Woo Hoo! Yippee! Yay!
I am so excited that I get to share my newest book with you this week. To celebrate, I will host giveaways, an exciting and inspiring webcast and a surprise grand prize that will be a fabulous gift to two of you.
Can't wait till tomorrow when it officially launches.
Many years ago, our 4 little ones had been cuddling together on a snowy night near the fireplace as we read Treasures of the Snow, a wonderful story of Patricia St. John. At the end of the chapter, my little boy looked up and asked, "Mama, do you have to practice being brave when no one sees to be brave when someone needs a hero? Cause someday, I want to be a hero and want to know what to do to become a hero in my own life."
I believe that within the heart, mind and soul of every single person born, it the stamp of the divine, the imprint that gives each of us the opportunity to become great, loving, strong, civilized, heroic within our own story. But so many never tap into their God-given assets. And life can seem lonely, meaningless and stressful when we get lost on our personal journeys.
I wrote my new book, Own Your Life, to remember with other women, what God created their lives to become. I want to encourage and inspire other sweet friends to know that God is waiting to bless their lives as you learn to walk your days and write a story that He created you to live.
When someone knows our heavenly Father, the one who is eternally good, always with us, wise in every way, compassionate, redeeming, forgiving, then their lives will be forever changed and always a reflection of His life and light.
If you know God, your life will display strength and the Holy Spirit will compel you to take action in your world--it is a natural result, a spontaneous consequence of His life living through us. We are made to become heroes of faith in the stories that will be told through out eternity. But we need to have vision and insight about how this works itself out in real, day to day life.
If God would have compassion on the world, then His spirit would have compassion on the world through us. If God would forgive, love, create, civilize, discipline, bring beauty, instruct, inspire--then His Spirit living through us would naturally produce the same. There is no passivity or ambivalence in the life of a believer who is engaged in a spiritual relationship with God.
My children, as adults, have come to know me, my personality, my support and love, my convictions, my goodness, my provision for their lives for through our many years of doing life together. Now, through the process of our knowing and living with each other , has made them appreciate me more because they have lived with me for so long. And similarly, growth, maturity, understanding and living into His reality is a process over time, a spiritual awakening that grows each day The spirit inside of us gently pushes us on to life, healing, restoration, goodness. Proverbs gives picture to this, "The path of the righteous is like the dawn, shining brighter and brighter until the full day."
Jesus said, "If you abide in me, you will bear much fruit." It is a consequence of knowing, living in Him, not in our flesh, our works or best efforts.
Hudson Taylor, the powerful missionary to China struggled with his own failures, his burdens, his own personal guilt as all of us do. Yet, he discovered the secret of Christ through Him--living by faith in the one who promised to provide, to comfort, to give peace and it transformed his life.
Though his arena and work load grew bigger his whole life, it was said that each day, he was a man who walked peacefully because he allowed God to carry him through his days--his burdens, his cares, his sins, his flaws--left them in the hands of God.
As we all begin a new year, we can make 2015 the best year of our lives, but it must start with knowing Him so well that we can trust Him.
What does it mean to know our God?
1. First, we must come to know the truth about Him.
He said He would never leave or forsake us. He said He would be our peace. He said nothing could separate us from His love. He said He would discipline us like children so that we could share in His holiness. He is the provider, protector, comforter. The only way we can know Him is to seek Him, study the ways of Christ, listen to the stories of His faithfulness, learn His attributes in scripture. Knowing His intimate ways in our lives is the way we grow in the reality of walking with Him. It is not working or being perfect or deserving or striving--it is resting in Him and trusting in His work in our lives.
2. We cannot move forward until we have put our past to rest.
"Behold I will do something new, will you not be aware of it?" Isaiah 43:19
Talking with some friends this week, I have realized again, that often our scars, fears, hurts, failures can be so loud in our lives, that we try to justify ourselves, but always come up short. Perhaps you have been abused by your parents or relatives, friends or husband--either actively through anger or passively by being ignored. Maybe you have had some grand failures (we will all keep failing till we get to heaven.)
But we need to put these issues to rest once and for all and let God take them for us. There is a process of grieving our losses--God acknowledges our suffering--he cried when his friend Lazarus died. He despised the shame he felt at the cross. He understands our issues.
But then, we must move on to the hope that is in Him, and the hope of all things being made new--including us. He defines us by our new heritage, our new identification, and so we must move beyond the past and live into the future of His generous provision and love.
3. Dealing with the issues that drain you inside today are necessary to moving forward in His strength.
As seasoned travelers, when we go on a mission trip to Europe or China, we pack one small carry on piece of luggage and wear live out of it for three weeks at a time. Why? Because we do not like to carry extra weight--it is a hassle. The lighter we pack the easier the trip.
What unnecessary baggage are you carrying every day that weighs you down?Look into your heart--any lack of forgiveness there? Any fear? Guilt? Inadequacy? voices of condemnation? He wants you to be free of your baggage, but you must give it to Him, get rid of it, one piece at a time, in order to find freedom and ease for every day.
4. Move into the ministry mode
The second half of the Daniel verse days, "Those who know their God, will take action."
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10
"Mom, it seems like the more your ministry has grown over the years, the more people you have to love and who love you back."
God created us to have relevant lives--lives of giving, helping, serving. He knows that we bloom when we are giving and growing into the skills He gave us to use in life.
You, as you are, were created to be an important part of God's mega-story. He has a role for you to play in the grand scheme of his kingdom work in this world.
There are people in your life that you are called to love, to serve, to instruct, to show compassion to, to give to--only you can fill that role. And He has designed that if you fulfill your stewardship of His call on your life, you will find ultimate satisfaction and contentment. He made you with your personality, gifts, drives because only you can fulfill your part in His kingdom work. The more you are yourself and live into the puzzle of your life, the more meaningful your days will be.
Assessing our lives from God's point of view, seeing our lives through the grid of faith and His calling, will give us energy for our days.
How can you live into God's plans for your life? How will you invest your time for eternity instead of for this world? How will you love well, give generously, live with radical faith in 2015?
This is the year to Own Your Life, because it is not just possible to live a full, flourishing life, God designed you to live this way.
I would love to know, how do you plan to Own Your Life in 2015?
Don't miss the fun, inspiring, personal, delightful webcast I am hosting with my friends tomorrow night. Be sure to sign up ahead of time so that you can know how to join us! Can't wait to be with you there. And we will be there to have a live chat when it is over!