Two-Fold Mature Spirit Partnership

I wanted to write a brief piece mentioning walking with God in everyday life that is two-fold in living life that springs from the spirit of God.

The first part is hearing.  I don’t always hear a phrase or words or a song from God unless I’m being intentionally reflective or asking God a direct question in my mind and thoughts.  I do often notice inspired thoughts as I am just going through life open to direction.  This can come as a reminder to do something I have completed forgotten, or it can be an inspired way to encourage someone or do an act of service or it can be a solution that previously you couldn’t see or something that requires your attention.  I notice these thoughts when they come into my head are not my own and they often feel more like an invitation for partnership that has life and glory on the other side of it rather than a command or requirement.  These are the types of communication I believe Jesus referred to when he says I do what I see my father doing.  These can come as pictures in your head or ideas in your imagination but they truly are powerful and divinely inspired even if they don’t feel revolutionary or earth shattering.  Obedience always results in lasting fruit.  And sometimes this just looks like your character choices in maintaining or pursuing connection in relationships.

This is the first step of hearing and living a life flowing from the river of God.  The second part is where the wisdom of maturity comes in.  Just because you’ve received inspiration doesn’t mean to run and execute it immediately.  Often there is freedom to when you are inspired to respond at leisure or right away in peace.  But there can also be a shelf period when hearing from God.  I recognize this in other believers I respect and admire.  They receive a thought but then carry it within them until God orchestrates circumstances and timing for its release or execution.  For instance, you may feel inspired to say something to a certain individual that would be encouraging to them but perhaps don’t feel peace about writing it through an email or calling them on the phone.  Perhaps the Lord has you run into them by chance two days later and God brings that word of encouragement you had for them to mind and you share it in that moment.  This often is the best way to pursue obedience.  God really often does not need our initiative when taking care of kingdom business, often he just is looking for our response in the midst of his continuous divine orchestration.

One caution in this is when things have sat so long on the shelf or get pushed to the back they fall off and never happen.  Keep in mind the world doesn’t end when this happened.  There is no condemnation in walking in the spirit with the Lord.  Everything, including our learning and failure, carries value.  But perhaps there is an act or a word or a communication or a thought or a creative idea that the Lord has invited you into once that maybe is still ripe with glory available for you to bring to earth from the heaven in your mind.  The waiting on God to create the opening is a part of the maturing process of hearing from God and walking hand in hand with him.  Friends influence each other and what a privilege share life with a living, intimate, kind, forgiving God.

One way you may have to listen beyond your understanding is in regards to your own self worth.  God will tell you a million times that you are worthy, lovely, righteous, worth his love, and full of nobility but somehow we continually need to be reminded to believe it!  Often we are our own worst critique and rarely cut ourselves some slack.  Jesus continually reminds me of his undeserved favor, and his kindness and affection is something you need to be open to hearing, and not only that, but believing it!

Blessings on your adventures is hearing and walking with Jesus!

Dusting off the Stories of what God has Done

God is always the same and what he did once he would do again.  God is not a respecter of persons and what he would do for one he would do for any.  These two statement encourage the hope and possibility of what God did once for someone else, he would do for me.  In saying that, something he did twenty years ago for me, he can do for you now.  So I’m walking down the memory lane of life as it is always the front page of who God still is today.  Take anything as hope of what can do for you.

