The Baffling Calling to Communicate

I’ve been thinking about something since a week ago Saturday that I’m not sure I can articulate well. I’m going to give it a shot, though. Over the couple of years we’ve shared this community, I’ve seen enough of you refer to teaching Bible studies or speaking at retreats or to various groups that it may, should God care to use it, answer a few questions. Or, then again, it could more likely save you the energy of asking them. Some things are just a mystery.

Like callings.

And grace.

And how much of an accomplished work has anything to do with human vessels or are we of no consequence whatsoever. The question is not, could God use anybody? We know that’s a yes. It’s not even, does God prefer weakness so He can show Himself strong? That’s also a clear yes. What’s less clear is how much that “weak-anybody” has one iota’s bearing on what God does with him from then on. And, what are the differences between the times we are called upon by God to labor intensely toward a victory with every last ounce of energy we have (Colossians 1:29) and times when we just stand there and watch God do the thing like we weren’t even there. Or maybe we see nothing happen at all and go home in near despair, only for somebody to drop a note to us and say, “God spoke the word to me that day that I’ve waited all my life to hear.” Sometimes they quote what they heard and you know good and well it wasn’t you who said it. God talked around you instead of through you.

So, what part is God and what part is man? Twenty-five years in, I have no idea. And, I’m just weird enough to be strangely exhilarated by the fresh pulsation that I don’t. Yes, of course, we’re told to walk worthy of our callings (Ephesians 4:1) but could we walk worthy enough to enjoy a consistent, full-throttle Presence and anointing?

I doubt it.

If these are simple questions with simple answers, you may not have been around this bend often enough yet. Ask some folks who’ve spent decades at podiums like Kay Arthur, Anne Graham Lotz, Louie Giglio, James McDonald, and a host of others the devil hasn’t yet harassed into quitting and they might agree that some things get more mysterious with time. Not less.

There are too many things that don’t make sense. For communicators who give one whit about being honest-to-God (I mean that literally) Spirit-led, filled, and anointed servants, there’s no finding a formula. There’s no learning how to hit and not miss. There is no exact list and order of Spiritual disciplines to practice. Fasting every Monday, for instance, may seem to be the key attraction of God’s favor for a while but it soon wears off and you consider whether or not to add Tuesday. Nothing “works” every time. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in fasting. I’m just saying that, if you think you can use it to induce God’s unwavering favor, you’re probably going to get pretty hungry. There is no secret PIN number for His ATM. It’s God’s safeguard for keeping us from being more committed to our disciplines than to Him.

Here are a few other things I’ve learned about gifted speaking. There is no physical condition or best mood to be in. There is no amount of self-abhorrence, self-flagellation, competence or confidence to make you best suited for a mighty work of God. There is no perfect place, format, or group where “it” happens without fail. There is no type of message that never falls flat.  Or, there hasn’t been for me. There’s simply no outsmarting it. Absolutely no mastering it.

We’re splitting hairs here so stay with me until your mind gets good and muddled and only then will you get what I’m trying to say. To be sure, there are some basic ways we can cooperate with God for consistency and fruitfulness. Thank You, Lord. There are ways we can intentionally live our lives to His great glory and serve and love in His beautiful name. Bless You, Father. If not, in our earthbound wanderings, how ironically lost would we, the saved, be? But, as those who have the gall or call, responsibility or culpability to stand before a group of listeners, is there any way to insure that God will bless a message with a significant work of His Spirit?

I’m not talking here about manipulating God or trying to make Him behave. I’m not talking about trying to get Him to make you look good. I’m talking about the sheer attempt to prepare well enough, pray thoroughly enough, be humble enough (and not be proud of it) or do it all right enough in His eyes for Him to always perceptibly bless it. Honestly, there are just times when we disagree with God about what is best for Him.

What I’m talking about here is almost indefinable. I’d more easily be able to tell you how it feels than tell you what it is and yet sometimes it’s there and there’s no feeling it at all. Muddled yet? The closest I can come to naming it is God’s anointing and, if that’s the long and short of it, no wonder we can’t tame it or formulize it. The very nature of divine favor is that it is unmerited. And the very nature of God being God is that He is sovereign. As the Psalmist says, Our God is in the heavens and He does what He has pleased.

For the life of me I can’t figure out the common denominator tying together the times God really shows up. Two things are for certain. Sometimes He shows up without us even knowing it. Other times we’ll be positive He’s coming and later think He must have googled the wrong address.

This speaking thing is baffling. Beyond mastery.  It’s not for the fainthearted or the full-of-themselves. Unless a person is certifiably clueless or narcissistic beyond all hope of recovery, he or she will soon discover that what ego it builds, it also tears down. What wins out at the end of any given year is a total toss-up. In human reckoning, you could be brilliant one moment and a drooling fool the next. You can give the same message three times and the Holy Spirit hit like a lightning bolt, give it a fourth time with the same passion and authenticity and have it fall, to quote my grandmother, flatter than a flitter. I’ve never known what a flitter is but I am more than sure I’ve been flatter.

