Author | Speaker | Encourager


Kicking Discouragement to the Curb

10855876226_d6706e5ede_zThe other day I received an email with some bummer news regarding a project I’m involved with.

The discouragement that settled in the pit of my stomach energized defeat and anxiety to chime in with their two cents.

“Why even try?”

“Just give up now.”

“It’ll take too much effort and there are too many people ahead of you for this to possibly succeed.”

Immediately, a song started playing in my mind. “Our God is greater. Our God is stronger. God, You are higher than any other.”

I knew He was speaking to me, so I asked, “What am I supposed to think of that email?” Read More…

Fighting the Need to Be Right

171031395_5877213677_zIt started in the kitchen.

My sixteen-year-old daughter was making dinner. We had “traded” chores. I did the dusting and waxing she’d put off for three days and she acquired dinner duty.

Fortunately, she likes cooking and is good at it.

Unfortunately, this is also where we collide. She’s creative where I’m logical and prefer predictability. Read More…

What Sneaks Into Our Basements

Hubble_view_of_barred_spiral_galaxy_Messier_83God is big and vast, but how reachable is He?

How involved in our lives when it comes to actual situations—–as opposed to the overall big picture?

I read in a parenting book one time: You get what you focus on.

What we believe to be true influences our speech, body language and interactions with others.

What we think we believe (our conscious minds) and what we truly believe (our unconscious minds) can be absolute opposites.

The belief system that our behaviors spring from lie down in our unconscious. And we need the Holy Spirit’s spot light to reveal the beliefs that are opposed to His truth. Read More…

Loving Yourself Fully

124619106_51d0d5cb33_zDo we love ourselves fully? You know, the way God made us.

The way he created us in the womb (Psalm 139:13). To have the hair color, the eye color, the height, the stature…all created in His image (Gen. 1:26).

Do we like what we see when we look in the mirror…or imagined through the eyes of others?

We are much harsher with ourselves than others are—–not that they can’t be cruel. We’ve all been accosted by critical words and opinions. Read More…

The Ultimate Identity Theft

5505107751_7298672b93_zI went on a run this morning in the blistering heat (ran through the tree-shaded historical section of town and hit every front yard sprinkler I could find).

I passed one house and thought, “Oh, they’re going to have a yard sale.”With the next glance, I realized the items piling around the house and creeping across the lawn were more junky than sales worthy.

Yet off to the side, set apart from the junk, was a lovely patio set, complete with blue umbrella, where the family likely dined al fresco on nice evenings. Read More…

Our Adventure

fireworks-180553_640We are in a battle that much of the body of believers ignores, or doesn’t understand.

If Paul tells us that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood, but against principalities and rulers in the heavenly realm, what does that mean to us (Eph. 6:12)?

If we could see the enemy physically and in action, we’d find it much easier to believe those thoughts of judgment, jealousy, lust, pride or self-condemnation didn’t originate with us.

Those thoughts were whispered into our ears by a demonic entity (I peter 5:8). Read More…

Our Adversary

antietam-80541_640I wonder if we’d read our Bible differently if it were subtitled: The Demon Slayer and Joy Releaser’s Manual?

Did you know you are in a battle? An unseen battle, but one with very high stakes.

Have you learned to recognize when your adversary speaks to you? Whispering lies and pushing buttons that send you spiraling through destructive thought patterns or behaviors.

It’s a daily battle. For some of us a moment-by-moment struggle with our thoughts. We don’t get to take a vacation from it, or call time out for a break. Read More…

A Love Deficit

5966651715_3027056f42_nDo you believe your sin, whether it be lying, gossiping, fear, anger or control issues, is the main problem in your life? What if I told you there is a greater problem?

A love deficit.

The main struggles in my life have revolved around fear and control, and a wee bit of rebellion. And then my kids came along and I realized I also had anger issues.

Made for muddy parenting. Lots of regret and tears. And loads of shame and guilt. Read More…

The Love Jesus Has For You

baby-21249_640Do you know how much Jesus loves you?

We’ve been told that He loves us so much He died on a cross for us. But that is so huge, so unfathomable, we don’t easily grasp the depth of love in it.

I want to tell you how much He loves you.

He watched you as you slept last night. He sang songs over you as He absorbed the wonder of you (Zeph. 3:17). He was with you as you crawled out of bed. He ached for you as you showered and imagined those conversations you really want to have with your mother-in-law.

He was with you as you ate breakfast. When you yelled at your kids for the third time this morning, His hand gently rubbed your back. Read More…

How to Experience God

plums-276075_640How do we eat from good fruit?

I see many good-intentioned Christians working so hard to have godly behavior.

Is it possible they are eating from their own tree? The tree of good intentions and hard work? Striving to conform their behavior to the Word of God, rather than being transformed?

The other morning as I was worshiping God to some Bethel music, I saw a tree. It was in my mind, before you go thinking it sprouted in the middle of my office. It was leafy with dark, plum-sized fruit, similar to nightshade. And my impression wasn’t positive, though I was trying to work up some enthusiasm since I presumed it was a picture from God. Read More…