  1.  I trusted God with my love life and he brought me the most amazing husband any woman could ever dream of.  As I’m writing this he is charging my cell phone for me and asking if I have water because he was going to refill it for me as I’m sitting in bed on a Saturday typing this about him.
  2.  I’ve never made over $10,000 a year in my entire adult life yet God has financed sending me to 23 different countries over the course of my life. For whatever reason, the way my heart is wired is that I feel most romanced by God when he sends me to travel somewhere. I know I couldn’t, and wouldn’t want to do anything without him sending me.
  3.   I’ve screwed up, meaning I’ve failed at something he’s asked me to do, and yet he’s never fired me, punished me, abandoned me or quit being kind to me.  Because of this I really realized the grace of God is truly a gift.  It is not earned.
  4.   God redeemed the ending of my family when we were younger.  My parents separated and both happily remarried.  My siblings are all risking love in some measure in their life.  This sometimes requires the greatest courage.  I am proud for the measure they continue to risk being known and loved despite how we’ve seen it can possibly end up.
  5.   God has given me peace.  In different seasons of life due to different things I have different measures of peace but in all of life I have a strong underlying trust in God that always imparts to me a steadfastness that I feel all the time.  Like I’m being held, or embraced, or hugged and I feel safe and sturdy.  I love God for imparting this feeling to me on an ongoing basis.
  6.   I realized through frequency to get over myself, my understanding, my ways, control, anything I would hold on to for fear or security.  From plans to stuff, he really does take care of everything and often, when I let him, way better than I could ever put things together.  Like I really am blind and dumb compared to all he sees and knows.  It is wisdom to trust him, let him lead, and put everything in his hands.
  7.   Unity, relationships, connection, obedience, service, humility, love, faith, truth, these things really are the majors in life and everything else is truly unimportant and meaningless in comparison.
  8.   I really feel like my death is in God’s hands as much as my birth was. I didn’t control my birth, God did.  In the same way, I don’t think anything is random and he knows all of the days of my life and will work out the plans and dreams he has for sending me here in the first place.
  9.   I don’t fear death in any way.  Almost daily I feel the fragility of this realm of life and time.  It is such a thin veil and my true self is timeless and in an always state.  I do not want to miss what he wants to show me and teach me and also truly enjoy the day with him as this is me loving to be alive with him.  This is living.
  10.   I feel humbled by God’s goodness and love.  I definitely don’t deserve any of it, but he shows me that I’m worthy because he says I am.  Who am I to disagree?!   😉
  11.   I thought I was going to go into tangible stories about specifics God had done for me–
  12.   Oh-my father’s transplant was an answer to prayer-he met my husband and is still alive!
  13.   And also my grandfather’s life was spared in a time where he was being killed by being given the wrong medication in the hospital but the error was found out and he became himself again to pass in peace at a later time.
  14.   Also I was filled with the holy spirit, a tangible experience in my body that overcame me that I still feel today and a way I interact with God directly spirit to spirit rather than just mind to mind, early morning alone in a gymnasium in a Lutheran church!
  15.   I received God’s forgiveness and being made right with God through what Jesus Christ suffered on my behalf on the cross, making a way for me to stand blameless and confident before God because he has made me his family and his friend.
  16.   I thought I was going to write more specific stories like the ones above, but it appears God is an active living miracle in my life.  I am so grateful to have the ability to see and breathe and feel and taste and express myself and sit in peace and have freedom.  I am so thankful to share life with my husband and spend the passing of time in his company.

These are a few thoughts that come to mind when thinking about what God has done for me in my life.  May it be an encouragement and blessing to you.  Oh yeah – don’t waste your time overly concerning yourself with what other people think of you.  It is not your responsibility nor does it matter beyond your upright heart before the father.  Acceptance or praise of man is not the bread that that gives life but rather the word of God.  Blessings!

Start Again

Last weekend I heard Bobby Conner speak.  He said Jesus showed up to him and his face was sad and when Bobby asked why, Jesus replied, because my people don’t want to spend time with me.

After we left the meeting that night I had a long stream of thoughts in my head that I thought I would share here.  Can I say I already knew this?  Can I say that because it applies to me?  Holy Spirit’s kinda scary.  Let me explain more below.

A decade ago I was in the heart of everything extreme regarding Holy Spirit experiences.  Prayer rooms, conferences, communities, ministry, missions trips, prayer meetings, extravagant poverty and generosity, new adventures, preaching, ministering to the poor, etc.  Its safe to say many many of us remember those times of waking up to everything supernatural, unseen, giftings, refinement, and faith challenging.  Literally on the the floor, taken over by God.

Then I noticed another season.  I noticed it but hadn’t articulated it, until someone else did that for me.  An old fatherly preacher said first you are a part of a move of God and so is everyone else.  Then you fall flat on your face, and that’s a move of God too, and so did everyone else.

Between the years of 2013-2016 or around there I noticed so many people encounter very challenging or hard circumstances.  I’m referring to the sold out crowd.  The whole-hearted ones.  We had followed God–Holy Spirit–to the best of our growing ability and it led us right into heartbreak, setback, disappointment, confusion, or disillusionment.

So people are still figuring out which way is up, many people are forever changed through these experiences.  And we should be.  That’s why we have them.  But pain is a hard thing to choose willingly.  I know for myself I wondered how I had heard wrong, or gotten off track, or the lingering question of why?