Think twice before you beg to be up front. This is the kind of thing you only want to do if you can’t keep from it. If God ever throws you up there, best to just keep your ego out of it. You can either be crucified to self or let God give you a good killing right in front of everybody. You better learn quickly and repeatedly that it’s not about you and that self-loathing is as self-absorbed as inordinate self-love. And, whatever you do, don’t get into the rut of letting your personal devotional time with God get supplanted by preparations to speak or teach. The enemy will put few subtler temptations in front of you. Every decent Bible student knows we reap what we sow but the tricky part is the sizable time gap that can occur between that sowing and reaping. When it stretches over a considerable amount of time, we think we’re getting away with it. Maybe God’s even blessing it. In His strange way, you may not see the fall-out of the loss of lively, daily relationship with Him for months but make no mistake. It’s coming. It’s a slow bleed and often you’re not aware that the lifeblood has left you until you are stone-cold dead. Thank goodness God has a penchant for resurrections. You better guard your intimacy with Him like your dying breath.

God’s love for us and our value before Him are insurmountable and unwavering. Our daughter-ship or son-ship is unconditional. His worthiness is unquestionable. Let me say that again. His worthiness is unquestionable. These are the things that must occupy us. These are the underpinnings of our security as His laborers in this harvest of souls. Things like our fitness or spiritual performance or numbers don’t just ebb and flow. They shake like a bottle of oil and vinegar duct taped to a jackhammer.

I’ve thought about this off and on for twenty years and two hundred reasons but I’ll tell you what brought it all up on this blog.

Remember last weekend’s simulcast? Those of you who participated may remember me saying that I’d had such big plans for it. As well as I know how to decipher it, not selfish or temporal plans. I honestly believed that so many women giving up their Saturdays were worthy of much deliberation, study, and preparation. And it goes without saying that God was worthy of those things and more. I felt like He must have been up to something strange and remarkably eternal to have put together numbers of women none of us could have anticipated. My plan was to give a profuse amount of time to preparation and illustration so that I could actually be familiar enough with my material not to do my usual thing. My normal approach is something like – let me think of a delicate word for it – regurgitation.  I seldom hit a platform unprepared but no one is going to accuse me of being impressively organized. For the most part, a thousand bites of information are swirling around like butterflies in my stomach and I just get up there and throw it all up.

The simulcast was to be the exception. I got home late the Saturday night before from a Living Proof Live in Florida and headed to church only to get a text from my firstborn, Amanda, telling me that her husband, Curtis, wasn’t feeling well and suspected something could really be wrong. In no time at all, he was in surgery with what his surgeon called an appendix that had gone off like a grenade. After sitting with Amanda at the hospital through the surgery, I moved into her house with my two beloved grandchildren and she moved into the hospital with her beloved man. That’s the way we spent the better part of four days.

Just like yours, our family comes first so I can honestly tell you that I had no second thoughts and, needless to say, not the least resentment. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything nor would I want to miss the next round. I have no intention of forfeiting my grandparent rights and responsibilities. I love Jackson and Annabeth like I love my own two daughters. Every minute I spent with them was my honor and joy and, yes, delightfully hard work. Every now and then I’d look up at the heavens and say something like, “Lord, I sure hope you’re preparing for Saturday while I’m keeping babies!”

And He was. He’s always faithful.

By late Wednesday night, Amanda took back the reins and her in-laws arrived first thing Thursday. At that point, my thoughts shifted totally to the simulcast. By Saturday morning, the Lord had graciously helped me prepare the two lessons. I was fine with them. Not fabulous with them but at peace. They were meaningful to me and appropriate for the occasion, I think, but, alas, not what I had planned. (Please don’t think I’m fishing for encouragement here. It would deflect severely from the point.)

This is where you come into the story. A few hours after the simulcast concluded Amanda called me and told me that comments were already coming in on the blog and that I ought to give them a glance. She thought I’d be blessed. I did and she was right, I was so thankful to God and was absolutely certain -100% – that anything of value was His doing. Then I came upon a comment I will never forget. It was posted at exactly 6:29. It said something like this: “I will always remember that we studied Ephesians 4:24 on 4/24.”  (April 24th) Somebody may as well have hit me in the head with a sledge hammer. I went completely slack-jawed and stared at those words over and over. It had never – not once – dawned on me that God had given me Ephesians 4:24 (which was our primary verse and the whole theme of the simulcast) for 4/24. He’d given that verse to me several months earlier to memorize then I began to feel that it was His leadership toward our gathering. Still, I’d never put the reference with the date. I wasn’t that clever but God surely was. Here’s the verse. See it from the point of view of the person who has decided to put her insecurity behind her:

“put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

He’d had it all along. Planned it to a tee. Didn’t mean for it to be complicated.  Wasn’t interested in a flawless delivery.  Didn’t even need it to be great. Any jar of clay would do because anything happening on the visible platform was virtually incidental…as long as it didn’t quench the Spirit. All God had in mind to do was cut through the layers of technology until we could see straight into the beating heart of the Gospel: Jesus Christ can change your life.

That’s it. Plain and simple.

I love the mysterious side of God. I love that we can’t figure Him out. I love that He honors us by choosing us and humbles us by not even needing us. I love that He is wholly beyond formulas and manipulations, because goodness knows I’m not.

I love Him.

