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In Quietness and Trust

“For this is what the master, the LORD, the Holy One of Israel says: “If you repented and patiently waited for me, you would be delivered; if you calmly trusted in me you would find strength, but you are unwilling.” Isaiah 30:15

“How are you doing?” my sweet friend asked me a couple days ago. In that setting and at that moment I knew she was asking in a genuine, tell-me-how-you-really-are kind of way. Within two seconds my guard came down and I shared my heart with her.

I began to tell her that not too many days before that, I had shed some tears over all the emotions running through me and in that moment, though all I wanted to do was text or call my closest friends, instead, I talked everything out with Jesus and it was good. It was one of those moments that I knew turning to anything else but Him would have been worthless and nothing anyone would have said would have been helpful. It wasn’t a self-pity moment; it was an honest, this-is-where-I’m-at-Lord conversation that was passed its due date. Thankfully, our emotions don’t define our relationship with Christ, but they are a part of our relationship with Him.

Looking back, I think He just wanted me for Himself.

I confessed to her that for no good reason, I’ve apparently lost my ability to write anything the past few months. That the thought of writing a blog post is nearly daunting and the little blue “W” icon at the bottom of my computer stares blankly at me all day long. That every time I start clicking on the keyboard, I get a few paragraphs in and end up trashing the whole thing because it’s just not good, or helpful, for lack of a better word.

Looking back, I think He just wanted me for Himself.

I shared with her that for the first time ever in my life, as I’m discerning who I can trust with the secrets of my heart, I’ve kept my mouth shut. That somewhere along the way I’ve seemed to have lost all communication capabilities that include both small talk and deep talk and that’s a quandary for someone who is usually an open book.

Looking back, I think He just wanted me for Himself.

I admitted to her that it has been a disheartening season, somewhat lonely, and I don’t know how to communicate that to someone without sounding like a Debbie Downer, but it’s my reality. That sometimes (ahem, most times) in ministry you don’t have it all together but somewhere along the way I’ve believed the lie that people expect you to have it all together. When in reality, people relate to your messiness, not your perfection.

Looking back, I think He just wanted me for Himself.

In the middle of the conversation the word silent struck a chord and I realized that’s exactly the season I’ve been in. A quiet season. Me and Jesus. And you know what? That’s okay. While our temptation is to flee the seasons we loathe, sometimes even the ability to put vocabulary to our seasons helps us to be content while moving us a step forward.

In my own life, and maybe I’m not alone, I’m really good at multi-tasking. I can pour out my heart to both God and man and I enjoy doing both. But over and over again we’re told to pour out our hearts to God, for HE is our refuge, not man. Somewhere along the way I’ve adopted the idea that as I’m waiting on God, I feel that sharing my heart to others will fix it; that in striving for someone to just hear me, all will be well, but it’s in resting in the shadow of the Almighty, in quietly whispering to Him my innermost thoughts that He renews me. Often living in the shadow means that you’re out of sight; and in our flesh we equate out of sight with out of mind, but that’s a lie. Because you and I are safest in His shadow, in quietly waiting on Him, because sister, I can guarantee that you and I are never off of His mind.

Maybe our most profound seasons looking back will be the one’s where it was just you and Jesus, just me and Jesus, because those are the seasons He’s doing a new thing. Those are the intimate seasons no one can take from you. It’s those seasons that you couldn’t explain to someone if you tried. Though we may looked detached, we are more attached to our Creator than ever, and there is joy!

Like my friend shared with me that evening, “Sometimes if we’re seeking and asking the Lord to speak to us and He appears to be quiet, it may be because He just wants to be with us.”

And if I’m learning one thing right now, it’s learning to calmly trust Him.

Looking back I can see clearly now, He’s wanted me for Himself.

And it is well with me.

“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62: 1-2, 5-8

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LPL Denver Tickets for You and a Friend

Hey Ladies! And Happy Monday from LPM! We hope you had a most excellent, refreshing weekend.

This coming weekend we have LPL in Denver, Colorado and just this morning, Beth gave us a tiny glimpse into her message and needless to say, my mind is spinning. Are any of you planning on going this weekend? I’ll be praying for you and can’t wait to see and hear all the Lord does!

