A Mental Realignment

Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. For you died [to this world], and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4, AMP)

The above passage of Scripture reminds us that we need to have our hearts and minds set on the things of Christ. This passage has been a constant tool of realignment for my mind. How often I get off track thinking about things that just don’t matter. This passage of Scripture reminds me that I have been raised with Christ to a new life… Why do I go back to a place that elevates my sinful nature and diminishes the work of the cross? It’s a battle I will face for the rest of my time on this earth.

I’m thankful to God that He shows me grace and continues to call me forward in the things of Him. I like how the amplified version of this verse reads, “keep seeking the things that are above”… This part of the Scripture has a lot of meaning when you dig into the Greek on it. The Greek says this verb is a Present Active Imperative verb. This means that we are to be presently seeking God right in this moment, actively continuing to seek Him long into the future (there’s never a point at which we are good and stop seeking Him), and it’s a command. This means that we are not called to seek the Lord when we feel like it or when it’s convenient. We are to seek the Lord always from now until we die.

While on this earth we are in a process of sanctification. A process that knows no end on this earth. We daily have an opportunity to grow in the things of the Lord as we seek His face and His divine purpose for our lives.

May we never grow weary in seeking the Lord but may we do so with a happy heart, knowing that the best is yet to come! God isn’t finished yet and as we set our hearts and minds on Him we find ourselves realigned to His purpose. God has so much in store for us as we surrender our desires and seek after His.

Lord, please teach us what it means to fully seek You. May our hearts be realigned to your purpose and plan for our lives. May we live to honor You and be people who strive after a Christlike mindset. Lord, I pray that the revival we so desperately seek for our country will start in each one of us as we seek Your face! 

Keep Your Identity in Christ

But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified]. (John 1:12-13, AMP)

I think one of the top two greatest secrets to a joy-filled life is keeping your identity in Christ. If I place my identity in anything but Christ I will be disappointed. Everything else will cause me to lose my joy at some point in time.

  • If I put my identity in what I do, I’ll lose joy when I’m called to do something new.
  • If I put my identity in what I look like, I’ll lose my joy when my looks change.
  • If I put my identity in my children, I’ll lose joy when they do something that I don’t agree with or when they leave home.
  • If I put my identity in my performance, I’ll lose joy when I’m not performing well.
  • If I put my identity in how much money I can make, I’ll lose joy when that money ceases to bring me satisfaction.
  • If I put my identity in my achievements, my joy will flee when I’m not getting recognition for a new achievement.
  • If I put my identity in my marriage, my joy will disappear when my spouse says something hurtful.
  • If I put my identity in my church, I’ll lose my joy when someone in the church hurts me.
  • The only thing that brings a steadfast joy in this life is having a sole identity in Christ.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

He is the only thing that doesn’t change. My stuff will get old. There will be a day my children move out. There will come a time when my achievements have just collected dust. Nothing on this earth lasts forever.

In fact, I’ve noticed the times when I let the cares of this world occupy my heart. I’ve noticed when I’ve displaced Jesus and given over the throne of my heart to things going on around me. Those things tend to choke out my joy. I must always leave Christ on the throne of my heart, not my concerns, not my worries, not my anxieties, and not my expectations. I must become less so that Christ can become more in me.

Dear Father God, Please help me to identify where I have placed my identity in anything but Christ. Please help me to see where I have let other things occupy the throne of my heart. I surrender. Lord, my joy is only found in Jesus! May I live to serve You alone and become more Christlike with every passing day as I find my identity in the only One who will never change!

Never Give Up

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Are you facing the impossible? Are you tempted to give up? I have talked to a few different people this last week who are facing what they think is impossible. My heart aches for them and I pray that their eyes will soon get fixed on the Lord who never sees anything as an impossibility.

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Our 2020 EOY Celebration [Recap] From An Audience Perspective

Oh the anticipation, the night had finally arrived.

Me and my daughter, a 6-year-old aspiring dancer, and my date for the night, were so excited to be at the Dancing the Journey Overcoming the Darkness event for The Priceless Journey.

