What You Are Going Through – There’s A Reason


One of my favorite things to do is sit with headphones on, listening to music. It’s a way for me to escape, to go to another place. I know people who do this with books – music just happens to be my mode of transportation. If you can’t guess, I’m doing that as we speak. Soaking in worship because  if I am going to go somewhere I want it to be where Jesus is. I was able to share (and re-live) my recent testimonies with someone recently. How often, we know what God has brought us through but it’s sort of distant. When we speak it, it seems so real all over again. Thinking about things like Cassanova and Elijah made me start thinking about how everything we go through really has a purpose. Granted, some decisions we make have consequences because we chose the wrong paths; however, I do think there are things we go through that could never have been avoided no matter how much we tried. And through those times they serve two purposes: 1. we are being prepared for something else to come or 2. we will encounter someone who needs to hear what we went through.

When I suffered a miscarriage – it was much harder than I had imagined it to be. Physically, it wasn’t that bad because I wasn’t far enough along. Emotionally though, it was heartbreaking. I think in the moment I did a pretty good job of covering up my feelings and not letting anyone know how bad I was really feeling – because I didn’t want to constantly hear “I’m so sorry”… In the beginning of that pregnancy God spoke clear as day to “feed his sheep” with this story. (“Feed his sheep” has almost become an inside joke between me and God — when he says that about a particular situation He’s telling me to share it – make it public. Who in their right mind wants to share things like this???) I did – not having a clue as to what I was going to encounter. When telling this story to a woman the other day, the Holy Spirit reminded me of how many people emailed me, text me, spoke to me about how much they appreciated my transparency on the subject. It was a comforting reminder that even though I put myself out here sometimes for people to gossip about me, draw conclusions about me, etc it also serves a purpose for those who need to hear how my story turned out. Unfortunately, mine didn’t turn out that great… in man’s eyes. It’s all about perspective… because my son is playing in heaven with the other kids waiting to see their parents just like him. So really, who has the better life? Which way was the better turn out?

I’ll never know what “would have been” and I can’t sit around dwelling on it; but, I can be thankful for the direction God gave – the people who have been touched by Eli and Cassanova – and where it’s brought me. Now, when a situation arises that isn’t favorable or seems absolutely impossible, don’t want to remotely deal with it… I ask myself: If I don’t deal with this, I might be unprepared for something later. If I don’t deal with this, someone else may not receive what they need.  I don’t want to run from something because I am scared – so I choose to face it head on. Nothing is still… everything keeps moving… your situation can only last SO LONG before it has to change. Now – the direction in which it changes – you might have to put some effort in – but face it head on, get it over with and move forward!

Transition is tough. Trust me, I’m in it. But it means we are going FROM one place TO another and that is exciting! I hope what is in my spirit is where God is taking me. Staying on course is not always easy when our flesh wants to go another direction – but when we are obedient (remember, that’s God love language) it all works out. I’m not 100% happy with things right now, but I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be in life. With that knowledge – I know I’m on the right path to where I am going next.

Is It Performing or Worshipping


This is a subject close to my heart. I have personally been judged in this area with comments that slice through flesh wounding deeply. Wounds that took a long time to overcome and heal. Whether someone who sings, plays, dances, acts, teaches, hosts, preaches, organizes, or cleans for God or whether they have ulterior motives is something only that person and God truly knows. Obviously, there are situations where a person’s motives are transparent; however, many times it is not. If you are a singer and you want to truly sing for the Lord  –  you would imagine that person would sing a mix of everything they are asked to. It wouldn’t matter if it’s “high” or “low”, whether it’s “vocally ornate” or a “simple melody”… if you want to sing for God then you sing for God regardless of what you think you should or should not be singing and regardless of what you like or don’t like. If you play for God and that is your talent – then the same principle applies. You play the stuff you like and don’t like regardless and do it all with a good attitude. If you teach for the Lord – then you teach what God tells you to teach not what you think people need to hear or what pertains to your “current conflict” and you want to teach people a “spiritual lesson”.