In keeping with our new initiative, we have some tickets set aside and available for you to give to some friends you might want to invite to an LPL event. They might not even attend church, or know Jesus as Savior;  they might be new to faith, or simply less discipled in the Word. Listen, if the Lord puts someone on your heart that might be interested and blessed by going, by all means call them up and invite them. You never know what kind of investment you’re making in their life!

If you have someone in mind that can attend with you, or if someone told you about free tickets and pointed you to our blog, or if you stumbled across this blog and don’t know why, just call and ask for Kimberly here at the ministry and she will get you set up: 1-888-700-1999. (Not 800.)

Oh, that our people would taste and see that Jesus is good; that they would be willing to enter in even if just for 24 hours to hear that Jesus DOES exist, HE IS the Savior, and He is LIFE!  If while inviting a friend you need a ticket yourself, we want to gift you a ticket also.

Y’all are dear to us.

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Siesta Summer Bible Study 2014 Gathering 4!

Hi Siestas!

I love you girls and am so thankful for you. I just saw a whole room full of you right after Living Proof Live Lubbock and you are the cutest things I’ve ever seen. What an honor to serve you.

We are sailing through our study! I’m praying that you are able to carve out time for your homework and that whatever you are able to accomplish is speaking clearly and personally to you. His Word does not return to us empty. My biggest hope is that you have a deep sense of walking out these eight weeks side-by-side with Jesus. That is everything. That is the goal.

2014 Siesta Summer Bible Study Session 4 from LPV on Vimeo.

Can you believe that we are already at our fourth gathering? Only one more to go and we’re finished! Here are the bare bones of your instructions in case you are unable to view the video:

 

Today, for our small group discussions and solo responses, get out your workbook with me and turn to pages 120 and page 121 for discussion from Week 5.  At the bottom of page 120, I just love Eugene Peterson’s translation of I Thessalonians 5:4-8 from The Message. You would have read in your homework:

But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.

With that in mind, glance at the question in the middle of page 121. Your discussion question from Week 5:

  • What one event in your life shook you to your most awakened state?

If you’re willing and it’s not too painful to share, please tell us about it.  If you feel a little lulled to sleep in this present season, then discuss that.  Talk about a way that you really need the Lord to awaken you with His Spirit to His Word and to His presence and His activity in your proximity.
Our discussion for Week 6 takes place on pages 142-143.  I’m so anxious to hear from you about this week of study because it’s all about mobilized ministry. I am hoping that you have written your name in the blank in the statement on the middle of page 142. You have a God-ordained ministry, Sister!

 

Notice the words on page 143: No one else can fulfill your calling. Other people can do what you’ve been called to do, but they cannot be you doing it. Maybe you know someone with the exact same gift mix. Fabulous! Be great friends with them and rejoice in the camaraderie, but keep in mind that each of you bring something unique to the mix. They cannot be you! And you cannot be them!

  • Did you get any insight in your calling for this season? If so, what? Share that in your comment to this post, and with your small group if you’re taking part in one.
  •  What do you look like when you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? (page 145)  What do you want to do most when you’re filled with that holy fire?

 

I can’t wait to read many of your comments! I love to see women step further into their God-ordained callings.

 

Now for our memory verses!

Memory Verse for Week 7:
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (ESV) – Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

 

Memory Verse for Week 8:
2 Thessalonians 3:3 (ESV)- But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

 

So your homework for this next few weeks is to finish up the final two weeks of study, Weeks 7 & 8!  Our video greeting next time will be our wrap up!  Get after it!

 

I’m nuts about you.

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A Salsa Delivery Plus a Little LPL Recap for You

Good afternoon, ladies! I usually try to have the recap up before noon, if possible, but this morning we were caught off-guard by a special delivery that arrived to the office.

You see, Friday evening Beth was greeted in Lubbock, Texas with what she would call the salsa of her life. Salsa, as in the yummy goodness you dip your chip in, not the dance.  She spoke out about it on Twitter and nearly announced that she’d marry it, if that were possible. We Texans are a little passionate about chips and salsa, in case you were wondering.

See tweet on Exhibit A:

She was so passionate about said salsa, that she introduced it to the ladies attending the LPL.

