Archive for the ‘staff’ Category

Staff Features: A Glimpse of Grace

In 2018, Beth returned from Chinle, AZ, where she had the privilege to serve our Native American sisters during a Living Proof Live conference.  

I recall hanging on to every word as Beth shared, with deep joy, an update of her time in Arizona. Beth conveyed her desire to stay connected with these women. I still cannot explain the instant connection I felt to our sisters even though I had never met any of them. They stayed on my mind for days, so I started praying. 

I recall waking up in the wee morning hours with a thought of partnering with them for our monthly Invited gathering, a local Houston, Texas gathering where Beth teaches a Bible Study to several hundred women. I immediately shared the idea with Beth, and she was on board. We didn’t have an actual plan in place, but the idea was shared with our team during lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant. And let me tell you, the one thing that gets our creativity flowing around here is chips and salsa. 

We bounced around a few ideas, but our dear co-worker Jenn presented the idea of live streaming the event for our sisters, and it resonated with us, so we started planning. 
Listen, I am technically challenged. Still, I said yes, because the overwhelming tug at my heart made me believe the Lord wanted us to lock arms with our Native American Sisters as they plow the ground for ministry with other women in their community. After lots of consulting with some of our experienced, tech-savvy friends, we launched our first live streamed service. Since then, we continue to virtually join with them during our Invited gatherings.

Recently my co-worker Cathy and I were blessed to travel to Arizona to visit our Native American Women for Christ leadership team. We spent the first day at the White Mountain River Apache, and we were welcomed with a Mexican taco salad that I am still rejoicing over. While we were there, we were able to connect via live stream with our sisters in Houston during the November Invited gathering. We were thrilled to be on the other side of the screen with our feet planted in a place that our faithful Father and sisters invited us into. We ate, we worshipped, and we sat in His word together. My eyes are tearing up as I remember that sacred moment.

The second day we traveled to the Navajo Nation Reservation in Kayenta. The team brought us to Monument Valley, and my words cannot describe the beauty of what my eyes were able to behold that day. The history carved by nature: red cliffs and rugged canyons. There was a raw and barren beauty to it. That evening, Kayenta Baptist Church organized a Thanksgiving feast for us, and it was grand! The youth from the National Honor society served us, as they wore garments representing their tribe. It was an atmosphere of unrestrained joy.

On our last day, we visited Indian Bible College in Flagstaff, AZ. What a way to end our trip. We gathered with Native American women in pursuit of becoming all God wants them to be as a disciple of Christ.

I also had an opportunity to speak to young women. I prayed Isaiah 61:1-4 over them, and I delivered a spoken word piece to encourage them, which I want to share with each of you. I hope it is a blessing to you.
The Native American Women’s leadership team is committed to their native land.  Through prayer, they have been sowing His word deep into their soil, but also into the souls of the women in their community. It is an honor to run this race alongside our sisters as we accept His grace and share in his beautiful mercies.  

Will you join us and pray for these mighty women of valor and our partnership with them as they make Christ known where He has planted them? 

Many of you helped make that initial connection with them possible by sponsoring some of the Native American women to gather at Living Proof Live, so, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! 

Living Proof is honored to serve alongside our sisters, and we rejoice in all that He is doing and will continue to do.

Staff Features: Choosing Gratitude

Meet one of our staff members, Jenn! Today she’s sharing some practical ways she and her family practice gratitude during the often-chaotic holiday season. 

We’ve turned the corner to November and the holidays are upon us. Ready or not, here we go! Like many of you, I’ve started marking the calendar with all the family gatherings, digging out our favorite recipes, and even grabbing a Christmas gift or two from the Costco aisles. This is all on top of my normal responsibilities with work, school, church, and home. I don’t know about you, but joyLESSness can begin to creep in. Tasks and check lists take precedence. Joy can become no more than a cute word stitched on a pretty Christmas pillow and set neatly in Grandma’s heirloom chair…you know, the one that the kids aren’t allowed to sit in!

When I feel the holiday stress creeping up my neck, gratitude is not often my first response. And yet, the living Word of God tells us to, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Really? In ALL circumstances? Even when my kids are whining, I’m lacking sleep, and the bank account is running low?

So, how exactly do we “give thanks in all circumstances”? We’ve got to choose it. If you’re anything like me, my flesh will naturally gravitate toward complaining, so I must choose each day to cultivate thankfulness. Here are a couple of ideas to help us give thanks this season:

  • Prioritize daily time with Jesus from now until Christmas. We’ve got to have it! Let’s commit to do this together. It can be as simple as waking up 15 minutes earlier. Consider reading a Psalm each day in a different Bible translation. Then, grab a journal and record a few things that spur gratitude from the passage you read. Lifting our eyes to God’s unchanging character will bring thankfulness.
  • When you feel stressed, stop and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. I’m so thankful He is the Helper (John 14:26). He wants to help us but we need to ASK Him for it. I often start by repenting of my complaining heart. It’s difficult for thankfulness to overflow if I’m grumbling about my circumstances.
  • Begin to cultivate gratitude in your heart through worship (Psalm 28:7). Find a new worship album and sing it from the top of your lungs, even when you don’t feel like it. That’s actually the best time to worship because we declare with our lips the truth of who God is, and before you know it, our hearts begin to join in worship. If you have kids, sing with them in the midst of the crazy. I love to put on worship in the morning when we are getting ready for school/work. This helps set the tone of thanksgiving to our God.
  • Find a place to serve this season. If you don’t know where to serve, pray and ask God to open a door and then LOOK around…maybe you could adopt a family in need through your church or invite a widow over to dinner. There are so many opportunities to take our eyes off of our hard situations and serve someone else. For me, this simple step can grow thankfulness in my heart unlike anything else.  Recently, our family has been helping serve some teen refugees who are living in shelters. It’s been a great way to cultivate thankfulness in my own heart as we head into a season that emphasizes getting instead of giving.

Let’s commit to finish 2019 by choosing to be grateful in all circumstances. And know that I’m thankful for you, a community of friends who seek to do the same. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!