At the end of the day my opinion is the only difference between performing or worshiping is the state of the heart. Both should be done in excellence, both should be done with 110% effort, both should be  practiced, both should be done to the absolute best of your ability. With that said… are you performing? Or are you worshiping? “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31).

Not sure which one you are? Ask yourself a few questions…

1. Am I looking for others to “pat me on the back” and give me compliments?
2. Am I only concerned with God’s opinion of me?
3. What is my priority in what I am doing?
4. What is my purpose in what I am doing?

These are only a few questions of what could and SHOULD be asked. It’s a fine line to be walked but one I believe is capable and probable to be walked. Trust me when I tell you I have gone through this transformation. I remember a time when I was singing in a praise band and I only wanted to sing the notes that were “powerful” and “showy”. I wanted to finish singing and hear people tell me how great I sounded or how “anointed” I was. Now? Sometimes I just prefer being in the congregation because I can reach a level of private worship I can never reach while on a stage. I am speaking of singing because this is a talent I use for God. This applies to playing instruments or teaching or any other skill/talent used for God. My private worship time for God is most of the time more powerful than any level of worship done from a stage whether for leading worship or done to be part of an event.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” – Colossians 3:23

If you have no idea of this “private worship” I am talking about – it’s probably because you are not taking the time nor the opportunities to experience it. Probably. There are always exceptions. When you date someone you are always wanting “alone” time because it’s more intimate than hanging out with a group. The same applies with God – He wants “alone” time with us for intimacy – to get to know us and us get to know Him. You have to have this or nothing else works. Trust me – I have been there and often learned the hard ways. This is why I expose my personal feelings and trials with complete strangers… so you can learn the easy way if there is such a thing.

Challenge: I challenge you today to reevaluate what you do for God. It doesn’t matter if it’s position oriented or if you are just in a congregation. Do you lift your hands hoping for others to SEE YOU, do you lead worship because YOU WANT the notoriety of it, do you offer to help collect items for a food drive because YOU WANT others to see how selfless you are? If you are answering these “no” – good for you – if you are honestly answering these “yes” then it’s time for you to sit with Jesus and figure out your true purpose. It might be what you are doing just needs to be  reevaluated or it might be time for a change. At the end of the day, God is a gentleman, so it’s up to you.

“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11,12).

“Now there are varieties of gifts,” Paul said to the Corinthians, “but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8)

4 Temptations Christian Leaders Face


I read this and thought – How Appropriate! It’s a thought I think every leader needs to ask themselves. What is your motive for doing what you do? Where do you fit in within these categories/questions? Adding to this article… I think the sign of a good leader is being able to learn from all ages. I am 28 years old; however, I have learned things from people who are 18 years old, and even 10 years old! A good leader never lets themselves think “they know it all”. The minute you stop listening to others  you forfeit your right to be a leader. (My personal opinion of course). This doesn’t mean every time someone voices an opinion you run with it – because you also have a mind of your own as a leader and there is a reason you were put into that position and not that other person… however… other people still have good ideas. One person’s idea might stir a new thought into your idea! KAPOW! Two heads were better than one 🙂