So, what do we do with all of this since we don’t know one iota more than we did? Just keep doing what we’re called to do. In season. Out of season. When we feel good. When we don’t. Believe Him to do something huge. Trust Him when you can’t even tell He did something small. Keep your heart in it and your big head out of it.

He’s the only one who can make it happen. As for us, we don’t even know what “it” is.

“The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us.” Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT


504 Responses to “The Baffling Calling to Communicate”

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  1. 301
    pam says:

    I LOVE getting older and I LOVE everyone of my grey hairs and the wisdom that reflects….”Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” Proverbs 16:31 My great aunt who I know prayed me through the first 18 years of life….the one who taught me to lay it all out before Him each morning and then only take back up what He said was His plan for the day would be proud that I have learned I know very little without that flat on my face time with Him to hear His plans…cause every moment is new and I can NEVER think I know how it’s gonna go. It’s so cool cause it keeps me pressed in and dying to my own silly notions. This is the best part of old age…peace in the fact that “I DON’T KNOW”.

  2. 302
    Deborah Hipp says:

    The mysteries of God…surely He uses us and surely He is in control. I praise God his word has power all its own…I need that and count on that as I stand before the ladies I teach. I thank God in Christ Jesus for this.

    What I gather in my devotion to Him I hope and pray comes out in such a way that it draws women to hunger and thirst after Him in such a way that the satiation never happens. O to be energized with the calories gotten from the milk, meat, bread, of the Word and be given completely over to the resurrection power…there is nothing greater nor more satisfying!

    Beth, I have such a stirring within me for the body of Christ to KNOW God through His word! KNOW HIM! KNOW HIM…His Word is the final authority in faith and practice…the message of relativity has weakened the foundational truths…grace is provided to steer clear of lukewarmness…not to fall into it…God help the body of Christ to be found looking for and with great expectation welcome the time He gathers us together to take us home.

    I believe God plans in His calling the way in which we deliver the message…we can make the meal tasty, delicious, appealing to the eye and nutrious or just nutrious…His Word will do as He intended when He sends it out to do regardless I realize as well, but the presentation could either close the heart or open it more readily…I don’t know if this is making any sense either…I understand that the Holy Spirit does the work…O my, I see what you mean!!!

    Thank you for delivering/presenting in such a way the we eagerly and gingerly partake building us up to work the work of God in each of our lives.


  3. 303

    WOW!!! That’s all I can say

  4. 304
    Dee says:

    Wow! And Amen. I’m going to print this out and keep chewing on it. It’ll really resonate with my husband, who preaches weekly.

  5. 305
    Corie Weathers says:

    Thank you for this posting. My husband (a chaplain for the Army) is two weeks away from returning from a year long deployment to Afghanistan and as we begin to prepare to teach some marriage retreats for our families, this is a timely reminder of who is giving us the opportunity. I was there at the Simulcast, in Colorado Springs. I looked forward to that event for months (also because I was going to have childcare and a day to myself). I can tell you, no only did God speak to me, challenge me, and encourage me, but sat me next to a woman who is in charge of a new ministry at the church to reach out to the military community serving marriages and widows. Only God could have sat the two of us together, their vision is big, needed, and all I can say is God is opening the gates here at New Life Church and in a new season of ministry with my husband. So thank you for you honesty and persistence…

  6. 306

    I cannot think of words more in season for me right now. Exhausted, weepy, irritable, I have felt like a loser at everything I’ve been called to do the past several weeks. Thank You, Lord, for this wisdom straight from Your pen to my heart.

  7. 307
    jenny says:

    I got chillzzzz…there multiplyn’

  8. 308
    Michelle says:

    “Guard intimacy with Him like your dying breath.” Reminders of His Scripts to pray unceasingly…that stays on me today as all else flows from here on the floor at His feet. No formula, just here on the floor at His feet.

  9. 309
    Rachel says:

    Wow! Isn’t God great?

  10. 310
    Rhiannon Banks says:

    Beth I have never wrote to you on here but I found myself almost in tears reading about the 4/24 and Ephesians 4:24 thing. I was there on Sat. because I need to be secure for myself and to save my marriage and have already been through counseling. Anyway it was all God who got me there that day and I now have your book that I am reading slowly because I don’t want to finish it too fast. Thank you for being used of God to help all of us who are insecure.

  11. 311
    lori says:

    see God has a plan and sometimes he has to tie our hands so we will let his plan be our only choice.

  12. 312
    Amanda Stone says:

    How I needed to hear this. Teaching is a gifting I have been given. At times, it feels like a curse, but I KNOW it is actually an anointing from God himself. As I love these 7th graders everyday (I am a 7th grade teacher), I can only hope that there is a tinge of God’s character that is being formed in me and mirrored to them. Most of the time, these 8 hour school days feel like an emotional roller coaster (to say the least) that I willingly show up for in hopes that God uses me.
    Teaching a sunday school class of 8th-12th grade girls is my Sunday joy ride. Sometimes I care so much it hurts to see them run so hard from God. May God pour out his mercy on this tired teacher!
    The good news is God is still God. Thank you for the fresh perspective!

