I have been thinking a lot about fear lately. It is such an odd thing because it has such a broad range. Fear can be something so silly or something very serious. You can be afraid of clowns or afraid of death. You can have a small fear that lurks in the back of your mind, or a fear so large it is paralyzing.
There are, of course, fears that can help you. Like if you are afraid of your children getting hit by a car, you are going to teach them to look both ways. There are also fears that are realistic and fears that are completely irrational. And then sometimes, I think the enemy tries to make me afraid of things that actually might be good for me.
Take for instance something I am ashamed of (I hope I can be honest here), I sometimes yell at my kids. Loud. Now the enemy wants me to feel ashamed. He wants to whisper to me, “you’re a terrible mom,” and “what would people think if they heard you yell like that?” He wants me to internalize everything and never talk about it to anyone. He wants me to think about it over and over again.
Sometimes when I am faced with an irrational fear that is based in shame like,” what if people really knew what you are like?” I just face it. I find someone and confess. I just say to another mom friend, “I really struggle with yelling at my kids sometimes.” I let it out there. And then, usually, I find my friend say, “Oh, I struggle with the same thing too.” Now the the chatterbox has no more power. ”What if people found out?” Well they just did AND I found out I am not alone in this struggle.
I actually told my mom the other day how awful I felt because I had fussed so much at my kids last Saturday while I was taking them to their activities. I remember saying to her, “I guess I just discounted all the things I did for them today.” She said just the right thing, “No you didn’t. They won’t even remember you fussing at them. They will remember that you always took them to their activities. That’s all.”
Not all fear is so easily overcome. But boy can you nip the fear of shame by simply being honest with someone. You may find out that the thing in your mind that you built up to be such a big deal really isn’t a big deal at all.
James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Wow! what a weekend. I woke up this morning with a holy hangover. I have had two cups of Awake tea and one cup of coffee to try and get me going today. We had such a powerful weekend. My husband preached his heart out and then Sunday evening we had a special baptism service. First the sermon…
This weekend we continued our series, Crash the Chatterbox with an incredible message on fear. This series has been so helpful for so many people including myself. I love how my husband is preaching additional content to the book. It supplements so well with what we are reading in the book, and every weekend I feel challenged and inspired.
This message on fear was based out of Acts 27 and 28, Paul’s journey to Rome to be tried by Caesar. Paul was shipwrecked, almost killed by the guards and snake bitten, yet he did not lose his faith. Here are the 3 points.
- Steer by the Spirit, not by your senses. The chatterbox creates worry, the Spirit gives warnings.
- Fix you focus and keep up your faith. Fear and faith are both powered by focus. My faith cannot be in the ship, my faith must be in Jesus.
- Shake the snake and feed the fire. When the fire burns bright, it draws the snakes out. Paul knew God would not save him from the shipwreck to die from a snakebite. I must learn to shake the snake!
The message this weekend was amazing. I hope you will take the time to watch or listen. You can watch the message today on the Elevation Network
, in our archive
and on our podcast
And I cannot end this post without sharing this picture. Can you see how happy I am? There is nothing in the world like watching people take the step of baptism. I love to watch people boldly proclaim that they belong to Christ. And last night we got to watch hundreds of people at 3 of our locations proclaim their faith. As my husband said, “Baptism is a public declaration of a new identification.”
Have a great Monday!
It is rare to know a person who never complains, especially when by the world’s standards they have every right to complain. My friend, Ferris Joye, is one of those people. Ferris is married to Wade Joye, the worship pastor at our church. You may have read the first part of their story in my husband’s first book, Sun Stand Still.
The short version is, about 5 years ago, Ferris gave birth to twin girls born 13 weeks early. They literally had to fight for their lives and believe in Faith even when the doctors told them to give up. The part of their story you may not know is that a year ago, the Joyes had another beautiful baby girl. Ferris carried her full term and was so excited to finally have a normal baby. A few hours after Sydney was born, Ferris and Wade had to hear some hard news, Sydney had cystic fibrosis.
Today Ferris and Wade are the proud parents of 3 amazing little girls. Although they still have issues they deal with on a regular basis, Ferris handles it with absolute grace, and their daughters are a complete joy. She inspires me so much.
Recently the Lord impressed upon Ferris’ heart that it was time for her to step out and help other moms of children with special needs. She leads a group of moms at our church and she has also started a blog. Her blog offers practical and emotional encouragement for so many moms in a similar position. I hope that you will visit her blog, especially if you are blessed with a child with special needs, but even if you are not, you will enjoy following Ambient Light.
Today is this guy’s birthday.
He is 34.
He is the best decision I ever made.
He is an amazing dad.
He is a humble warrior.
He is a brilliant leader.
He is a gift.
He is a world changer.
He is my teacher, pastor, lover, and friend.
He is more disciplined than anyone I know.
He loves God with all his heart.
He truly loves people.
He is the most generous man.
Happy Birthday Babe. I love you.
This weekend was week 2 of our series, Crash the Chatterbox, a series teaching us how to hear God’s voice above all others. I love how my husband is not teaching things he has written in Crash the Chatterbox, rather adding to it. It is so complimentary to what we are reading in our eGroups. This week week we tackled the topic of insecurity.