Original post: FOUR TEMPTATIONS CHRISTIAN LEADERS FACE
By: Michael Hyatt

  1. The temptation of priorities. Weak leaders put themselves last. They mistakenly think this is more spiritual. As I wrote in another post, it is a dangerous temptation that has left many leaders cynicaland burned out.But successful leaders face the opposite temptation. They put themselves first. In fact, some are outright narcissists, putting themselves at the center of their own universe. The correct position, I think, is second. Strong leaders put God first and themselves second. They know that they can’t meet the needs of others unless they attend to themselves.
  2. The temptation of entitlement. Weak leaders become convinced that they deserve something different. They lose any sense of delight or gratitude. They come to believe what others tell them: they are special and thus deserve preferential treatment.Successful leaders are alert to this temptation and war against it. It can sneak up when they least expect it. So they work hard to thank the people closest to them, knowing that their position is a privilege and likely temporary.
  3. The temptation of resentment. Weak leaders take offense at every slight. They are hyper-sensitive, reading into every situation more than is warranted. In the “movie” about them, there has to be drama.The reality is that offenses are inevitable. Jesus Himself said, “offenses must come” (Matthew 18:7). In fact, I would go so far as to say that God often sends offenses—for our good and for our sanctification. Strong leaders thus overlook offenses, knowing that this is the true mark of maturity and character (see Proverbs 19:11).
  4. The temptation of popularity. We live in a world that places a high value on fame and “personal branding.” We seem to have a list for everything, including the top 100 largest churches and the 100 fastest growing churches. It is difficult for me to imagine the early church—the church of the martyrs—compiling these kinds of lists.In reality, Jesus was a publicists’ nightmare. He eschewed fame. He miraculously healed people and then ordered them to keep it to themselves, telling no one about their experience (see, for example, Luke 5:12–14). Strong leaders are quick to give others the credit and avoid the limelight. They would rather be effective, even if they labor in obscurity.

The bottom line is this: Be careful what you pray for. Leadership is a burden—and a privilege. It is best held with an open hand. “The Lord giveth and Lord taketh away” (see Job 1:21).

Enemy of Our God


Is it possible for a christian to become the enemy of God?
By: An Anonymous Guest Blogger of “Feed My Sheep”

How does God view a believer who once walked with him and knew the power of the Holy Spirit but has now become so entangled in the world that he hardly ever picks up his bible to read it, rarely prays, and comes to church only if it “fits” into his schedule of things to do?  How does God look on it when a believer departs from the red- hot spiritual passion he once possessed and turn his devotion to other things?

James 4:4 says:  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefor will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Wow!!! How many times do we read the bible and skip over verses like these.  God immediately convicted me.  How selfish I am!!! Oh yeah I get on my knees and pray in the morning!  I read a daily devotion but it still not enough for what God has called me to do.  He has called all of us to be something more then we even allow ourselves to be.  He says if we are dabbling in the world we are his enemy.  I don’t know about you but I really don’t want to be his enemy.  In Romans 8:31 says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”  but by the same token if God takes a stand against us and our activities because our actions are wrong, our plans and pursuits will be frustrated and paralyzed.  Our plans can be family, ministry, finances, jobs, etc…  When the things of the world moves from our hands to our hearts that is violation that concerns God the most.  It felt like in my heart there are things that his people are dabbling in and the sad part is that the we think we are pleasing God because we gave god ten minutes this morning.  The lord is saying it is not enough!!! Your not filled up enough.  You cant preach, teach, see miracles, healings, lead worship, and so on with only getting a ten minute prayer when your driving down the road.  If your wife our husband needed you, you would wake up in the middle of the night drive across America just to be with him in his time of need but as children of God we will not wake up in the middle of the night to simply listen to his voice.  Let me ask you this, “What do you think about more than anything else in life?”  This will show you where your heart is. In prayer the lord spoke this to me to tell his people, “All of you have seen great mountain tops in my name, you have seen me move, I am the tree of life, I am the one who brings healing, but you put things before me.  You put things like your personal image and laziness.  Now is the time to arise and get serious about my  business.  You are running out of time!  I will return soon.   There is so many people left to be saved and you only worry about yourself”, saith the Lord.

Please don’t get mad at me for this!  I am just a messenger and when you hear the lords voice in the morning you have to be obedient.  I know this is not my character to send something “saith the lord”  but I know that gifts are about manifest again.  The gifts that we all prayed secretly for are about to be given to us.  I believe if we seek God first all the things that we worry about he will give to you.  Please, please don’t let life get you caught up with addictions (not just smoking, drinking, pills, etc)  but you can be addicted with, work, money, your body, gossip, approval of other people, depression, etc.  We all have our things in life that consumes us, but now is the time to let go of the control for the worldly things and and go full force on the things that matter.