself for the answer.

As Christian women, we have an answer. We have a power that is greater than the internal wars we fight. That answer is Jesus Christ. “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 7:24-25a)”

Turn to Christ and literally ask for help and guidance.

4. Reconcile the wrongs committed.

Seek to make right any wrongs you have committed. This reveals the seriousness of your heart to do right. It is a humbling experience to admit wrong before another.

a. Look for to God for forgiveness. Go before God admitting your wrong and ask Him to forgive you. We know he will because he promises to in His Word.

b. Go to anyone who was affected by your actions and seek personal forgiveness. We are not promised forgiveness if we do this, but we have a better chance at restoring hurt relationships if we do. We should do this even if the other person involved is not mad at us. It will clear our conscience and help us never want to do that again.

5. Escape guilt.

Once these steps have been taken we will begin another battle in our mind, this time it will be with guilt. This guilt will make us feel horrible with what happened, especially if it something that has occurred more than once. This battle will defeat future growth as it ties us to the past.

In Christ, we do not have to live with the guilt. He offers freedom and restoration. He does not hold us down and continue to punish us as our mind will.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).”

We have freedom in Christ to overcome these battles in our mind. Will you turn to Him today for the help you are longing to receive?

 

Question: What changes are you making in your life where you are relying on the power of Christ to overcome? Answer below in the comments section.

 

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My Story

My story is a story of love and hard work. It is a story of a life filled with passionate service. It is a story of passionate faith lost in the demands of life. It is about hopelessness and depression. It is about fear and loss. It is a story of Christ and His persistent guidance. It is about forgiveness and new faith. It is about an ordinary woman finding purpose and fulfillment.

I was one of seven born and raised farmhands. We all worked hard on our tobacco farm, in East Tennessee. My Daddy most of all. He worked a full-time job and a full-time farm.

He did not live a passionate life of faith during my early years, we did go to church, but mostly we just worked hard. It was a simple, hard, and good life.

Something change in my Dad’s heart when I was 15. He began to passionately live out his faith. I watched him leave his farm and everything he knew to follow God. He did not know it was the end of his life. He did not know he only had two years, but God did. God called him out to serve and my Dad answered the call.

He could have died in the tobacco patch. Instead, God gave him the gift of service. He died while loading missionary supplies for the Philippines. If you go to the Philippines today you will find a building named the Rudy Walters distribution center.

I wish I could say I followed his lead and lived a passionate life of service.

I began my adult life with high and lofty dreams. I dreamed of service. Of living only from what God provided and reaching numerous people, in His name.

Then real life set in. It was not as bold or daring as I had hoped. It was much harder. It was not as exciting as the dreams I created in my thoughts. Life with a husband and babies just was not as fulfilling as reaching people with the message of Christ, or helping the poor.

Slowly I let go of my passionate faith. It was easier to resign my faith than to believe it was not being used.

I began to walk through the throes of everyday life. I struggled with depression and hopelessness. Battled money problems, weight gain, family members using drugs, and disorderly children. I felt like life was too much. It was just too hard. Where was the purpose and meaning that was supposed to come with serving Christ. Being and adult was more difficult than I had ever imagined.

The passionate faith I had known dwindled in my life as I struggled to know was God there? Did He even care about me and my problems?

I continued to follow Christ. I could not get away from Him. I kept the burning in my soul stifled with the needs and problems of real life. I quietly sat back and submitted to life. I dared not dream for fear of rejection.

God did not give up. He was with me all the time. He was with me on that spiritual seesaw as I learned to look to him for everything. He was there as I learned to quite myself, in his silence, in the center of my tantrums. He held me in my hopelessness as I fought depressive tendencies. He showed me my heart so that I could know I needed Him.

He calmly taught me to rest in Him. It was in this learned rest that my heart began to believe. My faith grew and flourished in that place of resting. I began to realize that Jesus was enough. He was enough for life. He was enough to get excited about, he was enough for life.

That is what I want you to experience. That Jesus Christ is enough for life. That you can believe Him and rest your mind with Him, and in that resting you can find a passionate faith that is worth living out every day, A faith that is good enough for real ordinary life.

Question: What is your dream? What would you do today if nothing stood in your way?