Fast forward to this morning when we had a visitor ring the doorbell at the office. As usual, my coworker Kimberly went to see who was here when she was greeted by a man with a lot of boxes. At this point, sitting in my second-floor office, all I hear is the word, “SALSA!” loudly exclaimed!

To those of us who didn’t attend the conference (which was all our Staff), we were a little confused until this man told us that he was delivering salsa to us as a gift to Beth for making such a big deal out it. He was the salsa angel! And low and behold, it was HIS salsa. He stopped by LPM on his way to make a delivery at our neighborhood HEB!

Exhibit B: Salsa Delivery Man!

Needless to say, this very day, we enjoyed some chips and salsa alongside our lunch. And we are ever so grateful.

Moral of the story: You never know what might show up at the Living Proof offices. Next time I want something in bulk, I might just have Beth tweet about it. Of course, I’m only kidding. Grin.

And last but certainly not least, here is this weekend’s recap. It is an excellent visual of, I’m sure, an even more Spirit-filled weekend.

Living Proof Live | Lubbock from LifeWay Women on Vimeo.

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It Is Well

While I haven’t personally taken any punches to the gut this week, nearly everyday I’ve heard from certain friends who are just going through it, you know what I mean? We all have those days and weeks, and quite frankly, we do everything in our might to avoid pain, conflict and hurt, but at the end of the day, we’re still humans living in a fallen world and though we strive for perfection, we’ll never attain it here on earth.

It’s hard to form the right words when you really don’t know what to say, which is why I appreciate music so much. So often I’m at a loss for how to articulate what I’m feeling when boom, I hear a song that could make me weep because it so resonates. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of person that throws a song at somebody the minute something goes awry. Not in the least.  But you better believe sometimes I get back in my car and turn on said song and pray it over my friends, and myself, too.

That happened as recently as yesterday.

I got in my car and turned on Bethel’s newest version of It Is Well. In case you were curious, yes, it is a version of the hymn It Is Well, which I am sure many of you know so well.

But if you’ve not heard it, please allow me to share the lyrics with you.

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard



Through it all, through it all

My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me



Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea



So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name 



It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

It would be worth $1.29 on iTunes to purchase.

At times, life is not without pain. But the beauty is that the pain is not without purpose, even if we keep trying to make sense of it and we can’t. Even if we can’t see what in the world He is doing. That’s when we remember that even the winds and waves know His name. He sees our brokenness. He knows our hearts.

I have no idea what kind of season you are walking through right now. It could be full of joy. It could be full of unknowns. It could be full of pain. It could be full or laughter. It could be full of tears. I don’t know, but the God of the universe does know. And one thing is for sure: it is full of purpose.

Know this weekend that you are dearly loved by God, my Sister.

“Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.” Psalm 51:17

“If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.” Psalm 34:18

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LPL Lubbock Tickets for You and a Friend

Is there any Monday worse than after a three day weekend? I submit that there is not. Those weekends are such a tease, in the best way possible. My computer even realizes it’s a Monday because my internet keeps going in an out, hence this post coming later in the day. Anyway, we hope you all had a terrific weekend with family and friends celebrating our country’s freedom, eating hotdogs, and hopefully getting to see a few fireworks.

Coming up this weekend is Living Proof Live in Lubbock. This conference is being hosted in our very own state, albeit nine hours away from Houston, but we’re still excited and looking forward to it. Beth has her head in her Bible studying away with joy for you ladies that will attend.

You might notice I didn’t use the word “giveaway” in the title of the post because I think there may be some confusion. I’ve gotten a few emails and comments from folks who think they’re entering a drawing, when in fact, there is no drawing to be entered. Per our new initiative, we have 50 tickets available for you to give to some friends you might want to invite to an LPL event. They might not even attend church, or know Jesus as Savior;  they might be new to faith, or simply less discipled in the Word.

If that’s you and you have someone in mind that can attend with you, or if you stumbled across this blog and don’t know why, just call and ask for Kimberly here at the ministry and she will get you set up: 1-888-700-1999. (Not 800.)

As we were reminded this morning in our staff devotional, this is your chance to invite somebody to “come and see”, and taste and see that the Lord is good.  If while inviting a friend you need a ticket yourself, we want to gift you a ticket also.  Likely someone who wouldn’t step foot in a church also wouldn’t step foot in an arena with thousands of ladies she’s never met.  Say “come sit with me!”

