Let’s not hold back

I took a long break from writing recently. I found that I kept making it into something bigger than it had to be. Like, I thought that if I wrote I had to write on a regular basis or else “my followers won’t be able to depend on me.” Or “I’ll never gain a following” and my writing will amount to nothing.

This was what I was told. And sure, there’s truth to it. If I wanted to build a brand and “make something of this” then yes, writing regularly would be the way to make that happen. Sure. I can get on board with that.

But I never aspired to “make something out is this.” Writing has always been an outlet for me and I’ve loved processing my life this way. And the bonus was that it helped others in the process.

Why does it have to be anything more than that?

But I believed the lie that if you’re going to write, there’s a formula you must follow.


I see that now. But it took me a long time to begin to see that clearly. And it cost me something I love: writing. All because I couldn’t do it the way “I should”.

I was also under the false impression that if I happened to “make it big” as a writer I’d eventually have to become a speaker, too. Something I’ve never wanted. This too led me to give up writing. I was honored to be asked to speak at a small woman’s gathering last Fall, something I told very few people about. Why? Because I don’t want to be a speaker. It’s not a gifting I’ve been given. So, writing had to go because otherwise it would have led to a future I didn’t want.

But now I see that author and speaker don’t have to be synonymous. I can just be an author.

Why do we hold ourselves up to standards like this? Why do we assume that just because we don’t fit perfectly into the mold of what others have done, that we have nothing to offer and no business working in the areas that give us life? No business working in the areas that God may have carved into our very hearts?

You know what I want? I want to share my faith journey so that you will be inspired in yours. I want to be that online mentor that calls you up off the floor, dusts you off and points you back towards Jesus. Because that’s all that matters to me. That’s what I desire. To see you inspired to keep pressing on.

So with all that said, I make my return to writing. And I hope you’ll make a return to whatever it is you’ve stopped because you’ve been believing you can’t do it “right”, so you might as well not do it at all. Just forget that and do you. Honor the gifts God has put inside of you in the ways he has built you to accomplish them.

Write that book.

Write that song.

Record that video.

Create that piece of art.

Run that business.

Serve in that ministry.

Raise those kids.

Love that spouse.

Honor God.

Tell Gods story. Get HIM out into the lives of those around you. We need you to tell us and show us how it is you’re clinging to God and trusting him in all things. We need to hear how he has delivered you. We need to see the peace he gives you in the pain.

We’re the body of Christ, and when each part works together as the part God made us to be…that’s how we keep each other encouraged and emboldened to follow Jesus Christ in all things.

I love you, brothers and sisters. Let’s not hold back.

He must become greater

He must become greater. I must become less.

These words are words from John the Baptist himself. A man who had a thriving ministry paving the way for the Messiah.

He had his own disciples that followed him, learning from him. Hanging on is every word.

He was known. He was somebody. He was something else.

Then Jesus arrived. The Messiah. And he began baptizing.

John’s disciples went to him and said “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.” John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’
(John 3: 26 – 28 NLT)

This man did not seek his own fame, but sought to make known the name of Jesus. Sought to make much of Jesus. Sought, in doing so, to make himself and his own fame fall to the wayside.

I love this passage and train of thought, because it reminds me that nothing is about me, it all comes down to him. He’s the one I follow. He’s the one who gives meaning to my days and teaches me the best way to live. He’s the one who chased after me when I was far away from him. He’s the one who gave me the choice to turn from my wicked, sinful desires and to seek after something better (him). He’s the one that forgives my wretched sin and makes me right with God. It’s all him.

Here in the United States, it’s very easy to make it all about me. Too easy. Sickeningly easy. But to make much of Jesus? That’s hard. It goes against my nature. Because I love to be seen, praised, honored, glorified. But that’s an empty, hollow path. No good comes from the elevation of myself. Only good comes from the elevation of Jesus Christ.

May I be like John. May we be like John. Faithfully serving our God and paving the way for his name to be known, while we humbly, happily, fall to the wayside.

The Bible doesn’t always make sense to me

This morning I wanted to study a specific passage of scripture in the New Testament. But instead of gaining insight and revelation, I felt like I was hitting a rock. None of it was making sense.

A well of frustration bubbled up inside of me.

Out of that frustration I turned back to my chronological reading plan — back to the Old Testament and into Psalm 25. This is what I read:

“Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” —Psalms 25:4-5 NLT

My frustration began to subside. Maybe the passage I wanted to study didn’t make sense to me and left me feeling uncomfortable because of that, but I have to be ok with not understanding everything. God will lead me by his truth and teach me in due time.

One thing I’ve learned through this reading plan I’m doing is that the Old Testament gives a necessary foundation to what is written and chronicled in the New Testament. I can’t understand one without the other. So while I am eager to get to the good news of Jesus the Messiah, I need to be patient and submit myself to the process.

Show me the right path…point out the road for me to follow.

I also need to trust that God will show himself through his word. That each day I’ll learn a little bit more. That he’ll lead me by his truth. I just need to show up and be teachable.

You are the God who saves me.

My hope is in the Lord. He is my shepherd who leads me, corrects me, protects me, provides for me. I am nothing without him. He is everything without me.

When I don’t understand, my default will be trust.

When I’m frustrated, my default will be trust.

When all else fails, my default will be trust.

Frustration is going to happen as we read the Bible. We’re fallen sinners trying to comprehend the kingdom of God. But remember, God wants us to be a part of his kingdom – that much is crystal clear to me.

This is a good reminder to submit to the process of learning and being made new by him layer by layer.

All day long I put my hope in you.

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