Pursuing the Kingdom Dream

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

Through the journey of writing the You Are Priceless book and bringing it together I have realized I’m foregoing the American dream. In my flesh, I would love to sit and relax. I would love days where the demands of life are minimal. I would love to watch a good tv show and just spend time vegging on the couch. Sometimes I just want to sit and do absolutely nothing.

The American dream is filled with promises of happiness when you get the bigger car, bigger house, greater job, accolades, and awards. It comes with temporary satisfaction and temporary rewards. I could pursue it. In my flesh, I desire to take the easy road and leave the challenges far behind. But in my spirit something cries to be used by God… to make a difference…. to make a Kingdom Impact. Something in me won’t be satisfied until I pursue everything God has for me in this life.

Yes, I choose the Kingdom Dream. I choose the dream that will last for eternity. My days here on earth are short. David says they are but a breath. It’s possible that I won’t wake up tomorrow morning and what would my life have stood for. Would I leave a trail of someone who pursued this riches of the world or the riches of Heaven? Would it show a heart sold out for the Lord? Would it show someone who loved Jesus enough to share Him with every person I could? Would my life show that I’m living the Kingdom Dream or the American Dream? Would my life have fruit beyond my final breath?

This is what I have lived for my whole life. My greatest desire has been to share Jesus with as many people as I possibly can. To equip and encourage those who are new to the faith and help them get their legs sturdy in following Christ. To disciple one more. To equip one more. To love on one more. This is my dream! It’s not an American dream. You won’t see a closet full of designer clothes, you won’t even find a perfectly upkeep house when you come to visit, and you certainly won’t find that I waste a lot of time.

I spent many years of my life on a couch barely surviving. Years asking God to just take me home if this is all my life was going to amount to. Years wondering is this really all I’m going to do with my life. But all of that was a precursor. It was all producing in me a drive to fight. A desire to do whatever it takes to get healthy. A steadfast confidence that said even if I lose everything, following Christ is the best thing I can do with my life.

That time spent on the couch showed me that I want to waste little time. I want to be effective. I want to pursue the Kingdom Dream. A dream that doesn’t die. A dream that pays back dividends for all eternity. Are you pursuing the calling God has on your life? Have you put your yes on the table? You were designed on purpose for a purpose. I encourage you to ask God what His Kingdom dream is for you and pursue it with all your heart.

I can promise that it won’t be easy. I can promise that it will involve sacrifice. And I can promise that you will want to quit some days. But I can also promise that you will feel more free then you ever have before. You will experience rewards far beyond what this world can offer. And God will give you the strength to continue when You’ve got nothing left. Trust Him! He’s got a big plan for your life!

Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. (Psalm 144:4, ESV)

Dear Father God, Please help me to constantly be aware of how fleeting my days are here on this earth. May I make the most of the time that I am given and advance Your Kingdom purpose in every possible way. May my heart be sold out to the things of you and may pursuing you matter more to me than pursuing the American dream. I pray that I will pursue the Kingdom Dream and live with purpose for Your glory!

Pursuing the Kingdom Dream,

Sarah Malanowski, author

Summer 2018 Update!!

Summer 2018 is Starting Off Strong!!

Our heart at The Priceless Journey is that every person who reads our books, goes to our website, or hears us at a conference will leave feeling freer, shining more radiant and walking further out of the shame that may be covering their faces!! The picture above is our leaders after our second conference:

Embracing YOUR Priceless Journey –

June 9, 2018

It was an incredible time and the Lord moved through the many testimonies that were shared!! Please see more pictures from that day below!!

                

                           

We had so many share how they left feeling freer and the shame that cloaked them was coming off… what a gift it’s been to watch God release these lives from the enemy’s grip as they press into Jesus and realize who they are in Him…truly priceless!! It reminds me of Isaiah 61:2a which says,

“He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the
time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

 What an absolute privilege it is to behold and be apart

of what God is doing as we continue to say “yes”!