We love y’all.

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The Day I Became a Food Diva

Food makes us unique. Am I right or am I right?

Sometimes we hate it, sometimes we love it. Some of us live to eat (that would be me) and some of us eat to live (those would be those that view food as fuel for your body and that’s it). Our lives revolve around food and the table. It’s where community happens. To eat in front of somebody is an intimate thing, and not always so attractive, if I do say so myself. Food is so central to our living.

A couple years ago for some medical reasons my roommate was put on a yeast free diet. Let me put that into simple laymen terms: IT MEANS NO BREAD OR SUGAR. OR ANYTHING GOOD IN LIFE.  None. Zip. Nada. Not for you. To support her, we joined her in this adventure. We literally went through our refrigerator and pantry and gave away anything and everything with yeast in it to remove temptation. People thought we were crazy, and well, we did too. We went to the store and never made it out of the produce section except for a brief jaunt to the meat counter to pick up some grass-fed protein. One look into our shopping cart and we looked like three health nuts.

And it was nuts. And horrible in every way. Just imagine three girls living together while simultaneously not eating BREAD or SUGAR. Or anything good and noble. For a week, we were the three hangry (where hunger and anger collide) roommates. It’s a miracle we made it out still liking each other. I have sympathy for you that have to endure a gluten-free life or some other dietary restrictions for health reasons. I wish it were different for you in every way.

We made it one week before her doctor decided maybe she should take a different route because it was really, really, really hard . You may have heard the angels singing when I received a text one day saying the detox had officially ended. A big sigh of relief. Only problem was we still didn’t have any good food in our home. Lame.

We resumed our normal, mainly healthy eating with a bowl of ice cream and some thin mints thrown in every now and then. Life was good.

Fast forward three years to today. For 28 days I’ve put myself on a detox with a few of my coworkers that includes no caffeine, no dairy, no sugar, and no social life.

I’m kidding. But really.

The first three days I hated myself. My head felt like it was going to explode and all I wanted was an iced latte from Starbucks. (I’d be lying if I said I haven’t craved one every day since. But the cravings, well, they’re getting a little better.) While it’s not been near as rough as the yeast free torture, it’s still a lot of preparation and more often than not, while our co-workers head off to Mexican food for lunch, we stay back and eat our lettuce wraps. It’s all so appetizing, really.

Yesterday, however, we decided to join our coworkers at lunch. We discussed just eating a salad at said restaurant, but then decided it wouldn’t be worth it to pay $9 for one when we had all the supplies to make it ourselves and bring it along. So that’s exactly what we did. Seems legit, right?

That is until the table was served their food and simultaneously while Melissa had just asked me how it was going and I was feeling really positive about the entire 28 days, each of us pulled a paper plate (mine was particularly mangled) and a Ziploc baggie with our own hand tossed salad inside and dumped it on our ever so fancy paper plates IN A RESTAURANT.

Did you hear me? The three divas took a paper plate and a Ziploc baggie of salad and lost all of our dignity. And we died laughing while my face turned the color of a tomato. (Tomatoes, incidentally, were not allowed on this Phase.)

Food makes you do weird things, y’all. And sometimes instead of sharing our opinions on certain matters, or our circumstances that are getting us down, we just need to share the funny things in life. The random moments. The things that make us laugh until we cry.

Please tell me we’re not alone and that you’re weird too. I’m certain I’ll feel a little more sane.

Also, tomorrow is the 4th of July. I’m proud to be an American. And I’ll be proud to eat a hotdog. Or a hamburger. Or whatever food our country feasts on. And I won’t feel bad about it in the least.

Happy almost 4th of July, friends. I hope you celebrate with lots of cookies, chips, hotdogs, hamburgers, guacamole and maybe even a cake. Grin.

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Siesta Summer Bible Study 2014 Gathering 3!

Hey Everyone! We’ve made it to Gathering 3 of our summer study! You guys are doing a fantastic job! The summer months are challenging for maintaining a discipline like in-depth Bible study. I’m tremendously blessed you’re carving out the time to take this journey with us and I am asking God to reveal His Son so powerfully to you through these pages.

SSBS Session 3 COTD from LPV on Vimeo.

