Serving a God of Change

Thirty beautiful women speaking for God...Christian Communicators Conference, 2014.
Thirty beautiful women speaking for God…Christian Communicators Conference, 2014.

When I speak for Stonecroft, the title of my speech is “Change Happens.”  Throughout my talk, I remember specific changes that God brought into my life at various times, all of which He used to make me who I am today.  Although change is hard, it is also that which keeps us alive and moving forward.

If we were to do the same things, wear the same clothes, eat the same food, and on, and on, life would quickly become monotonous and lack purpose.  Each change in our lives brings its own challenge.  The biggest challenge for the most memorable changes in my life was whether I was going to embrace the change with God or rebel against God and refuse to allow it to change me.

A few weeks ago, I got the call to join 29 other ladies just like me, to attend the Christian Communicators Conference at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina. (  My name had come up on the waiting list at the last minute and I had about a week to think about it before I took off on an eight hour road trip to my next big adventure.

During the week I was there, I was expecting God to pour His Heart out to me and tell me everything He wanted me to do in the days ahead.  Since I was so confident that He would, I even sat in my room one night alone, waiting for His sign.  Oh, and of course, I reminded him that when I got home, life was going to get busy so He’d better talk while I was still!  I waited, and waited, and waited…there was nothing.

So, I thought, “I know He didn’t bring me all this way and remove huge obstacles at the last minute to get me there without a plan.”

About the third day of utter frustration without a single word from God, I got it.  Oh!  This isn’t about me!  This is about God!  I realized at that point, that God has a plan and apparently there is going to be change down the pike for me.  However, I only need to be obedient and follow where He leads at this point.

Have you ever been there when you know a change is about to happen because God is stirring your heart, but you have no idea where He’s taking you?  Have you ever been like Moses and pleaded with the Lord like in Exodus 4:10-12 (NLT)?  But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words.  I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me.  I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth?  Who decides whether people speak or don’t speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see?  Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go!  I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

Moses went on to plead once more for God to send anyone else but him!  I don’t want to be like Moses.  I want to do everything on this earth God has ordained for me to do.  If I am to write, I will write.  If I am to speak, I will speak…with fear and trembling, but I will speak.  If I am to remain silent, I will…not saying that will be easy though!

I know when God moves me to change, He has my best interest at heart.  He doesn’t want me to be comfortable in my own abilities and plan.  Rather, I think He delights in leading the way to the next new adventure!

Is God speaking to you?  Is it time for a change in your ho-hum routine?  Even the most beautiful pond can quickly turn fowl and scummy when its water becomes stagnant. As I wait for The Lord’s direction as to what comes next, I would ask that you remember my ministry in your prayers.  In turn, if you send me a message or make a comment, I will pray for you, too!  We are all in this together!

As I look out my window and watch the leaves start to fall,

I am thankful for a God that is a God of change.

It is His way.

He wants us to be ever-changing, ever-growing, into the person He wants us to be.

Trust Him.


Let Me Tell You About My Ah-Ha Moment!

suprised meI absolutely LOVE serving the Lord!  It is not always easy and I’m never the most popular doing it.  However, I consider it a huge privilege every time He appoints me for a job.  I am finding that even though He uses me to share His message, it’s not because I’m a good teacher.  It is usually because He wants to teach me an important lesson.  Teachers often are the ones who learn the most when they teach!

This last month as I prepared for a retreat I spoke at yesterday and for the Bible study I taught after speaking, I struggled to get it done.  It seemed that my schedule was so hectic that when it came time to study and plan, I was WORN out!  As I worked on the final pieces Friday night, it dawned on me… “This lesson is for me!”

I have always been very timid about teaching the Bible as I feel very under-qualified to say the least.  However, I agreed to teach a lesson on Elijah that showed how when he allowed his physical condition to deteriorate—not getting enough rest, not eating right, and over-exerting himself to the max physically, his outlook on life became very bleak. Although he had one of the most arduous ministries in one of Israel’s darkest times, he allowed himself to become so tired that he literally found himself under a tree, all alone, whining…woe is me!  This was even after he had seen God do mighty things right in front of his eyes just a short time before that and knew better.  He was actually at a point in his ministry he simply wanted to be done and die.  He had lost sight of God and all of His power while he focused totally on himself, even to the point of believing he was the only believer left.  His perspective was not reality but his physical condition made him feel that it was.

I woke up the morning of the retreat and did my devotion as I typically do while I drink my first cup of coffee.  I was still feeling a little alone and concerned whether or not I was the right person to lead the Bible study.  However, as I read, right there in front of me was the scripture from my lesson I was teaching in 1 Kings 19:12 that afternoon.  It said, After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”  I had been so busy lately that I was beginning to panic thinking God wasn’t going to be there for me when I taught the lesson even when I intellectually knew better.  However, He was faithful, once again, to show up Saturday morning in His quiet and calm way as I read the Bible.  This simple verse assured me instantly that He had it all under control.  He was going to meet me there and His Holy Spirit would guide me that day.  I was not alone!  I never was!  He was there all the time.  I was just too busy and tired lately to remember it!