  13. 313
    Katie says:

    I trully believed during college, at a women’s conference in Arizona that God put the calling and desire to be a speaker in my heart. Since then He has taken me on one heck of a journey, a journey that no where in it contained any semblance of a speaking career. lol

    Recently it has come up again. I thought for sure I was gearing up for the calling. Then God revealed a few things to me. I have a major desire to be accepted by the world, to be important to the world, to be needed by the world. Then he introduced me to a new friend that the stuff she shared about her own difficult life took every self promoting pride in my ability to be a speaker or in my own sin, a “know it all” about how to speak into other people’s lives and He turned it upside down.

    Life is me ever learning and I have to die to self daily. I see in myself and others such a strong desire to be wanted and needed. We had that in the Garden of Eden and we lost the connection there but though the pure and purfect relationships shared there are lost to us today, God did not take the desire for them away from us. He desires for us to seek Him, to know it is again possible with Him and He trully desires the same with us. Satan and our sin nature work together to confuse that wonderful gift and turn it into a fruitless, lonely painful yearning focused at the world rather than the creator. God has gifted me with amazing friends, and amazing family but more importantly, He gifted me with an amazing intimate relationship with Him. I have to lay flat as a flitter ( 😉 ) at the foot of the cross daily just to remember that.

    I am thankful you have chosen to press on putting God first and I am thankful for this post as it is a treasure to me (though my comment doesn’t seem to have to much with your post…). God is shaping me, growing me and maturing me and I am thankful for each of the different gifts He gives me that brings me closer to an understanding of Him and maybe someday he will loosen my tongue up enough to rightly convey to others all that He has conveyed to me.

  14. 314
    Carola says:

    Just wondering when the DVD Bible study curriculum for So Long Insecurity will be available so we can start using it in women’s groups?

  15. 315
    Brandi says:

    Beth, I can’t even begin to wrap my head fully around this one because you have expressed something that just rings true to my heart. I’m a soloist in church and have found myself on several occassions wanting everything to be just right even before I agree to sing or even allow a song to be in my heart waiting to be sung (not sure if that even makes sense). Hello…insecurity. Sadly, I’ve let that get the best of me more times than I care to admit. What I’ve discovered through the years and as recently as yesterday, I can’t do it in my own strength. It is by Him, through Him and to Him. My job is to be the vessel. I need to be prepared, to be clean and to leave my pride in the dust. With all my heart, I want what God has laid on my heart to reach someone, but you know sometimes that someone is just me. Thank You, Lord, for not needing us, but allowing us to be a part of Your work. And thank you, Beth, for putting to words something that has rattled around in my head and heart for years.

  16. 316

    Oh My Word…you once again hit the nail on the head! I read through this post and had to pause and really ponder the words you had written.

    I am a speaker but I tend to stand back until He calls me. I’ve often times begged Him to take away this call, I know that sounds horrible, but let’s face it, it’s not easy and people can be down right mean sometimes.

    I love Him so much and love what I do that when those times come I lay it at His feet and He so gently loves me back to where He’s called me to be.

    Thank you so much for allowing Him to use you to bless others, AND more importantly for showing that it is ALWAYS Family First…by you not waivering in taking care of your family you continue to set an example for so many of us.

    Bunches of Love,

  17. 317
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you for these sweet, sweet words. They are so encouraging to me…I accepted a call a couple of months ago, confirmed without a doubt by scripture, that the public part of will not begin until the fall. Since that time, I feel so much temptation and sin in my thought processes. The thoughts that come to my mind have been horrible! Things I have never struggled with before. I feel so discouraged because I know God called me to this awesome ministry, and as soon as I accepted after His confirmation, and affirmed it through many routes, this yuck begins in my mind! I feel so much like Paul in Romans where he says I do those things I don’t want to do, etc. I confess every time because of my weakness in my flesh.

    I can’t blame it on the enemy – oh I know he has a part, but it is my own sinful nature. It is disgusting to me…after what my Lord did for me on the cross, the many pits He has brought me out of, the strongholds he has broken…now this.

    Please pray for me – I need strength to resist the temptations that are coming so strongly at this point. I want every thought to be captive to Christ – I so long for that. I don’t want these things in my mind! I do not want to disappoint my awesome Father! I know His grace and mercy are never-ending, but these struggles are so disappointing! I just want to serve Him to His glory! I have walked many places with the Lord, and have come into such freedom. This whole things has really caught me off guard and I just need His strength to work through it. I just want the thoughts not to come any longer! I just want His thoughts and words floating in my mind!

  18. 318
    Hilda says:

    Beth, this blog really spoke to me! It is fascinating to peak inside the world you live in – beyond my imagination how you juggle so much. Only with God. Makes my little world seem much more manageable. And all the while you’re keeping your schedule (makes my head spin!), I have witnessed up-close-&-personal your willingness to be “broken and spilled out” for those of us who get to rub elbows with you at church. Your genuine-ness and authenticity shine forth. I pray for you and your precious family and I thank my God for you, a blessing to SO MANY.

  19. 319
    Deb says:

    God spoke to me today through your post. I am so thankful to Him, and so very grateful to you for being willing to be poured out for the sake of His Great Name!

