Not 1% Less

So I want to share with you a journey I have had in the lasts few years.  It began in a bad place.  It really didn’t have to be that bad but there was one move I made that I will not make again.

People make mistakes.  Maybe you never have.  Maybe you have never made the wrong decision or never said something hurtful to anyone or said anything negative behind someone’s back.  Maybe.

It all began when I made a series of mistakes.  I concluded something and it was the wrong conclusion, which led to the wrong behaviors.  I can’t change that and I’m okay with that now.  But that’s not my point in this article, what I did that I will never do again, is turn my back on myself.


I have become very familiar with these thoughts inside our heads that will replay mistakes, or wrong words, or wrong conclusions.  At first I believed them because I thought they were true.  For example, I was wrong, therefore I should like myself less.  This equation is not true in heaven.

I was wrong!  And it really affected people.  And I still have permission to love myself today!  I thought I was worth being thought less of.  In a way, I was punishing myself because I thought that’s what I deserved.  I questioned myself and doubted my partnership with God.  BUT did you know there are no mistakes in heaven?!?!

Did you know that maybe I was setup to experience this whole in my character so that God could build a new thing there??  Learning requires humility to not know something to begin with.  All of these things are okay and never have to involve the self-destruction of shame, guilt, condemnation, or exclusion.

Did you know God still loves you and values you?  He never thinks less of you based on this learning journey you are on??  Did you know he speaks of your value, your worth, and your ability to always brush yourself of and dive right back into life.  SO….

In conclusion, you may be having other thoughts.  Even small incremental thoughts that get you to like yourself just a little bit less, maybe even one percent.  I don’t believe these thoughts anymore.  None of them.  For any conversation, presentation, appearance or decision.  Not one percent less.  They are not from heaven, and God will rebuild in your life, wherever you tear yourself down.  I will not partner against his work any longer.

You and I walk with a breastplate of Christ’s righteousness on that doesn’t let any accusing arrows through.  Not one.  There is no hole in his righteousness, no gap, no interruption, or weakness.  His righteousness is a perfect FREE GIFT that I have experienced more now than ever before.  Do not make room for any thoughts about yourself that get you to like yourself even one percent less.  They are not from Him.

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An Encouraging Word

The word of encouragement written below came across my lap and  says some of the same things I was told a few weeks ago about things coming my way so it related to me and wanted to share it in case it brightens anyone else’s expectations!  Have a great weekend!

The contents below in their entirety can be found in their original location at Charlie Shamp’s Website by clicking here.

A Year of New Beginnings:
I heard the Lord say, “You have seen it. You have heard it before. You have spoken it. You have even imagined it in your mind; my plan for outpouring in the earth, but what I’m about to do for my people has no historical reference points. That’s right it’s new, fresh, original, tailor made for this time! It has never been seen before or manufactured in the past; no I reserved the best for last. Some have said, ‘we will set a specific place and hour to produce a move of the Father,’ but what is about to come will catch and spread like wild fire. What is to come will not be confined to a specific place, that’s right it will cross countries, jump oceans, leap over denominational walls. I will visit in a new and fresh way, my spirit will drop and distill like a shower of rain. My lightnings will strike to restore, revive and renew. Every form of dryness will come to an end as I saturate you. The reign of terror, turmoil, and tragedy will have to come to an end for the glory of heaven that I will send. I will open the windows of heaven and showers of blessings will overtake your homes. This is a year of open opportunities, open doors, open heavens! Don’t look to the past to predict what is about to come, those days are gone for good. What happened then could never produce what I have in my mind in the now. I will stretch out my mighty hand and open your eyes to see that I am putting an end to your lack, rejection, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and demonic harassments. Your failure, sickness and shame be washed way by the power of my son’s name. Every generational curse disturbing you will be scattered and destroyed. The days of pain, sorrow, weeping, stagnation, devastation, and struggling will come to an end. This year will be a time of supernatural shock and awe as I passionately pour out my spirit and divinely fill your cup to overflow with blessings that can’t be numbered, named, contained!”
-Prophet Charlie Shamp

20,000 Views!

