Dream Again! – Sue Detweiler – #LifeGivingLinkup

Dream again

Dream Again!

How do you deal with disappointment? We all have situations where we are disappointed. In this short video I share a time my daughter was disappointed when she was young. Watch this:

Hope that Doesn’t Disappoint

All of us, like Angela, go through times of being disappointed. Our perspective of what was going to happen was different from reality. We can make assumptions about God’s will in our lives and be deceived. The key to dreaming again, is to anchor our hope on God. God thinks differently than we do. His perspective is so much broader. His word says,

This doesn’t mean, of course, that we have only a hope of future joys—we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles. Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us. Already we have some experience of the love of God flooding through our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us. Romans 5:3-5 JB Phillips

When Things Turn Out Differently Than We Imagine

During the Memorial Day Weekend, I was captivated by the story of Kyle Carpenter who has won the medal of honor for fighting in Afghanistan. He was advancing against the enemy when a full grenade exploded underneath him. As he knew he was dying, he made peace with God through prayer. He woke up 6 weeks later in a hospital. This song shows pictures of his story and calls all of us to Stand when we are faced with adversity. Watch this short video in honor of Memorial Day weekend and all the soldiers who are fighting for our freedom.

The type of battle that Kyle Carpenter fought after having a grenade explode underneath him, is a type of battle that we face when we are disappointed. We have to fight to move forward after difficult things happen. The enemy of our hearts wants us to wallow in disappointment and give up. God, however, calls us to stand up and fight.

Dream Again

 For my daughter Angela, the set-back of not having a part in the play was a set-up for God developing humility in her character so that she could be used as a dance leader for others.

So what is it for you? Life may be different than you imagined.

 


Everyday Moments – Sue Detweiler – #LifeGivingLinkup

Everyday Moments

Everyday Moments

It’s the every day moments of being a mom that are unique. No one can take away the memories of watching your daughter take her first steps or teaching your son to ride the bike.

 Watch this video and be encouraged:

Mother’s Day 2015 from Preston Trail on Vimeo.

Yesterday I was teary eyed…

Have you ever noticed that you can have conflicting emotions as a mom. You can be happy and sad at the same time. Yesterday I was pulled by these powerful emotions. On the one hand, I had a beautiful brunch made my my daughter Sarah Faith who flew in town for Mother’s Day. With Flowers on the table from my husband and an abundance of cards from my children, I was more than blessed. So why was I teary-eyed?

Season’s Change

If you have faced any type of life-change you understand. Every mom I know holds each of her children deep in her heart. We miss each one when they are not around our table at Mother’s Day.

Everyday Moments everyday moments

I love seeing this picture of my beautiful mom and I with our matching dresses. The two pictures told a story of what our life was like as a family. I was the only girl with three older brothers. Notice how content I was before my brother stole my cat!

These everyday moments are precious!

When my daughters were all young teens, I began to do this thing that I would hold up my hands and pretend to take a picture through out the day. This was before I had an I-phone and could literally take pictures every moment. I would take these imaginary snapshots to remember the ordinary times that were in reality extraordinary.

Seizing the Season

Everyone of us as human beings face daily choices. We could hold onto the past and fight a losing battle as we try to keep everything the same, or we can move forward in faith. God’s word says,

…I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-14 NLT

Living in faith in the everyday moments of our lives requires us to:

1. Let Go of Our Past

Letting go of the difficult things in our lives is not as difficult as letting go of the good things.

The most difficult thing in answering God’s call to plant a church north of Dallas Texas was that we would be leaving our adult daughters in Tennessee. Just thinking about that was heart-wrenching for me as a mom. I remember walking with my mom on a path outside our Tennessee home. At one point my mom stopped and looked at me and said, “You have a call of God on your life. You have raised your daughter’s. You need to answer God’s call. ”

I don’t know what wonderful things in your past that you need to let go of, but I do know that God will show you how to answer His call in your life. There will be bitter with the sweet. The season is changing anyway, you may as well embrace it with grace and dignity.

2. Live in the Present

What is if about your present life, that you can savor and enjoy?  Are you finding the everyday moments to delight in?  For Wayne and I, it has been discovering the joy of being happily married. We like the simplicity of eating our meals together around a smaller table with fewer dishes. We like our freedom to go on dates.

Most of all, I love the excitement of building a new church from scratch. I love being available to have “divine appointments” every day. I love building relationships with people in our community. I love the fact that God has opened doors for me to write and speak to a growing national community.

3. Lay Hold of the Future

What is it in your future that God is calling you to? Are you willing to take the risk of letting go of the past in order to lay hold of the future?  It’s really about trust isn’t it? 

