The Cultivating a Life of Joy devotional releases September 16th, and I am ecstatic! Be sure to grab your copy quick, and join our community of girls of all ages as we go on an 8-day challenge to cultivate joy in our daily lives!
Along with the Cultivating a Life of Joy devotional, you can grab the “Daily Filling Required” coffee mug, which is another new release in the store. You’ll find this reminder in the devotional on Day 3: “A Daily Filling of the Spirit.”
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We’ll begin Day 1 on October 1st – be sure to order your book in plenty of time, so you are ready to start the 8-day challenge with our closed Facebook group.
I’ll be using YouTube Videos to have a daily teaching time, which I will link to our Facebook Group, as well. Join the group of women, and respond in the Facebook Group, sharing what the Lord is teaching you through the 8-day challenge.
If Jesus came back tomorrow, would you recognize Him? Do you really know Jesus? This is for believers, unbelievers, and for those who are unsure.
To the girl who’s freaked out that these are the end times,
I get it. Everything on the internet is blowing up that the world is coming to an end, and YOU ARE FREAKING OUT. I remember thinking about the end times and Jesus coming back when I was younger, and thinking, “But, wait!! I want to get married, have kids, and live a little more life!” Anyone else? 🙋🏼 yeah, I thought so.
But here’s the deal, as Christians, we have absolutely NOTHING to be scared about. NOTHING to fear. NOTHING to be freaked out about.
There are 2 things you need to know:
First of all, no one knows when Jesus is coming back, and when you know Jesus as your Savior, THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!
Secondly though, I want you to also know that, JESUS COULD come back ANY DAY! So, let’s live like he’s coming back tomorrow.
Now, 2 more things I want you to think about:
First & foremost, you need to BE SURE that you’re saved. When you have that confidence, I promise you that you don’t have to be worried about the end times. Jesus is coming back sometime and that’s exciting for believers! Do you have the confidence that you will spend eternity with Jesus?
Secondly, and this is A BIG ONE:
Knowing he’s coming back should COMPEL us to share the gospel with those who are lost & don’t know Jesus. We should have a sense of urgency to share Christ, all the time.
Just know this, sometimes we view eternity as more lame than this life on earth. I don’t know why. We just do. But life in eternity with Jesus will be a greater way of living than life here on earth. More than we can imagine. The new heaven and new earth described in Scripture will be far beyond anything we can imagine. Who knows when that day will come? It might not be close to now, but when we know Jesus we can be fully confident that it’s going to be INCREDIBLE! So there is nothing to fear. Our hope is sure and our inheritance is rich! 🙌🏼
Do some business w/ Jesus today. Do you know Him? If so, live in peace, w/ nothing to fear, because your eternity is sure + live with urgency to share Christ w/ all you know.
The last verses in the Bible say this:
“Yes, I am coming soon!”
And we say confidently, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”
S T A R T S O M E W H E R E
When it comes to your relationship with Jesus, do you ever think:
“I just keep dropping the ball in my walk with Christ.”
“I just can’t get it together.”
“I used to be so on fire, what happened?”
“I can’t seem to get out of this time of spiritual drought!”
“What’s the point? I’ve messed up way too many times…”
“I just don’t know where to start.”
I’ve thought these things (and more), more times than I want to admit. One thing we need to remember is that we serve a God who is so FULL of GRACE. His arms are always wide open, He’s not condemning you, but He’s inviting you in…ALWAYS.
I love the gentle invitation from the Father in Psalms 27:8, “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.'”
I think sometimes we view God in the wrong light — instead of seeing Him as the gracious, loving Father that He is, we view Him as the lecturing condemner. We feel guilt for not “being what we should be” instead of realizing the love and grace in the eyes of our caring God, who says, “there is NO CONDEMNATION for those in Christ Jesus” – there is grace, and only grace.
Don’t let past mistakes or shortcomings keep you from coming into His presence. His simple invitation is to come and talk with Him. Your simple response is coming and sitting before His presence. Let’s stop complicating it so much. Let’s stop trying to have it all together BEFORE we come in His presence. Let’s stop thinking it has to look a certain way. Let’s stop putting so many expectations on ourselves, and instead let’s simply come before Him every day. He will shape us and mold us. Gently and tenderly. He will speak to our hearts personally.
All we have to do is start somewhere. Make space and time to get in His presence. He promises to meet us. He’s inviting us with open arms. Just start somewhere. Start today. Then keep walking into His arms on a daily basis. He’s waiting. Are you willing?