You see, I have a special place in my heart for the work they are doing because before a turn of crazy events, I was doing it right alongside Sarah and her amazing team. So the opportunity to celebrate what God has done through this ministry since my departure was such a joy.

We walked into the performance center and were met with smiling faces that handed us a lovely package with the original You are Priceless devotional, the new You are Priceless booklet, and a program with the night’s events. We were shown to our seats and couldn’t wait for what the night held for us.

Not long after we were seated, a special guest artist, Dr. Louis Claussen, serenaded all those in the auditorium with beautiful piano arrangements.

The program began with the national anthem and a brief welcome explaining how the night’s event proceeds would go to the production of the Spanish resources. So exciting!

Then… it began… dancers take their places and the night was off to a breathtaking start

They leaped, swayed and spun across the stage. Exhibiting a high level of skill, but also a grace that could only come from the throne room of heaven.

There were some fun upbeat numbers. My daughter’s favorite was the “Super Savior” piece performed by Karla Ledoux (the artistic director of the event) and Ryan Bogart.

She enjoyed it so much because they were dressed up like superheroes!

As the night went on Dr. Claussen took the stage and performed a beautiful rendition of How Great Thou Art.

Then the Vice President of TPJ, Candia Marie, took the stage.

candia vp priceless journey

She shared her incredible testimony of how God had redeemed what she wasn’t sure was redeemable. How He took what she thought was worthless in her story and has brought purpose to it- beauty from ashes. She shared how TPJ has helped her grow in embracing the fact that she is truly Priceless and what an honor it is to share that message, mission and theme with the people they serve and minister to.

Right after Candia shared, the dancers took the stage for one more performance before intermission. It was my favorite part of the night.

It was to the song “O My Soul” where they all started out with sashes that read things like worthless, unwanted, invaluable.

Midway through the segment, they freed themselves from those labels and revealed – worthy, wanted, and valuable.

It packed a punch and so spoke to what TPJ is all about.

We were left with that message and conversation filled the air during intermission.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as everyone reflected on the lies they bare and the truth that sets them free.

After a brief intermission, we were swept away by the dancers sharing their gifts and talents with us. They interpreted the story of the woman at the well in the gospels through dance.

Then Alan Wilkett, board member and a renowned human trafficking advocate, shared his heart

Alan shared the realities of so many hurting people and how TPJ is coming beside them to offer resources to help them find ultimate healing, freedom, and hope.  Women who can embrace the reality that, they too are priceless. No matter their experience, what has been said about them, who they’ve been told they are, or who they think they are.

It was powerful and made me so excited to be a part of this night and help raise funds for the ones still needing the message of the gospel shared in TPJ’s resources.

The ballerinas took the stage for more dazzling performances, this time with a live vocalist.

dance live vocalist

One of my favorites, “Up and Overcome” was a beautifully, uplifting piece. It provided a perfect segway as we then heard from the Keynote Speaker and Founder of TPJ, Sarah.

Sarah passionately shared her heart about how God used her story and her experiences. How God prepared her to lead this non-profit. How the mission of the Priceless Journey is her heartbeat, who once was the girl that needed this message as well.

sarah 2020 eoy event

Sarah shared how we are each created with unimaginable value. God desires to help us all come to a place where we recognize ourselves as trophies of His grace no matter what has come to be known as our story.

She eloquently shared her heart and desires for TPJ. She was amazing!

Before we knew it we were ushered into 2 more dance pieces.

While the event seemed to fly by, I left encouraged, inspired, and thankful for this ministry and what they are accomplishing in the name of Christ.

I’m so glad I was able to attend and support this ministry that is reaching out to all God allows them to, so they can proclaim the name of Jesus.

They truly are equipping many to embrace the journey of freedom. It was a lovely night!

Thanks for going back through it with me!

I look forward to next year as God continues to use this ministry to help reach more with the message of hope that – You are Priceless!

If you missed it, I encourage you to get tickets to their next performance on April 18th.

It’s going to be amazing!

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