Next year at this time, Life Bridge Church will be launched north of Dallas Texas. There will be a new community of faith celebrating Mother’s Day together. My husband and I and our launch team will have the privilege of “giving birth” to this body of believer’s. We will experience the miracle of being a community carrying the presence and power of Jesus Christ to everyone we meet.


Happy Mothers Day #LifeGivingLinkup

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mothers Day

I can still see my mom in her study when I was growing up. She had her Bible, her journal and her prayer list. I knew that I could share anything with her and she would pray for me. She left a legacy of prayer for me.

This video may make you cry, but I wanted to share it with you and wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.

God Hears the Prayers of Praying Mother’s

I believe I am who I am today, because someone I loved called out my name in prayer. God hears the prayers of praying mother’s. Before I was even born, my mom claimed this Scripture for me.

The Lord gave me this message:

 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
    Before you were born I set you apart
    and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:4-5

Before I was born, my mom prayed that I would live a life of full-time ministry. Now, as I have been in ministry all of my adult life, she still prays for me every single day. I never will forget listening to my mom praying with passion and fire. She spends her life leaving a legacy of faith.

I believe I am who I am today because my mom was crying out to Jesus for me.

You can say “Happy Mother’s Day” to those who have impacted your life. Say “thanks” to the godly moms who have cared for you, believed in you, and sacrificed for you.

This week when we celebrate moms, I want to make a special “Happy Mother’s Day” gift for you!  On Friday through Sunday (May 8-10) you are able to order online 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom for only $.99.  You will be able to bless 9 moms you know for just $9. On Friday May 8th through Sunday May 10 click here.

Of course, if you would rather have a paper back book it’s not too late to have it shipped directly to your mom by ordering here:

What Are Your Mother’s Day Stories?

I’m sure you have things you would like to say about the mom’s in your life that have impacted you. Leave your comments below to give tribute. You can also add your blog link to celebrate the mom’s in your life.


Childlike Faith #LifeGivingLinkup

Childlike Faith

Do you have childlike faith for what you need?

One year our daughter Angela longed to take ballet so we prayed for ballet slippers. Watch this short video about God’s provision for a child’s request: 

Isn’t it amazing how God works? God answers the prayers of a childlike heart. It wasn’t a coincidence that the very next week we just happened to find ballet slippers in her exact size at a garage sale.

I love seeing faith in a child’s eyes. Of course, God would use those eyes to convince her grandma that she needed to invest in her granddaughters’ desire to dance. Today when I see my adult daughters dancing, and teaching others to dance,  I am reminded to trust God and watch Him provide through childlike faith.

Childlike Faith is for Everyday

You could smile at that sweet story and not apply the lesson to your life. But, I want to remind you that Jesus was using children as an example when he was challenging his disciples to be more childlike:

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus

so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them.

But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

 But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.

Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs

to those who are like these children.

Mathew 19:13-14 NLT

How like Jesus to turn things around so that we could see the deeper meaning and significance. Unless we become like little children, we won’t see all that He has for us.

Childlike Faith Brings Heaven to Earth

The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who have childlike faith. I don’t know about you, but I tend to look more at the price tag of doing something great. The cost of doing something can cause me to look down, when really I should look up! I need to lift my face to Jesus with trust in my eyes. If He called me to do something, He is the One who has to provide for it.

Becoming More Childlike

Here are a few words that describe what it means to be childlike:

  • innocent
  • artless
  • guileless
  • unworldly
  • trusting
  • uninhibited
  • natural
  • spontaneous

When I read these words, I want to become more trusting, uninhibited and spontaneous in my life. I want to twirl around with a smile on my face hopeful in the future. I want to be expectant about the next wonderful thing that my Father in heaven has in mind for me.

What about you?

Do you want to be more childlike? What is holding your back? Remember, being childlike is not being childish. Childishness centers on selfishness. Childlikeness centers on expectancy.

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences…


Faith in Action #LifeGivingLinkup

Faith in Action

Do you live out your faith so others are changed?

Faith in Action

My grandma put her faith in action in practical ways. She was a bold Mennonite woman who was willing to get out of her comfort zone to follow God. Watch this short video where I share her story:

I think about how much courage it took for my grandmother to take her chicken noodle soup over to some of the neighbors who were known bootleggers. She boldly shared her faith with men and women who were not walking with God. To this day, I still remember Fred who sat at my grandparents table reading the newspaper and cursing. He was one that found welcome in their home of restoration and healing.

When a girl from their conservative home town got pregnant, Grandma hosted their wedding in her backyard. She then led the new husband to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I know this, because this young man grew to be my bible school teacher who led me to Christ. He shared how he was a part of an all-night prayer meetings where my grandma and grandpa cried out for the salvation of their family and friends.

Hearing these stories challenge me to put my faith in action. It’s not enough to go to church on Sunday or read the Bible if it doesn’t impact our actions.