God works healing, restoration, recovery, strength, and endurance in the midst of our inability to fix things, mend things, turn back time, or undo what’s been done.  Sometimes this happens overnight but more often than not it happens as the seasons pass by one after the other and the sting is gone and we can hear truth in the peace.  Or at least feel love in it again.

This may be the time to start again my friends.  Us, the family of God that has been learning so many things with our paradigms, communities, and living situations having changed so dramatically since back then.

So do we dare to open up ourselves again to a God that seemingly led us into a crash course with something we didn’t sign up for?  Will we be wholehearted again when it feels like we don’t even have our whole heart anymore or don’t know where we lost pieces of it along the way?

Our minds know he’s good.  Our minds know he’s faithful.  Our minds know he has a plan.  It’s the time of our hearts thawing towards him again.  We may look more secular, we may speak more secular, we may live lifestyles where religion can’t be detected much anymore but we are right where he’s invited us all.

He really is a wise orchestrater and he knew all the outcomes before all this happened.  You’re not off track.  You’re not lost, because he knows right where you are.  Myself included, I feel like this is the time for affections to be repaired and emotions to be restored.  In him, towards him, for him, and with him.

You have overcome.  You are equipped.  You are gifted.  You are included.  You are loved.  Maybe your dreamer got broken.  Maybe your believer ran out of power.  But there is life within you.  There is purpose in your breath.  There is glory in your experiences, maybe the failures more than successes.

God never invited Jesus into comfort, acceptance, celebration, the loyalties of those around him, freedom from pain, or glory among men during his life.  God has a much different value scale than you or I.  You may not know that every purpose that God had in the midst of your experiences has been accomplished.

He doesn’t want you as a worker anymore.  He does miss me.  He does miss us.  Maybe we are ready.  Maybe we are ready again to say yes.  All of us just know we will never say yes again to the mistakes or pains of our past.  There is glory in that.

We’ve heard all along in our involvement with Charismatic circles that God is moving towards doing wonders and miracles beyond our wildest imaginations.  We carry the memory of the hope we had of being in the center of that.  I think we still are.  I think you still are.  God knows what he’s doing on a global scale in exact timing.

Don’t respond to him in duty.  Don’t turn him away from a place of pain.  He is a lover.  He wants to share his love with us.  He wants to experience our presence.  Share our excitement and our pain.  He wants to comfort us and cause us to believe in ourselves again.

The winter perhaps is over and gone and new leaves are sprouting again.  The warmth is returning, the river is thawed, and life will grow. And we will see it and feel it in our own lives.  A lot is accomplished during the winter and you prime for fruit bearing in your renewed surrender.

The pain, the disappointment, distrust, or broken normal may not ever repair itself to life as it once was but we will have a different understanding of who God is and who we are in its occurrence.  Hope, Faith, and Love have become even more untouchable within us by the circumstances without us.  We have grown.

I can’t promise it won’t hurt again.  Continuing to follow him without understanding or being able to see what he sees about yourself.  I can’t promise you won’t experience or disappointment again.  But I can assure you your fullest life–not coasting by denying your numbness as time passes–the reason you were created as you were, lies in your renewed yes, your renewed faith through confusion, your willingness in your weakness, your availability in expressing and receiving love once again.

Beautiful army bearing the scars of maturity, dare to feel safe in his arms, rather than our avoidance or control once again.

A Trail of Tears in Puerto Rico


I have been on the island of Puerto Rico for two and half weeks.  It is now almost 50 days after hurricane Maria.  I am with a team of people distributing water filters from the resulting collaboration of two organizations: Happy Sonship and Impact Nations.  During my time here I have witnessed the tears of men and women on several different occasions. Let me tell you about a few of them here.

The first incident of overwhelming expression was at a house our team could not fathom people living there but indeed the owners of this destroyed home were staying just next door.  When we first saw this house it was obvious the roof had been removed because the sunlight shown clearly into the rooms that could be seen through the windows.  You could also clearly see the clothes still hung in the closet from the street.


The multi-generational family had gathered and was sitting on the roofless front porch together.  The matriarch of the family sat centered amongst them and I watched the scene unfold as I was seated in the back of our rented van.  It was someone else’s turn this stop to explain in Spanish how the filter worked and leave it as a gift to the family and if they didn’t mind, to pray for them.