  20. 320
    Vickie L. Schmidt says:

    Beth – I just have to pass on to you the mose amazing story. I have been going through the “Jesus The One and Only” study with the ladies at my church. This morning as I was doing my homework I was on Week 5 Day 2. You challenged the reader to take time for intercessory prayer for someone who might be in a “hopeless situation”.
    My daughter has had 3 miscarriages. She was only able to have and carry her 7 year old daughter by using infertility drugs. About 2 months ago I told her to read and claim Isaiah 54 (Sing O barren one) as hers from the Lord.
    So as I was praying for her this morning I again claimed that verse for her and also the verse about children being a blessing and having a quiver full of them. I wrote down the date and time in my book after I finished praying.
    FIVE MINUTES later she called me and asked what I was doing. I told her I was doing my Bible Study and had just finished praying for her. She asked what I was praying for and so I told her about the study and how I had prayed. She told me she is pregnant and had blood work done yesterday.
    God is so good. He answered my prayer before it was said. I’m sitting here weeping as I write this. Now we just have to pray God will keep that little one save so he/she can grow strong. And then we can tell him/her of God’s providence in his (I’m believing for a boy) life.
    And we have to pray for my daughter-in-law who also has been trying to get pregnant for a year. That was the other half of my prayer this morning. I’ll keep you posted on that one. 🙂

  21. 321
    Kaila says:

    Wow! My heart is breaking and overjoyed at the same time. Thank you, Beth, for your honesty, and for putting into words everything my heart, and scripture, tells me. Thank you, also, for the convicting call to not let our preparation take the place of our personal time with the Lord. Being in ministry full time, it’s so easy to get rapped up in everything at church, preparing for the next week, that I lose track of my personal relationship. I can even see it deteriorating at times, but in my business still don’t do anything to change it. Thank you for once again, just like you were talking about, allowing yourself to be used by the Holy Spirit in my life. You and your personal time with the Lord are in my prayers today.

  22. 322
    Amanda Billings says:

    I was wondering if any of your Nashville “family/friends” have been affected by the flood?


  23. 323
    Amy says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. I needed that desperately! I have felt called to teach for such a long time and I feel like God has spent years, literally, preparing me for it. I’m still not ready…evidently. I feel like I’m going to bust wide open in SS class because I have such a need to teach! “Keep your heart in it and your big head out of it.” – I needed to hear that, Momma Siesta. Thank you for being so honest with us. We love ya for it.

  24. 324
    Vera says:

    Amen and Amen. It seems that the Lord just wanted you to be you, and not be caught up in loads of preparation, so He had to intervene in a big way. It is so obvious to those of us in the audience that you depend on the leading of the Lord in all these events, and that all those bits of information that gurgle around inside you come out like living water in the orchestration of the heavenly conductor. We sit and look at each other and just say…how does she put together all those sentences that make so much sense and she is completely off her notes!! Its obvious that it is not mechanically memorized, so it HAS to be the Spirit moving in you!!
    Being vulnerable to your Lord, held in His hand and led by His Spirit is what is working! Cannot wait to see where He directs you next.

  25. 325
    mercy4drew says:

    I am going to get my husband to read this.

  26. 326
    Debbie George says:

    Isn’t it awesome when a great plan comes together and you had nothing to do with it?!!! It just depends what He wants to accomplish and again He proves that He will use anyone or anything to do it despite ourselves … amazing

    love and blessings,

  27. 327
    Leah says:

    I really appriciate this post. I think that our expecatations of God (will this be great or not) are always a form of disappointment. We cannot figure him out…we cannot put him in a box, and we cannot humanize him. God is God because we can’t. If we could do any of those things, God would be just another man. I hope this is not taken the wrong way…but how this post hit me had nothing to do with communication…but every day life. I often find myself thinking “Lord, this quiet time with you is going to be remarkable” only to read and pray and study and figure out that God had something small to teach me that day. I do this over and over again with just about every area of my life. And it’s too easy to give up because I feel like I’M not getting what I want out of it..whatever IT may be. But what I want and what GOD knows I need are more often than not, 2 very different things. I cannot put him in a box…I cannot humanize him. He is God and if we continue to live for him loving him day by day, decision by decision, we will find that the “annointed” (for lack of better word)moments come at exactly the right time. And the small lessons do too.

  28. 328
    Chyrll says:

    I certainly found your post to be timely! I read this last night in Ray Stedman’s “Body Life” and wanted to share it with you, Beth. “Many of the most wonderful truths of God come packaged in a paradox, wrapped in a mystery.”

  29. 329
    Becky Henry says:

    Beth and Staff – First of all Thank you for the way you allowed the Holy Spirit to minister to the many women at the Simulcast, I have had nothing but positive comments from our hosting it. Just an FYI – I think we had someone who traveled the farthest to come to an event, we are in Somerset, Penna. and someone from a church around Piitsburgh attended and brought a missionary from Zimbawee who’s name was Ivy. I could tell, she very much enjoyed the worship and teaching, as we all did. Thanks Again – In Christ Alone –

  30. 330
    Stephanie Cline says:

    Every Tuesday morning I have the best time. I get to read a book to my son’s preschool class. I love these kids. Adore them. I have the greatest time going to the library to find a book related to a theme picked out by the teacher. I saw this book when I was there Monday all about pizza. I thought wow, this looks fun. I read it to my son yesterday and he loved it. I walked into the classroom today and set up next to the reading area was a pretend pizza shop. Whoa!!! I had no idea when I had picked out this book. The kids were ecstatic. I read the book about the World Championship of Pizza Dough Throwing. It’s a fun book to read out loud….”Tony and the Pizza Champions” by Tony Gemignani. Then the teacher comes out with a song all about how to make pizza with hand motions…I couldn’t stop laughing.