(The next session begin October 2nd)
Have you ever thought: “What in the world is that teenage girl thinking?” If this question has ever crossed your mind, this blog post + free download is for you! In this post, we’ll be navigating through some of the very real struggles that teenage girls are facing in today’s tumultuous culture. From every side, girls are being bombarded by struggles like the normality of sexual promiscuity, pornography, marijuana, alcohol, partying, insecurities, uncertainties, broken homes, exclusion, confusion, depression, disappointment, and so much more. How are we to minister to these impressionable hearts at such a formative time in their lives? If you are a mother, a friend, a mentor, a minister, a sister, an aunt, a grandmother, or a neighbor to a teenage girl, this post + free download will guide you as you seek to lead young girls to Jesus.
As a woman, YOU are called to Girls’ Ministry
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
No matter what your “calling” – all of us as followers of God are COMMANDED to disciple, teach, mentor, and lead the younger women in our lives.
Preventative Ministry vs. Crisis Ministry
One part of Girls’ Ministry that I absolutely love is that much of Girls’ Ministry is PREVENTATIVE MINISTRY rather than CRISIS MINISTRY.
Don’t get me wrong, there are definite moments of crisis, but I’ve talked with many Women’s Ministers who have expressed the fact that their ministry is primarily crisis with much less room for prevention. BUT, through Girls’ Ministry, you are able to minister to adolescents with years and years of life ahead of them.
Girls’ Ministry is CRUCIAL, because you are helping form the trajectory of their lives. These adolescent years are the most formative years of their lives, and YOU need to be the voice that these girls hear.
We MUST normalize Truth in their minds, rather than allowing the culture to normalize perversion.
Discipleship > Events
The emphasis of Girls’ Ministry should not be EVENTS. The focus must be DISCIPLESHIP. The heartbeat of Girls Ministry is Discipleship.
Our job is to help girls understand fully that their IDENTITY, SIGNIFICANCE, and PURPOSE is rooted in Christ, and that nothing and no one can strip their value away when they are grounded in Jesus Christ.
We teach girls to live as true disciples through our own example. I am BIG on demonstrating and teaching the basics of Spiritual Disciplines to teenage and college girls, because I believe that spiritual disciplines PROVE a COMMITMENT to Christ. Plus, spiritual disciplines teach young people how to abide in Christ every single day. Spiritual disciplines are like the match that ignite the fire in our souls for Christ.
Now the goal of practicing any given discipline is not about doing but it is about being: being like Jesus, being with Jesus. But the biblical way to grow in being more like Jesus is through the rightly motivated doing of the biblical, spiritual disciplines.
The key verse in all this is 1 Timothy 4:7, which says, “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (NASB).
These girls are bombarded by godLESSness – rather than godliness.
Let me share the top 5 ways girls are being torn down and attacked by the Enemy:
(Side note: In the interviews I’ve done with girls for my book, these are all issues they’ve shared. These are major struggles that cause many of the girls in our lives to question if God is trustworthy, if He is good, and if He is faithful.
These issues cause anger toward God. How can we help girls in the midst of these very real and hurtful issues?
We must lead our girls to the TRUTH of God’s Word when what should be the most stable thing in a child’s life (their family) becomes the most TUMULTUOUS.
Also, we must know when the girls in our lives need professional help from counselors, psychologists, and/or psychiatrists.)
Do you want to know how to guide the girls in your life through this tumultuous, counter-to-Christ culture?
I have a free resource for you: The 12-keys to Ministering to a Teenage Girl Effectively
To the worn out mama,
You and what you do matter so much. Every little thing you do, seen and unseen, is an investment in the Kingdom. I know the days can feel long, and I know they can seem unappreciated and unimportant, but keep on going. You are living out the most important purpose here on this earth.
My prayer for you this morning:
May your head be lifted. May your spirit be revived. May you be reminded of the priceless purposeful life you’re living by investing in your children.
You are living out the greatest Kingdom work. I know it’s hard to believe because it most definitely doesn’t feel glamorous and it isn’t seen. But, the One who does see is applauding. He is well pleased by your selfless sacrifice.
Head up, tired mama. You are seen. You are heard. You are appreciated. You are valued. You matter. And You are loved. ❤️
Keep raising arrows.
Psalm 127:4 “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.”
