Thursday, February 21, 2013

The following is something my daughter, Staci Lynn, recently wrote.  It really encouraged me!

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” ----Eleanor Roosevelt

“Feel the fear and then do it anyway” Jillian Michaels-The Biggest Loser

I believe I had inadvertently started on a path of self-destruction. By no means was this on purpose. Is it ever on purpose? We start out with the best intentions. We start out knowing that this time we will be bold. This time we won’t cower in a corner. This time, we will walk the path toward our dreams with courage and boldness. 

And then, there it is. That twinge in your stomach that says: “What the heck am I doing?” “You can’t do this.” “It’s not possible.”

That “BOLD” “COURAGEOUS” attitude lasted for…. about a minute, if that. Once the initial thought of, “There’s no way I can do this” sets in, it’s only downhill from there. The seed was planted. Doubt has now invaded. Fear has crept in. Again.  You find yourself in the pit you said you would never go back to. This pit is full of self-deprecating thoughts, hopelessness, unbelief, bitterness and that’s just naming a few of the things that tend to latch on to you.  You’ll never set out on an adventure that would prove to be more than you could handle again. It only leads to disappointment. We start believing every little lie that’s whispered in our ears. We have now created a habit of believing the worst about ourselves. This is one of the slowest most painful deaths that can invade our lives.  You are slowly killing yourself when your thoughts are consumed by toxic lies that are intended to hinder and barricade you. You think you’re protecting yourself. You think you’re “playing it safe”.  My friend, you are deceived.

Really, it wasn’t more than you could handle…

It was just more than you could control and that freaked you out.

How do I stop feeling this fear? How will I be happy or successful if I am constantly finding myself paralyzed with fear? How do I overcome this?

I believe the thing that separates the successful from the unsuccessful isn’t that they learned how to stop feeling afraid. It’s that they felt the fear and then did it anyway. 

Ultimately, the Perfect Love of God casts out all fear. So don’t think that I am saying you have to feel fear of every little thing for the rest of your life. God CAN and WILL deliver you.

BUT I believe it is stepping out in faith when you FEEL afraid and move forward anyway. It says that “Contrary to how I feel right now, I know that GOD loves me and is faithful and holds my world in the palm of his hand”.  God doesn’t fail folks.   We have temporary setbacks but there’s that beautiful truth that we can’t forget: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Start living and stop letting fear control your every move and every decision. It is not God’s will for you to live like that. In fact, he sent Jesus so we could have ABUNDANT LIFE! So have it, dadgummit. (Staci Lynn Woolf)
Good job sister
Stay Tuned


Friday, February 15, 2013

I'll never forget Friday February 8, 2013! I was speaking to hundreds of pastors and church leaders in Muhurro, Uganda from 2 Kings 13:14-19.  In this story Elisha became angry with the King because he only struck the ground three times with an arrow which revealed his lack of passion and faith.  You'll have to go and read the story.  While teaching this I communicated to those pastors that it could be  the King only struck the ground three times because he may of only had three arrows and that this would represent living life by sight instead of living by faith.  And if you know the Bible it tells us that "faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen."  I told those pastors and church leaders that if not careful we'll make the same mistake in ministry and make decisions based only on what we can see with our natural eye and not faith.  The Bible tells us that "without faith it is impossible to please God." 

This is where it gets interesting.  While praying for the pastors at the conclusion of the session the Holy Spirit spoke the following words in my spirit.  "You quit the church plant in Colorado based on what you saw with the natural eye."  You heard that right, I QUIT!  It was a very humbling moment for me.  I began to weep and had to stop praying and confess before these hundreds of pastors and church leaders that I had QUIT!  The voice in my spirit was not a condemning voice but it was the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit telling me that the decision I made to discontinue the church was one made out of doubt and fear based on what I could only see happening with my own sight.  It certainly was not a decision made in faith.  I QUIT! 

Oddly enough even as I type those words (I quit) I sense the cleansing stream of God flowing through my inner man as I did that day in Uganda.  No more wondering what went wrong, how could God do this or I must have made to many mistakes.  The reason why the church plant didn't work is finally summed up with the words, I QUIT!

Our last launch team member was now leaving to return to Texas and our financial support had dropped 90% for the last two months of the church.  I looked at what was happening in the natural and made the decision to discontinue the church instead of pressing through this moment living life by faith.  I knew God had sent us to Colorado but had lost sight of that and just gave up!  Something I never thought I'd do. 

But here's how great our God is.  As I began to meditate on what the Holy Spirit had spoke to me I was reminded of the Apostle Peter and how he never thought he'd deny Jesus, but he did.  Not once but three times!  Now here's the cool part.  It's not just coincidence that Peter was chosen on the day of Pentecost to preach the Gospel message to thousands of people and thousands were born again.  I just wonder how many people in the crowd that day had heard Peter deny Jesus just before His crucifixion?  Now they're hearing Peter preach the Gospel with boldness.  Can you see it?  OH THE GRACE OF OUR GOD! 

Here's my point.  When it was revealed to me that I closed the door in Colorado and not God, God didn't just leave it there.  He began to comfort me with the truth that He still has a great plan for my life and ministry. Yes I made a mistake but friends God's grace is greater then our mistakes and He is a God of restoration.  Yes, God is not just the God of a second chance but He is the God of ANOTHER CHANCE! 

I don't know where you're at today?  Maybe you're getting ready to quit something because of the circumstances surrounding you.  First let me encourage you to get alone with God and get a FAITH perspective and base your decisions on faith.  Maybe you're in a place like me where you've already quit.  Please don't fret my friend, as I said earlier GOD IS A GOD OF RESTORATION AND HE'S MORE THAN WILLING TO GIVE YOU ANOTHER CHANCE!  Build yourself up in your faith and seek God with all your heart and get ready to hear His instructions.  With God there's always another chance! 

I love it!  When you and I realize the truth that God gives us another chance then we can begin to DREAM.......AGAIN! So don't let anything stop you and have faith in our God because the best is yet to come! 


Stay Tuned

PS I had to add this last paragraph.  Just as I finished proof reading this post getting ready to publish it I looked at the time and it was 3:33pm.  In case you don't know many times the number three represents resurrection.  With God your dreams won't stay dead long.  Seek Him and He'll resurrect those dreams! You may think it strange but I just laughed and gave God praise!