    I got home and I just fell to my knees to thank the Lord for such a good time. This preschool is a public school and most of the kids have some sort of learning disability, like my son. As a stay-at-home mom I have been wondering what the Lord would have for me to do. I have been doing it. Loving those children…smiling, interested, listening (you never know what they’re going to say), learning….

  31. 331
    Amy Storms says:

    Mrs. Beth, this was for me. Thank you, Lord!

  32. 332
    Janice S. says:

    You nailed it. We are the vessels He pours Himself through. God just gave me that very picture a couple days ago as I was looking at the “in Christs” in Eph 1 & 2 and just being overwhelmed as the Holy Spirit unlocked the meaning of being in Him. As we wound down an image came to mind of three pots all cracked but healed and water pouring from each pots cracks. 2 of the pots were pouring into the third which was pouring into unseen pots. God shared with me the cracks represent the brokenness we experience in our lives. The bottom pot is me. The top 2 represent women who have poured their lives into mine. The healing is what Jesus had done in their lives so they can minister in other lives and now I can also. We tend to focus on the pots who minister to us. “I am of Cephas, I am of Paul” or we spend so much time in Sunday School teaching kids about Moses, Abraham, etc but if you ask them a question they always answer Jesus. They know who the focus should be on. It’s not about Beth, it’s not about Janice, it’s about God, it’s about Jesus. Know this is long but God has been playing this note in my heart too.

  33. 333
    Gwen T says:

    I’m speaking at a women’s conference this Thursday and so greatly appreciate the timeliness of your words. The topic is “Treasures in Broken Pots” (II Cor 4, Jer 18) which is a timely topic for me and this post really helped. Thank you so much.

  34. 334
    Deb Keller says:

    Hi Beth:
    I am an avid LPM blog reader but have been away since Feb 26th due to hip replacement surgery. Today is my first read and I come upon this most interesting post. I really think I get what you are saying even though I am not up at podiums speaking etc. I have been down recovering and not being able to DO for God and it has grown me as a child of God. I am in the middle of the Breaking Free study and I can see how God is speaking to me in my “not doing”. No, there is no formula and I also am glad the mind of God is beyond our understanding. I rest the best when I just lay it all down before him, look up and know He is smiling the most beautiful smile upon ME for no reason other than He loves me more than I can imagine. Your words just encouraged me to continue on just being me with big ears and eyes for Him with no striving. I love the verse: cease striving and know that I am God!
    (I missed the simulcast but will catch it on DVD). God bless you Beth! Take time to just be a wife, mom and grandmom – you deserve it!!!!!!!!!!

  35. 335
    Princess Bride says:

    We must always be careful not to quench the Spirit. What may seem like an unreasonable call to some, even fellow Christians, is when God is up to something big. I’m sure those in Noah’s day thought what God was calling Noah to day was quite unreasonable. I’m sure many in Joshua’s day thought God’s way of defeating Jericho was quite unreasonable. And, we could go on and on.

    • 335.1
      Princess Bride says:

      Oops! That should have been, “I’m sure those in Noah’s day thought what God was calling Noah to do was quite unreasonable.

  36. 336
    Janice S. says:

    Beth, I just left a comment…I know you’re not looking for compliments but please know I do love you. You are one of those women who has poured your life into mine so God could heal me. Your transparency has shown me that this little girl (now 52) who always felt unloved and ugly is so amazingly loved and cherished by the holy God of the universe – always has always will. You introduced me to the Holy Spirit who was so hush hush in So Baptist circles. He is so fun to study the Bible with! God is breaking me free from by bondage to many things including fear, food, unforgiveness. Thank you for your servant heart and I “the praise to the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved”! You are a previous vessel my siesta!

  37. 337
    Kristi says:

    It’s really amazing to me how when you’re expecting God to work a certain way or use a certain thing, He will always choose a different way to work! For instance, this morning, as I was doing my quiet time and reading various scriptures, I came upon John 14. Instantly I thought, “Oh surely God will use these familiar passages about not being troubled, or that He will come again, or that He is the way… to speak to my heart.” (Grin.) But. How quickly He shows me He neither needs my help nor my suggestions! John 14:9 “Jesus replied, “Philip (errr, Kristi, at this point), don’t you even yet know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you?”

    When will I finally give up the struggle to fit God into my box, instead of just getting to know my Lord and Savior? He promises to give me everything that I need! You’d think that would open my eyes, and ears, and heart.

    I fell to the floor in tears, with a repentant heart, telling God that my heart’s desire was truly to know Him. But what I learned today? That Gal.3:3 was written just for me! “Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” (NLT)

    So, I was on my face before God and laid my selfish ambitions down at His feet. But when I got up from the floor, I promptly (and unknowingly) picked them right back up again!!! All day long, I’ve been so aware of how many times I’m trying to tell God what I should be doing with my life. And then I cry, “Oh! I’m doing it again!”