Insecurity defined: I am never _______ enough.
My husband taught us from Exodus 2-4, when God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses had three excuses he offered to God, all rooted in insecurity.
- I’m so dysfunctional
- I’m so deficient
- I’m so doubtful
We learned that insecurity is the ultimate insult to God as our creator. We also learned that the biggest antidote for insecurity is to consider the source.
When Moses asked God for His name , God replied, I AM. My husband taught us “what I am doesn’t change who He is!” He is gracious. He is sufficient. He is faithful. And whatever I’m not, He is. In Him, I am able, confident, blessed, whole, delivered, clean…
The message was so great. I am not even doing it justice. I heard so many people say it was the best sermon they ever heard. You really must go and watch it! You can watch the message today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.
And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.
Have a great Monday!
Over the past 3 days we have gotten more snow that I ever remember in my 12 years of living in North Carolina. It just kept snowing and snowing! The kids have had a blast. Notice how Abbey has on a rain jacket and socks on her hands, only in the South! Thought you might enjoy a few pictures…
Have a Happy Valentine’s day!
Once a month I like to take a few of the women in leadership at our church and visit one of our outreach partners. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit One7 Academy. We got to share in their chapel time and serve the girls lunch.
One7 is a ministry to refugee kids living in Charlotte. Yes we have refugees living in Charlotte. One7 Academy offers free, private education for 19 very blessed girls from all over the world (you’ve got to check out their profiles on their site). One7 ministries seeks to minister to many of the international families in crisis in our city. Of course, they also use the ministry of soccer. In fact, one of their boy’s teams won the US Club National Championship last year. But they also have an entire apartment building that offers help and hope to families that many of us don’t even know exist in our city, as well as a weekly discipleship opportunity too.
I had the best time at the academy. I am so thankful that when I give to Elevation a percentage of my money goes to help kids like this and that our church provides so many opportunities for us to get involved with organizations that are really getting it done in our city. And, if you are local to Charlotte, I KNOW the girls at One7 Academy would love to meet you. They have weekly opportunities for you and your group to get involved. Contact them through their site.
The day is finally here!!! This book has been in the makings for so long. I am so proud of my husband for this. Having watched the process of writing a book 3 times now, I can tell you that it doesn’t get any easier the 3rd time around. There was a lot of resistance against this book and I know that is because the message is so great.
As I said yesterday, I read the first chapter with tears in my eyes because it was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment and I guarantee it will be the same for you. In this book my husband teaches us how to hear God above the voices of insecurity, fear, condemnation and discouragement.
And today, to kick off the release of this book, we are doing a live radio show from 10am-6pm!! Pastor Steven will be joined with Lysa TerKuerst as they interview guests such as Christine Caine, Pastor Craig Groeschel, Louie Giglio, and so many others. It is going to be a great day.
Join us on the ElevationNetwork and don’t forget to order the book at CrashtheChatterbox.com
We began our series, Crash the Chatterbox today FINALLY!!! 9 months ago I read the first chapter of my husbands book with tears in my eyes because it was exactly what I needed to hear. I have been anxiously anticipating the release of this book because I know it is going to help so many people. And what better way to set up the book release this week with a sermon series from my husband?
He set up the series so well today. He defined the chatterbox as the lies we believe that keep us from accurately hearing God’s voice above all others. Crashing the chatter box is overpowering the lies of fear, condemnation, insecurity and discouragement with the promises of God. He gave us 3 scriptures, Isaiah 55:1-3- Listening to God’s voice brings life, Genesis 3:1-4- Listening to the lies of the enemy brings death, and Matthew 4:1-4- Preloading yourself with the promises of God enables you defeat your enemy.
He gave us 8 word pairs to help us understand how to crash the chatterbox…
- Call/Response- God has given me the ability to choose the thoughts I believe and respond to.
- Enemy/In Me- I must learn how to identify my inner critic.
- Dialogue/Destiny- When lies are not confronted, callings are not fulfilled.
- Deception/Distortion- The enemy takes the truth and turns it into a lie
- Premise/Promise- Never let the enemy define the premise of your promise. Always start with the promise.
- Consume/Consumed- We choose the thoughts we consume and then those thoughts consume us.
- Detection/Defense- Deception is only as effective as long as it is undetected.
- Whatever/Whatever-They lies of the enemy may come into my head but I don’t have to let them in my heart.
And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.
Have a great Monday!
When I was a teenager I loved to read. This love of reading followed me into college and the early years of my marriage. But when I had children I went through a season where I just couldn’t read. I still loved to collect books, ones that I might want to read one day, but to complete a book, even fiction, seemed like an impossible task. About 2 years ago, I made a goal to read a book a month or 12 books that year. I was so proud of myself when I realized less than a year later that I had accomplished it! This goal got me jumpstarted back into reading. I love to read all types of literature from fiction to Christian living and I especially love biographies.
For the past several weeks I have working on a list of books that have impacted my life. I am excited to finally share them today. There are parenting books, marriage books, bible studies I love and more. I hope this list will help you find some literature that you can use to help you grow in your faith, your marriage and more. I will continue to add to the list. You can click below today and you can always find the link to the books in the side bar. In the coming weeks I will also add a children’s literature and biographies column.