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Please see other exciting developments below:

God is bringing our leadership team together. (From the left in the top picture)

Sarah- President/Co-founder
Ivory- VP
Kim- Director of Events
Jenny- Priceless Gems (Volunteer) Director
Rea- Social Media/Intercessory Prayer Director

-We continue to receive letters from prison inmates whose hearts and lives are being transformed.
-We’ve had different opportunities to share the devotional and women in the church are being radically changed by the testimonies within the devotional.
-We are putting together a portfolio to be presented in D.C. so that our books can go into every federal institution without needing approval!! (If you’ve been blessed by the book will you go here to share your testimony so we can use it in this portfolio?)
-We are in the process of working with our local prisons and jails so we can start doing the conference for the inmates.
-We had the opportunity to have our books given out at The Pro-Life Women’s Conference! (Would you like to donate to help with this gift? Please click here!)
-Our Minnesota and Spanish editions are coming along well and we hope to offer them to you soon!!
-God continues to send us incredible ministry partners that we are linking arms with to reach more people for Jesus.
-Our ministry launch gala is happening on August 11th from 4:30-7:30 on Yacht Starship Cruise! To meet the leaders, some of the women inside of the book, and to hear more about what God is doing please click here to get tickets!
-Sarah has some incredible speaking opportunities this summer one including a panel at Biola University in Los Angeles, CA!
-The first testimony we shared with the 700 Club has aired. Here is a link to it if you want to watch it…Christa’s testimony is called You Are Priceless in the book and it was the one that inspired the title of the book. Click here to watch it.
-Rotary Clubs have been reaching out to have our President, Sarah speak about The Priceless Journey. Please pray that this will be a great connection and that we will gain donor support through this for our ongoing ministry needs.

We appreciate your prayers with each of these exciting updates!!

Would you like to support one of these opportunities? Please click here to give!

Words Matter

Words… they are everywhere.  There are thousands upon thousands of words spoken on any given day at any given hour.  Most of them through actual talking or speech, but nowadays it’s also through text messages, social media, and cell phones.  Then there is the timeless classic of the written word in books, online posts, and emails.  of all these methods of talking and exchanging words, my favorite each and every time are the words, wait for it….. from a friend or confidant in a moment of unexpected clarity.  It’s that moment when, as your listening to that person’s words, (i.e. encouragement, constructive criticism, advice, scripture, etc.) you realize it’s the Holy Spirit!  It’s God speaking to you, reminding you of His presence and His acute awareness of YOU.  WHO you are.  WHAT your needs are.  WHY you matter.  In fact, many times the person speaking has no idea how powerful their words are in that moment.  Their words evoke a response and it’s immediate.

I recently had this happen to me when at dinner with a friend.  She had no knowledge of my unanswered prayers.  She had no idea of unspoken longings in my heart-or unspoken prayers said between God and I only.  Equipped with a listening ear and a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit- she spoke TRUTH to me and I knew the instant I heard her words it was God.  He was showing up in a physical way with words.  So completely ordinary right?  Or is it?  He wanted me to hear Him with an open heart and a willingness to listen. My girlfriend was the vessel to say what He needed me to hear at the appointed moment I needed to hear it.  I must go forward now with the truth that’s been revealed to me, armed with the confidence of God’s faithfulness and message.

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever had a moment when you knew what your ears were hearing, your heart was feeling?  The divinity of God’s love overcomes any doubt or attempt to logically rebuke the truth as you heard it and you are convicted beyond all reasonable doubt to step forward!  The experience for me, when it happened, was humbling and emotional.  I was, and still am, truly aghast that The Almighty of the Heavens and Earth would have any interest in any conversation I might have and wants ME to hear a message.  He reminds me He is THE most powerful being alive and He knows my heart even when I don’t speak it out loud. I find a deep conviction to repent of whatever should be and I ask to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus…..that’s all it really takes isn’t it?  Words, the bible says, are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bone.  Indeed.

I hope my words have an impact on your heart today and I encourage you to always be open to the conversations around you.  God may be yearning for a heart to heart with you in the least surprising of methods-words.

Love and Prayers to all of you. xo

Jera

 

 

Devastation… a Possible Invitation?

“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There the Israelite’s stood, as Exodus 14 explains, they had seen God’s power as He slayed the Egyptians with plague after plague because Pharaoh, their king, wouldn’t let them go. For a time, things got hard and the Israelite’s questioned God and His chosen leader, Moses, but still— God kept them. He was working through all of it, providing a way for their freedom, establishing them in a place where they wouldn’t just leave, but head into His promise for them with the riches of those who held them captive.