Let’s get back to Romans 15:13: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“Through the power of the Holy Spirit” — Even with the greatest amount of willpower we can muster up, we cannot accomplish this life marked by hope, trust, peace, and joy apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Willpower is so overrated. Willpower will leave you burnt out. Tired. Weary. Exhausted. Undone. But, the power of the Living God? Wow. When you are at your weakest, He has the power to storm in and shower your soul with peace, rest, joy, and hope. I am such a weak person, y’all. My flesh fails me often. Psalm 73:26: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Thank God, that He is my strength and my portion! Because I am in great need of Him every single day. Are you desperate for God’s filling (and refilling) every day? I’m convinced that desperation is a gift from God. I cannot hold life together all on my own. I cannot hold myself together all on my own. I desperately need a fuel and refuel of His Spirit every day. Every single hour. Every single minute. Every single moment.
Let’s talk theology for a second. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are instantly indwelled by the Holy Spirit. He takes up residence in our lives. He never leaves us. We can never lose Him. BUT, we do choose to tap into His power on a daily basis. I can live my daily life through my own strength, or I can choose to tap into the power of God living within my soul. Some days I choose self. Other days, I choose the Spirit. The days I choose the Spirit are MUCH BETTER. Much more joy-filled. I heard this explained by a pastor at our church once. He said that each believer has this pilot light of the Spirit within our souls. Some of us leave it as just that. The Holy Spirit sits there waiting to be ignited, but we never fan into flames the work of the Spirit in our lives. (2 Timothy 1:6 “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God.”) Instead of quenching the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, may we daily fan into flames the gift of God!
How do we fan into flames the fire of the Spirit in our lives?
1. Bring yourself before the presence of God daily.
I seek to live by the simple words of the song, In the Morning When I Rise:
In the morning when I rise, In the morning when I rise, In the morning when I rise,
Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus
You can have all this world, But give me Jesus
When we intentionally bring ourselves before the presence of God in dependence, we make room for the Lord to come in and work.
Practical ways for coming before His presence:
Starting your day with worship music.
Starting your day by journaling prayers and thoughts to God.
Starting your day by reading the Bible.
2. Acknowledge your need for Him.
By simply acknowledging our need for God in our daily lives we open ourselves up to His working power in our daily lives.
3. Explicitly ask Him to fill you with His Spirit.
Sounds simple right? Well, there is power in verbally asking God to fill us with His Spirit. I try to make this a daily prayer of mine. “Heavenly Father, fill me with your Spirit. Less of me, and more of you.”
THIS IS JUST 1 OF THE SIMPLE WAYS I SHARED TO CULTIVATING A LIFE OF JOY IN THIS 8-DAY-CHALLENGE.
Grab the entire download for HERE!
Curious what the Fan Into Flames 4-week Discipleship Program will offer?
Here’s an INSIDE PREVIEW into the GUIDE for WEEK 1:
You will receive a weekly & daily guide to make sure you’re following along and keeping up with everything we’ll be covering in the program. All the resources will be available through our private Facebook group.
Are you interested in being a part of the program? If you have any questions email me at email@example.com
If you’re ready to sign up today, find the program here:
When I was in high school, I had a discipleship leader (shout out, Elise Arnold) who always talked about the significance of having an ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE and having a KINGDOM FOCUS.
Her constant emphasis on those 2 things has shaped the way that I live my life. From the time I was 14 and felt called into ministry, until now, I have sought to live every single day with a Kingdom Focus. That means, that I do my VERY BEST to view every single thing I do (whether big or small, grandiose or mundane) as an opportunity to advance the Kingdom of God. This could mean an encounter at the grocery store with a cashier, or it could mean reaching out to a fellow mom who looks worn down and at her end. This might also mean taking the time to write blog posts, work on my book, or prepare for speaking engagements. But it means EVERYTHING can have ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE when we’re living with a Kingdom Focus.
This kind of Kingdom Focus also reminds me to hold a loose grip on this world. It reminds me constantly this world is not my home, but my real life & my citizenship is in heaven. I’m merely passing through as a foreigner on mission, representing the One who has given me new life.
I’m telling you, living a Kingdom Focused life has changed EVERYTHING for me. That’s why I created a t-shirt with this phrase, because I long for YOU to gain that focus as well.
Now, let me tell you: living a Kingdom Focused life is absolutely impossible on our own, but it is completely possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. A daily surrender to the control of the Holy Spirit allows us to surrender to His power in our lives. This alignment with the Holy Spirit also allows us to hear His voice on a daily basis, which helps us gain the eyes for those Kingdom opportunities.
I hope that you will be encouraged and inspired to live this kind of Kingdom Focused life. If you do, I promise that you will live a purposeful, fulfilling, and meaningful life. It won’t always be easy, it won’t always be comfortable, but it will be rewarding. Not only in this life, but One day when we meet Jesus face to face. I have confidence, He will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” to those who have sought to live a Kingdom Focused life along the way.