If you have trouble viewing the video or simply have no time for it, here are the written discussions for you and your small group. Your answers will comprise your comments:

1. Turn to p.71 in  your Week Three homework and glance down the page at the two questions on the equations. First, if you wrote any additional “minus hindrance” equations, I’m dying to hear them. Don’t stress if you didn’t add one but share it if you did.  Second, were there two equations among those I listed in the lesson that resonated with you? If so, which ones and perhaps even why?

 

2. We’re going to do something a little different in response to Week Four. Instead of locking in on a specific question I posed in print during the week of homework, I want you to choose any day that from that week that God emphasized with you. In other words, did one day of homework stick out the most to you in your journey with Christ? If so, which one and why? Feel free to take a full paragraph in your comment to answer this question since it’s a big one.

 

The video for Session Five, which is completely optional in our summer study, goes into the portion of scripture that addresses healthy sexuality. If this topic resonates with you, you might consider downloading this particular session. (All of the teaching sessions can be found by clicking here.) In this session, I introduce the 28-Day Challenge, which can also be found in your workbook on pages 112-113. The rest of the study stays focused on the remaining chapters and wide range of topics found in 1st and 2nd Thessalonians but the 28-Day Challenge comes with much love to anyone who could use some help getting on a path of victory in the area of sexuality. You would do the 28-Day Challenge and the remaining 4 weeks of the study simultaneously. The 28-Day Challenge is primarily Scripture-focused prayer and would only add a few minutes to your homework. Those few minutes could be the difference between victory and defeat in an area strategically targeted by the enemy. I love you and I’ve been there. I deeply want you to know the dignity and honor of Christ’s gracious will for you.

OK!! For our next gathering in 2 weeks, please complete the homework assignments in Weeks Five and Six of the study! Here are your memory verses:

 

Week Five Memory Verse: (Our title verse! We have to do this one!)
“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5 ESV

 

Week Six Memory Verse:
“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11 ESV

 

Thank you for the privilege to walk with you through these eight weeks of study. PERSEVERE!!! You are already halfway! So much love to you.

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LPL Biloxi Recap!

Thank you, David Lowe, for this excellent recap! And Happy Monday to you all! Let us hear from you if you were in Biloxi this weekend. I have a feeling it was a sweet weekend!

Living Proof Live | Biloxi from LifeWay Women on Vimeo.

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LPL Biloxi Ticket Giveaway for You and a Guest – Updated: Tickets are now gone!

Hey ladies! My word how has it been a week since we’ve said hello here? I’ve sat down to write a post for you every day and then I get interrupted to never return. It’s just been one of those weeks! Please forgive us! Two important things that might be of interest to you are: 1) Beth is on her way to Biloxi as we speak. It’s been raining cats and dogs here today and we’ve had quite the summer thunderstorms, so would you join us in praying her there safely and quickly? 2) We have officially given all of our tickets away. Praise God! Girls, I hope you are prepared to get yourself a WORD this weekend because that is exactly what is coming your way. May the Spirit fall on each of you! We’re praying for you and can’t wait to hear all about it!

 

 

Happy Friday, ladies!

A week from today the Biloxi Living Proof Live will kick off! I’m curious to know how many of you are already planning on attending? Last I heard, this is the teams first event in Biloxi, so they’re excited. Fresh ground to plow and hopefully, some fresh faces to serve.

As you know by now, we’ve changed up our ticket giveaway, which is why I’m posting it on a Friday as opposed to a Monday or even the day before an event. Our hope is that the earlier the better! We realize we’re asking you to invite friends and family to the events whether or not you are able to attend yourself, which takes a little bit of planning, hence the Friday post, but still only a week out from the event!

To reiterate our new vision, our desire and ongoing emphasis this year is toward those who may not know Christ at all, or maybe have never been discipled in His Word.  Young, old, friend, or family, we welcome them.  If while inviting them to attend, you yourself also need a ticket, then we by all means want to help you go.

With that said, we have some Biloxi tickets that are just waiting to be claimed. And they will be here until the last one is accounted for.  If you aren’t near Biloxi, keep in mind upcoming LPL’s near you: 2014 Schedule. Just call and ask for Kimberly here at the ministry, and she will get you set up: 1-888-700-1999

We love you here at LPM.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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