And after 10 awful plagues Pharaoh finally let them go and they were free! Walking into the promise God had given their forefathers. How incredible?! The wait was over, God had heard their cry, and they had seen His miraculous power.

But then they found themselves  feeling helpless and devastation rose in their hearts as their captors— the ones who they thought God had freed them from were coming for them…

I don’t know what devastation you have experienced of late or are experiencing right now but you know that heart-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach feeling when things go much differently than you could have hoped for or expected. Maybe it’s in a close relationship or at work or in school. Maybe it’s in your health or with your family. Maybe it’s happening to your friend or loved one. Or maybe you don’t know them but the that raw, gnawing, chest compressing reality they’re experiencing breaks your heart and the devastation overwhelms you.

Just like the Israelite’s, I sometimes tend to panic. They had the entire Egyptian army coming for them and they were stuck looking at the Red Sea feeling hopeless. In your situation, what’s causing you to maybe want to run and hide, to fear, to cower, making you angry, frustrated and making you feel hopeless? Right there, in those places, could there be an invitation?

An invitation to trust as our verse above says that “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” To not lean on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge the Lord so He can direct our paths as Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us?

In these moments, the times where the enemy wants fear, doubt, and frustration to reign will we stand firm, take those thoughts captive, and let these verses comfort and steady our hearts?!

Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”Exodus 14:13-14

With that, God put the Angel of the Lord behind them to protect them, told Moses to raise his staff over the waters, and God sent a strong wind that divided the waters before them.  Once they were through the path God had made for them the Egyptian army followed and the waters came crashing down on them. God had protected His people and defeated their enemies in what had seemed to be a completely hopeless situation.

Whew, does that get your heart racing? Man, it does mine!!! What seemed like sure devastation turned into an invitation to not only see the power of God but experience it on a scale many have yet to.

Life is hard, difficulties come, heartache is sure, but we have a Red Sea dividing God that wants to take your devastation and turn it into an invitation to watch Him do the miraculous not only for you but for those around you.

Just like God had a plan to not only take care of His people but completely destroy their enemy in the process He wants to do that for you and me. He wants us to come to Him, look to Him, find safety and security in Him and let Him fight for us as He walks along side of us through the devastation’s of life.

Lord, today, we give you the hurt, pain, anguish in our hearts and we look to you to lead us through the waters of our devastation as we turn it into an invitation to see You in unfathomable ways. Help our hearts trust to You as we cling to You for direction.

In the nothing impossible name of Jesus we pray, Amen!!

 

With love because of Christ’s,

The Cleaning Bug

I have to admit that I’ve been bit by the Cleaning Bug. Now that doesn’t mean that I’m actually cleaning anything. Rather it’s a fascination with these amazing people who like to blog and run Facebook groups about cleaning. You can really learn some interesting information.

Like, once you get the waxy residue left from window cleaners off of your windows and glass, you can simply and quickly clean them with club soda and never have streaks again. Wow!

But the best are the videos of other people cleaning things with pressure washers and the like. It’s amazing really and can completely suck away 5 minutes of your life watching the repetitive motion of the sprayer going back and forth as beautifully cleaned surfaces are revealed. It’s addicting in a therapeutic way. LOL!

There is no physical way to effectively and thoroughly clean driveways and sidewalks without a pressure cleaner. Man power just can’t do it. This got me to thinking about how God has cleaned our hearts from all the stains of sin. He did it through the Christ Jesus sacrificial death and resurrection. Once and for all.

But how silly would it be for me to say that I need to get my scrub brush out and clean my driveway after I just had it pressure washed? It would be ridiculous. You’d think I was crazy if I started telling you how incredibly filthy the driveway was and then acted like I could do something to make it better.

How many times do we do this to ourselves. Jesus has already cleansed our hearts and even now calls us clean. It’s our faith that believes He did it.

“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”
John 15:3 ESV

I know this analogy isn’t perfect because eventually my driveway will need that pressure washer again. But my heart won’t. Thanks be to our loving father who made sure that Jesus’ sacrifice was once and for all.

“Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’….  And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Hebrews 10: 9-10 NIV

I want to learn to catch myself before I start to call filthy what He has made clean. I am becoming today what I will be tomorrow. So right now, I’m going to practice acting like who I really am in Christ. Clean! Free from the guilt and stain of sin.

I am already clean!

Love,