I just want to take a minute to celebrate reaching 20,000 views yesterday!  We couldn’t have done it without you!  What excites me even more is that this site has been viewed by 119 different countries!  Yay, for going all over the world from one location.

Often when I write, I have including you in distant lands in mind wanting to communicate ideas that Life has taught me simply and clearly beyond my worldview, vernacular, or differing religious structures.

I love other cultures, foods, ways of living this thing called life!  Everyone is most welcome and celebrated!  Thank you for visiting!  Until next time…

happyreign  🙂

Child-Like Faith

As I was falling asleep last night my mind was writing this blog.  ha!  There are so many attributes of people I admire.  Some of them fall into the below categories I wanted to highlight!

  1.  Emotional Vulnerability

When people grow up, for various reasons, they stuff emotions, don’t express them, close themselves off, quit communicating, or letting themselves feel.  Kid’s wear their emotions on their sleeves.  I’m not saying that is maturity but kids don’t shut down their emotional experience, or close off sharing it, unless they feel unsafe. The ability to feel emotions is heavenly and these emotions aren’t composed of stress, anxiety, judgment, worry, depression, and guilt, which sometimes adults experience.  There is a heavenliness in not fearing to feel good and sad emotions with the events of life, and not being afraid of sharing them or expressing them different healthy ways.

2.  Honesty

Kids may occasionally tell a lie to hide something but in general kids have no filter when it comes to truth-telling, sometimes to the embarrassment of their parents.  This also is because they don’t have a preoccupation with creating/maintaining an image of themselves.  They are just existing as they are and as the world comes to them.  They say things as they see them, whether their perceptions are accurate or not, it is still their experience.

3.  Curiosity

Children carry with them a sense of awe and wonder about the world.  Things are new and no one has told them the way they have to see things yet.  They see things from different perspectives and new angles and no one has told them what they can’t do or how they can’t use something.  They ask questions and are teachable and listen to answers.  They are okay with not knowing the answers and living in a world where they aren’t expected to have explanations for everything.  They reflect on things and are open to new ideas.

4.   Playfulness and Imagination

Kids are always ready to have fun.  I so appreciate adults who laugh easily and recognize the power of joy.  Seriousness is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit and the world doesn’t rest on any man’s shoulders but Jesus’.  Someone’s ability to take themselves not so seriously is a sign of maturity in my eyes.  Kids are ready to make any boring, regular task a play session and I think heaven involves much of this feeling.  Fun loving flexibilty, adaptability, inclusion, and making life joyful in the simplest of perspectives and ways.

5.  Authenticity

This was referred to in the honesty one above but more than that, kids aren’t preoccupied with what people think of them.  It still hurts when they experience rejection but they don’t abandon or hide their true selves after these experiences.  The only way they know how to be is themselves!  They are unique and different from one another in all their original glory.  Just because they are different doesn’t mean they are less in their own eyes.  They are on their own special unique journey.  There is an innocence, and strength in feeling valued solely based on our parent’s acceptance of us.

No Man’s Land. Life Beyond Church

I wanted to write about this subject three weeks ago but am just getting around to it now.  This subject is “unbiblical” to the conventional Christian.  There is no life beyond church they would say.  I have even heard people within the church call people who have left their church “bastards.”  Yet here is where so many people find themselves.  And so… I write.

I am not going to spend time here defending this topic, I am going to go right into writing about it.  I remember asking God about his body, the church years ago which began a 15-year journey of seeing the ins and outs of church creation, growth, development, leadership, failure, hypocrisy, glory, strength, and blessing.  If the church were a closet full of clothing, I have worn almost every outfit in different seasons where I felt God leading me through relationship with people.

And yet I find myself, and other people I both respect and would call people of great faith, outside of regular church participation at the moment.  I will not group these people into people who are rebellious, hurt, bitter, or prideful.  These are beautiful, servant-hearted, prayerful, joyful, faithful, creative children of God.