    All I can say right at this moment is I’m so thankful for God’s Grace and His Mercy. Cause this sister really needs it!

  38. 338
    Sandy Corbin says:

    Michelle and Marlys,
    Such needed words for me to read! May I tell you I will copy them into my journal to treasure but most of all to remember and follow. Michelle, I John…one of my favorite chapters in God’s word. Thank you for the reminder. Now there’s a book to memorize and I intend to do just that. Marlys, isn’t that the best place to be?Stuck in Scripture instead of our anxieties and worries.

    Amber and Rebecca,
    Remember whose child you are. <3Prayers<3

    Everyone~ do we see now that God in his amazing wisdom chose Beth to hear His calling and write His words in her book "So Long, Insecurity?" He knew how much it was needed. As I read some of the blogs today, I realized it is truly time to say goodbye to this old life and hello to the life Jesus died for us to have.

  39. 339
    Kristi says:

    I attended the 4/24 simulcast in Woodstock, GA – I was in the overflow room and it was an amazing experience. GOD has used Beth to speak to me more and more along my walk. Before the conference started and during breaks that Saturday my friend and I would get into a discussion about various topics and when Beth would start talking there was always a message back to me about my previous conversation. My friend would elbow me in the ribs and smile so big to remind me that my questions were being answered.

    Those that have taken the challenge to be public speakers have my respect and I am always surprised by the messages that GOD sends to me through them.

    Keep up the good work and remember that someone out there is getting a message through you.

  40. 340
    Kendra says:

    Good word Bethie! As someone whose ‘vocation’ it is to share the good news, the part about guarding my intimacy w/ Him spoke volumes to me – I’m SO thankful he can take out the heart of stone and make it flesh once again!

  41. 341
    Michele says:

    Oh Beth, you have answered something so succinctly in my heart.
    It’s all about Him. I know we all say that, and please don’t let me get
    rhetoric in the way, but dying to Self is continual.
    Oh, how I pray that we remember that we were created for Him, and not
    the other way around. May we remember that it is His Glory, and our
    worship of him, takes us off the worship of our insecurities.
    Oh, death to Self, over and over again.
    Continually dying, but ever new, in His Grace.
    May His Majesty and His Glory Rule All Over the Earth,
    as hearts are awakened to His Exquisite Love and Redemption
    for all who are moved by His Holiness.
    God, we love you and may we remember that it is YOU that are
    to be Glorified in these days, not us.
    Love, Your Sister in Christ,

  42. 342
    Katie says:

    Thanks Beth – I really needed to hear that message. I’m struggling myself on such a smaller scale. I went from not ever doing bible study a year ago to hosting one this summer. Sometimes I hear God telling me to slow down – stop all the doing – just spend time with me and I’ll take care of it. I’m a little impatient with progress! And after saying that, I’m really praying for continued humility – sometimes I think I’m going from being best in other worldly things to now being the BEST christian ever! I’m definitely NOT – just that ego is hard to shake sometimes. I feel so pumped that God takes out time to spend with me and give me a word – to actually dialogue! Wow – it gives me an ego sometimes. Please pray for me to have a changed heart – pride and perfection have run in my family for generations and although I can’t blame my family – it’s in me. I pray every day “Please help me not to think more highly of myself than I ought but with sober judgement in accordance with the amount of grace God has given me”. I’ll also start to use Ephesians 4:24 – I love that whole chapter. I do feel like He called me to do THIS bible study, though, it’s Believing God. It’s the one that started me on this crazy love affair with Him. I pray it blesses the women that will spend the summer in the study. Please pray for that and for me to continue to have a humble/loving heart more like Christ’s.

  43. 343
    Cindy says:

    Thank you so much for speaking for and to my heart. It seems that every time I make great plans for great study time before our ladies meet, it NEVER happens. And I am always stressed out and wonder if I’m ready. Then, somehow with sweet surrender comes the sweetest overflow. He just shows up, moves me out of the way and does His thing. Ya know? I just don’t even get that most of the time!! I love it, but I don’t get it!! Perhaps He knows I might just make it about my performance rather than His presence.

    And one other thing…I’m in such an in between place. I needed this message so! Feeling like He is wanting me to do something else, but not really taking me out of anything He has already placed before me to do. I just keep praying for a servant’s heart that is wise, discerning and humble.

  44. 344
    HarborMom says:

    The space between my efforts (what I call being “true to the process”)and what God delivers is filled with the Holy Spirit. I like knowing that space exists. Thinking I am totally prepared for whatever task God has called me to is not as comforting as I think it should be. It’s always exciting to reflect back on those moments that were not in my notes. If they weren’t my own crazy rabbit trails (have mercy), they were moments only God’s Spirit can own, which brings me great delight and humility.

  45. 345
    Jane says:

    Oh Beth…you’ve said it so right that it is impossible to say how our wondrous Father uses those of us who pray up and show up. I, too, study, pray & then my big mouth opens and out stuff comes. Set a guard over my lips O Lord that I only bring You glory. Mostly I kick myself for being so human…as if He is surprised!