The Bible says,

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener

when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other.

Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act

are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away,

and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God

—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it,

is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action.

That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.”

James 1:22-25 MSG

Act On What You Hear

Faith requires more than mental agreement. Faith requires action. Try this simple exercise. After reading the Bible, take a moment to clear your mind. Open up your hands in a gesture to receive, and close your eyes to concentrate. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What specific part of God’s written word do I need to apply to my life?
  • What is God calling me to do today?
  • Is there anything that He has told me to do, but I have not fully obeyed?
  • Is there anyone that God wants me to serve today?

As you learn to listen to God’s voice, He will lead you and guide you. You will no longer just read the Bible, you will live out what the Bible says. Make your faith real, so that the message of Jesus Christ is lived out loud. 


Free From Pefectionism #LifeGivingLinkup

Free Yourself from Perfectionism

Are you more concerned about how you look on the outside, or who you are on the inside? Imperfections are a part of our daily lives.

Free from Perfectionism

You will be exhausted if you constantly try to be perfect in every situation. Watch this short video and free yourself from trying to be perfect.

You have a choice to make every day. You can either beat yourself up for your mistakes, or you can make the best of imperfect situations.

Ask yourself, am I trying to conform to the world? Am I trying to “fit in” rather than stand out? It is easy to start thinking like everyone else thinks, but be encouraged by this scripture:

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-3 NLT

You and I are transformed by renewing our minds. If our focus is on pleasing God we will be free of spending extra energy trying to please others. God transforms us as we learn to think His thoughts. When we understand His will for our lives, we are free from petty things. His will is good, pleasing, and even perfect.

The good news is, to walk in His will does not require you to be perfect. The grace walk with Jesus relies on His perfection not yours. You will make mistakes on a regular basis. The cross of Jesus frees you from perfectionism. He died for you. You no longer need to strive to live up to expectations. He covers you daily with His grace, love, protection, favor, and guidance.

Walking with Jesus, you will live your best and most authentic life. To walk intimately with Him is beyond compare.  To walk with Jesus is to have an incomparable possibility of freedom. So, free yourself of perfectionism.

Exchange Your Imperfections with Christ’s Perfection

As you walk free from trying to do things in your own strength, meditate on this Scripture:

As you walk free from trying to be “good enough”, meditate on this Scripture:

As you walk free from trying to perform to please God and others, meditate on this Scripture:

You Are Already God’s Masterpiece

The truth is, you already are God’s Masterpiece. You don’t have to strive to obtain something that Jesus has already gained for you on the cross. He has already given you a new start. So get going! He has already planned good things for you long ago. He has already prepared the path for you to walk freely.

Guess what? The things He has planned for you, are tailor made for you gifts. No, you won’t do them alone. In fact, you can’t do them alone. The things that God has prepared for you are so much bigger than your capabilities. That’s good news. So now, rather than trying to rely on yourself, start relying on God and the community He has placed you in to accomplish the miraculous task set out in your destiny.

Let’s Get Social!

Here are some more tweets for you to share so that you and your friends can think about these things together:

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God Knows and Cares (#LifeGivingLinkup)

God Knows and Cares What You Are Going Through

Reeling from the news that my husband had been laid off, I took off early in the morning for a prayer walk. I gave God my long list of concerns and ended my conversation with  “And God, we need groceries!”

God Knows and Cares

Watch this video to find out how God answered my prayer!

 

God Knows and Cares about the Details of Your Life

I still smile when I remember the acquaintance that came to my door with 4 bags of groceries, enough to feed my 4 small children. She didn’t know what we were going through, but God did!

What are the unseen details of your life right now that you are crying out to God to answer. God is in the details. Pour out your heart to Him. Place the burden of your concern onto Him. He is able to carry it, you aren’t.

God Knows and Cares about Your Heart Concerns

God is able to see the big picture. He knows the concerns of your heart. He also knows what is best for you. Even when you don’t know what to pray, He does.

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:26-28 NLT)

When I cried out to God and said, “We need groceries!”  The Holy Spirit interpreted not only my present need but my larger concern. Yes, I had an immediate need for food. But I had a larger need to know that we could trust God through the transition. Not only did this encourage me, it has encouraged everyone I have shared it with. It shows the faithful character of God.

God Knows and Cares about Your Character Development

Our character is developed as God takes us through tough seasons in our lives.

It is through trial and suffering that we become more like God.

 “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” (Romans 5:3-4 NLT)

I know that everything I go through, I find I have a greater compassion for others who are experiencing what I did.

  When I am in the middle of a trial I will feel week and vulnerable.

I am stronger today because of the things I have experienced.

What about you? How has God worked in the details of your life? I would love to hear from you.