Another part of the study went on to add the verse in 1Peter 5:8—Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  It is easy to teach others about the need to surround themselves with other Christians who will speak truth into their lives when their perspective is skewed for some reason or another.  However, I know that when I get tired, I’m the first to start pulling away from everyone in my world.  Just as the lion uses the tactic of separating its prey from the rest of the group so it can attack; so he does the same to believers when they allow themselves to become isolated because of tiredness, hurt feelings, illness, or for whatever reason when they pull away from others who would typically encourage them.

So this week’s lesson I learned is:

  1. I need to take care of myself physically…nutrition, rest and even exercise.  Ouch.  Had to say that last word…sorry.  If I don’t, I may find myself too distraught or unfocused to even know He is trying to get my attention.
  2. I need to have quiet times in my life so that when God whispers, I hear. If I wait for Him to shoot down a lighting strike or send a note on a string like Charlie the Tuna used to get…some of you young’ns won’t get that…go ask your mom…it will never come!  If my life is too busy and noisy…I may never hear His voice. I might even think He has abandoned me!
  3. I need to allow other people into my life so that when I get down and discouraged, they can help me get my perspective back on the truth.  If I isolate myself from others, my perspective might become something other than reality.

Thank you, Lord for your still small voice that speaks truth to me…even when I am supposed to be the teacher.  Although this is another busy week, I am going to be doing some rearranging.  I’m going to be saying “no” to some things while saying “yes” to some down time.  I am also going to make an effort to go to our small group that starts back up this week even when I don’t feel the strength to go.

Who do you have in your life holding you accountable?  Have you allowed yourself to be separated from the pack?  Are you taking the time to take care of yourself physically?  How about spiritually?  I pray that this week we all take the time to listen for God’s quiet direction in our lives.  Until next week…blessings!

Are You Listening to What You Are Hearing?

We had house guests this weekend from out of state.  At breakfast, I was asking them how they slept and they said, “Great!”  Then the husband said, “I really enjoyed the birds this morning outside our window and of course I heard the train in the distance too.”   I thought to myself, “I used to hear those things too, but it’s funny, I don’t hear them much anymore.” 

As I sat down to write my blog this morning, I was overtaken by the beauty of the trees.  I’ve been accused of it not taking much to distract me or get me excited.  However, they truly were stunning today.  I tried to take a picture of the prettiest one but I just couldn’t possibly capture its full beauty in a mere photo.  No one paints a picture like God—not even Nikon!  As I continued to think about what I was going to write about, birds flitted by the window, were hanging on the side of the house and a squirrel was shaking the trees from one end to another as it chased a friend.  What an awesome picture.

Then I was reminded of our conversation the day before.  I decided to open the window and listen to this beautiful photo being played out in front of my eyes. 

Oh my!  As I listened, I heard the birds chirping loudly and some geese honking as they flew over.  I could hear the traffic rushing to and fro wherever their lives were taking them today.  Golf carts drove by and the clank of the club hitting the ball filled the air.  In the distance, I could hear the hammers of builders constructing another home across the fairway behind our house.  Then the sirens started ringing and the train horn blew.

Wow!  What world have I been living in?  I had grown so accustomed to my surroundings that I simply wasn’t hearing anything anymore.  I find myself going through life that way too sometimes.  I am very selective in my hearing one might say.  If it’s not positive and happy, I tend to not always hear or comprehend.  Some might think that is a gift…not always.  My A.D.D. also tends to draw my attention quickly away from things I maybe should focus on a while so that I might be effective in helping those in need around me.  It’s much easier to stay in my happy bubble versus getting involved in the uglies of someone’s world though.  It’s a two edged sword, really.  I am perfect to have around when everything looks dismal and impossible to overcome…I will always find the silver lining and encouraging words. However, don’t dwell on your trials and struggles too long around me.  It just isn’t my thing to sit around and whine all day over things we can’t control.  I’d rather be thankful for what is going right instead of crying about everything going wrong.

Once again, I hear God’s voice.  I feel He is telling me it is noble to dwell on the good and positive things, but I can’t get to the point where I am so positive that I can no longer hear the cries for help around me.  He has put us all on this planet in our certain neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and churches to reflect His beauty to others.  Sometimes even when it’s not comfortable, we need to open our windows and listenListen to our world around us.  Who is crying out for help that we didn’t even notice was there?  There will be those who flit past our radar as the birds did in this video.  How will we view them?  Are they silently saying, “Help!  Can you see me?  I need your attention!”  How will we react?  Will we look at them as an interruption in our otherwise beautiful world or will we take the time to listen to hear about how we can help?

I know this is an area that I need to focus on in my own life.  Maybe you have that problem too.  Sometimes I need to step out of my happy bubble long enough to invite someone to at least come and join me for the party!  Have you, like me, grown so accustomed to the pain, suffering, and noises of this hurting world that you no longer hear?  I challenge you to open your window so to speak and listen.  Listen to your world.  Listen to the Holy Spirit who wants to use you to make your world even more beautiful than you can imagine or do on your own.  For when God is invited to guide your hearing, something majestic evolves.  It’s a one of a kind portrait called your life that God’s touch can make absolutely stunning.  Are you listening?

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Proverbs 1:5  …let the wise listen and add to their learning…