    I’m heading out to facilitate Bible study tonight and my head is off in the middle of family trials and personal heartbreak. Just when I thought I couldn’t do it tonight…I paused to read the blog & there (right on time) was the Truth right out of your mouth. All I need to to do is show up for Him.

    Love you tons…especially how you regurgitate!

  46. 346
    Becca says:

    This has probably been the most effective and time-relevant LPM blogpost to date, for me.

    I get it. I completely get it.

  47. 347
    Janell says:

    I love numbers and dates lining up. Like when the day of prayer for America was 7/7/2007. I spent the whole day w/ tv on Godtv with who knows how many other people. So when you posted that 4/24 we studied Ephesians 4:24 it literally brought a tear to my eye. I know God loves #’s too! These days are like when the Israelites set up altars in remembrance of big things God did for them. 4/24 is my deliverance date from insecurities. It is 10 days later and I have only 2 chapters left to read of your book that I started right after the simucast. And I am a different person! I can feel it in the marrows of my bone. The funny thing is I didn’t think I needed it. But yet God had been speaking to me about the some of the same stuff. I guess to hear that I’m not the only one…was freeing in and of itself.
    =) Praise Him! And thanks to you Beth for serving so faithfully!

  48. 348
    Becki says:


    I was at the conference in Woodstock and it was so great! I had been reading Ephesians for a couple of weeks before the conference and when you said that our main focus was going to be on verses from Ephesians, I knew God had a word! Your book and conference have been a huge encouragement to me. I have been all too familiar with emotional strongholds for most of my life even though I am only 26. A couple of years ago I finally saw all of the bondage my emotional strongholds were keeping me in and finally allowed the Lord to work in me to break me free of them. It was not an easy process but it was absolutely worth it.
    Now the Lord is showing me that while I have overcome some emotional strongholds, there are still some left that I have not broken free of, insecurity being the main one. When you read Ephesians 4:24 “You were taught…” and one of your points was to remember what you had been taught, the Lord spoke to me reminding me to remember what I learned the first time breaking free from emotional strongholds. I literally had to train myself to re-think (if that is a word!). I had allowed my past emotional/verbal abuse and Satan to take over my mind and I believed Satan’s lies over God’s truth about myself. I had to learn to catch myself when I was telling myself lies and then stop telling myself the lies and replace it with God’s TRUTH! It was not easy and at first it was almost every couple of minutes that I was having to fight off these thoughts. The Lord gave me victory though!
    Now, he is teaching me to get rid of my insecurities by “remembering what I was taught” the first time I went through breaking free of emotional strongholds and to “put off the old self and put on the new self and be made new in the attitudes of my mind.” I have had a hard time this week and have had some set backs and have allowed insecurity to creep in, BUT I am starting realize when I have those kinds of thoughts that it is insecurity, and am becoming more aware of when I am being insecure. Today, I did not do so well and felt very discouraged because I’m becoming more aware of this battle for my mind, and it seems as if everytime I get passed a set-back there is another battle right there ready to go. We really are in a constant battle for our mind and spiritual warfare. It’s been hard this week for me and I’ve felt discouraged, but then I read your most recent post today and near the bottom of your post, the Lord gave me encouragement through your words. When you said, “Just keep doing what we’re called to do. In season. Out of season. When we feel good. When we don’t. Believe Him to do something huge” that was something I really needed to hear today. I’ve not felt good today and I’ve felt like giving up and quiting. The Lord reminded me that it wasn’t easy when He broke me free the first time and there were many times I wanted to quit then too, but He was faithful to see me through and give me the grace to get through each moment at a time until He brought me to complete victory. If He did it once, I know He can and will do it again. After all, “there is nothing to gain from our insecurities,” right? Thank you for being sensitive and obediant to the Holy Spirit’s leading and writing So Long Insecurity and for the words the Lord gave you for the simulcast. The Lord has used it in a big way in my life already.

  49. 349
    Kristi B. says:

    Dear Beth

    I teach Public Speaking at a small private womens college. Everyone assumes since I know the mechanics that I am a great communicator, that I am at ease behind a lectern or standing on a platform. That is not the case at all. I think you are so right about the fact that communicating is not for the fainthearted. But I do believe that The Lord gives courage to those that are weak.

    The times that I have spoken have been times where I have spent much quality time with Him. It is such a humbling experience to have Him speak in spite of your human frailties.

    Just a random question. Do you practice out loud before you speak? By the way, when I have my students bring in their favorite communicators as an assignment I always bring you in as mine.

    I know you didn’t want encouragement but you are such a gifted communicator. The Lord does amazing things through and around you.

    Thank you for this post.

    Much love!

  50. 350
    Melissa B. says:

    I love the fact that everything you said on this post made no sense to me at all and made perfect sense at the same time! I was there girl and let me tell you I was blessed with a ticket to get there, the gift of people stepping up to take my kids so I could go and guess what I even had planned what I was going to hear from you! HA! 🙂 And boy did God have a plan for me – I heard exactly what I didn’t want to hear – that’s how powerfully God spoke to me and how I knew that it was Him! It was anointed by God – plain and simple. The Holy Spirit was palpable for me in that room and thank you for being the willing vessel! Love to you and yours!

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