My team did what we had done so often and in addition got a tour of the remains of the home.  After everything was completed one of our staff felt led to donate some additional funds as a gift to this family.  The matriarch was seated again at this time with her family around her and our work was done and our van slowly began to pull away in to the narrow street and as we did, the seated woman lost her composure and broke down into sobs covering her face as her grandchildren all leapt up with arms of comfort around her as she freely cried.

This was my first encounter with tears here.

The second was my own.  We were in an area where the water had flooded a valley and entire homes with all their content had been destroyed.  No one could be residing here and indeed they weren’t but we found them with family a little further up the road.  A young woman painted the insides of a vacant immaculate home leaving us curious.  We stopped.

Two families were within, the family purchasing the home who did not have theirs destroyed and their siblings family and their kids who did have their home destroyed but were helping their siblings prepare to move into their new house.

I had a conversation standing directly across from a woman who looks very similar to me in age and composure.  She was looking the direction of her old home downhill on the road and she said with a look of remaining disbelief, “I lost everything, my clothes, my bed, my kitchen, my pictures, my car,… everything.”  I found a lump in my throat as I beheld her face reliving the reality of her current situation.

We proceeded to give both family’s filters and I was the one who felt led to give a little something extra to both these family’s thanks to the happy sonship’s generosity.  I explained to the sister who was painting that she was our first sign of hope we had seen.  Someone preparing a home, making things new, moving forward.  And to the other who had lost everything, I couldn’t make it through my sentence.  That a little money could never replace what she had lost but that my heartfelt for what she was going through.  At least that’s what I meant to say.  My tears were contagious and we quickly transitioned into praying for the family before making our departure.

That was the second of four.

The last two experiences of tears I will share with you here were both from men.  My husband and I were invited to share a bit of our story of how we met and being missionaries to a gathering of young students at a private Christian school on the island.  Their entire building had been destroyed and a church had let them take over their entire facility to ensure the education year was not lost.

My husband and I were taking turns back and forth sharing our sides of our story leading up to when we would meet each other in Mexico.  As my husband relived the experience of taking the risk of pursuing me and what God had told him during that time and how faithful God had been in this area of his life he could not contain it anymore and to the sighs of every teenage girl in the audience his tears fell as his words were hindered.  A second attempt was made to continue.  No success.  More audience sighs and a united silence as my husband stood before these people basking in the goodness of God and not contain his emotions.  We cried with him.  And the storytelling continued.


Lastly, we visited a man who had lost nothing during hurricane Maria.  He and his wife are in their seventies and have been pastoring faithfully in a little community for over thirty years.  In this remote corner of the island in this large busy world, this man plays guitar and sings before the lord.  He writes his own songs and they often have to do with Jesus.  He was sharing some of these songs for us and playing them on his guitar.

His second song was about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane willingly choosing to suffer upon the cross for our sakes when the notes coming off of the guitar strings continued to float into the air but the words could not make it out of his mouth.  “Pardon me, pardon me,” his voice cracked out in Spanish while he closed his eyes trying to contain the emotion within.  His precious song resumed again and there we were with him, his heart laid bare before us.


There have been many more tears I have witnessed since being here on this island but here I have shared with you just four.  May all of us find the courage to live with our hearts laid bare and care enough about those around us to find others where their words get choked up and share with them in the silence that follows.

We are not all so different from one another.  Let us live with the awareness to still care.  To love others sometimes involves pain, but do not be afraid to open up again rather than shut down to avoid it.  We sometimes try to offer people answers and fix their problems but sometimes there aren’t answers or solutions to be offered and our presence is all we have to give; to sit with them in their pain or loss and offer our love.

Before Joel and I left to come to Puerto Rico on this trip I wrote that our hearts would be broken.  When our hearts get broken, it simply makes room for them to grow bigger.  Do not fear heartbreak.  Do not live life numb.  Don’t give up hope for tomorrow. God is worthy of our trust in today.

Thank you so much for the prayers and financial support that has made our trip to Puerto Rico possible.  We have felt the power of the Holy Spirit, felt the overwhelming compassion of the Father towards this island, and felt the nearness of Jesus to the people who are suffering here.  We continue to look to Him for our direction and leading.  Thank you and God Bless.