So why do we find ourselves here in this field of spirituality beyond where the paved road ends?  Could there even be purpose in this?  God of course lives within the walls of his church but I think he is also moving his body, his people beyond not only church walls, but Christian culture.  There are so many people who carry the love of God and the ways of his kingdom into so many places; the home, business, arts, media, entertainment, education, etc.

Can I be a Christ follower without walking in American church culture and vocabulary? Of course I can. I hope we are sharing God’s culture, how he loves us and sees us, with people and nations.  I’d like to make the argument that this can happen 100% outside of meetings and buildings set aside for this purpose.  People can experience hearts and homes of heaven.

I don’t think there is necessarily a wrong reason that people have quit participating in a church regularly.  I do think there is a fullness of God’s people operating as a kingdom of priests as he originally intended.  His children have full union with the father.

Church family commitment is like marriage, you get involved because of what you have to give, what you have to offer, not what you have to get from it, or how they can serve you.  Community is beautiful and I think this can be found outside of a church governing structure and weekly scheduled meetings.  But…

What I’m seeing even more of is people who are very much on relative islands of preparation and intimacy right now.  Little pockets of service and relationship more based solely out of energy spent on building/maintaining healthy family relationships.  I do think it’s beautiful when the role of a mother and father are one and the same as the pastor and priest.  That discipleship and family are one and the same with no definitive line between the love of God and the love of family.

Not being understood and being judged is a regular occurrence of life and I’m being reminded over and over again to not care what other people think.  Especially people who care more about what my life looks like rather than wanting to hear my personal experience.

Being outside of a church structure doesn’t mean we quit learning about God as we live life with him.

I just wanted to write a bit of encouragement to those who find themselves in no man’s land.  Or not operating in the fullness of their giftings at whatever church they find themselves in.  You are not broken, you are not failing, and you have not been ‘taken out of ministry.’

God is so much bigger than our little religious mindsets of what freedom and spirituality look like.  He grows things inside of us we don’t even know need growing and often times they have nothing to do with external appearances.  Although God is in religious meetings every week, he is just as much at the dinner table, in the nursery of your house, at the grocery store, and in your office.

I love that the presence of the awareness of God is naturally felt at all hours in all places.  Our existence is one with his.  You are the church my friend, you couldn’t leave who you are.  You are his temple and the only building he cares about.  He’s never left the meeting of your life and God is not finished being in love with us wherever we are, whatever season we find ourselves in.  Joy is in his house, in his bride, and in his family.  Blessings to you, all the beautiful sons and daughters of God who find themselves in No Man’s Land.

My Story

I feel like there is power in sharing our stories and sometimes the best place to start is the beginning.  Recently, I was given an opportunity to share how my relationship with God began and I thought I would share it here as well.

I went to church with my family sometimes and even learned stories from the bible as a child, but I went to church for years and never really remember hearing about Jesus or what he did for us or what he thought of us.  I remember trying really hard to figure out when to stand and when to sit and how to make my voice go up or down with the music notes I didn’t know how to read in the hymnal.

Fast forward through my parent’s divorce, our moving to a new location, and lots of high school parties.  At one point I was grounded because of driving lots of drunk people at like three in the morning when I was sixteen.  I hadn’t been drinking.  While I was grounded, my mother gave me a book, as she is an avid reader.

This book was fiction and written by a Christian.  In this book, the author clearly explained how a certain character in the book was impacted by Christ and the holy spirit working in her life.  I remember just saying “Yes” to God in my basement and feeling his presence fill the room and a conversation between us began that hasn’t stopped to this day. (You can read more about this subject here.)

God continues to help me.  How to respond in my marriage, how to view the mistakes of my past, what decisions I should make concerning how I live my life.  He is the peace within me, and his love is my breath.  He continues to remind me of my value and my worth.  I have fallen in love and he continues to show me how to love myself and love others.  The end–or actually–just the beginning.  🙂

Joel’s Final Steps on His Appalachian Trail Hike

This is Heather here proudly sharing the post of my husband’s last hiking video from this years AT hike.  You can view the tearful video between him, his peeps, and the beauty surrounding them on the link below!  Thanks for tracking with us and sharing in our joy!

love has won