1.14.2016

Why Would God Let This Happen?

I wonder what would happen in our lives if we really lived in the absolute assurance of God’s love. I mean, as Christians we know He loves us. We sing the songs, we quote the verses, we wear the T-shirts and we sport the bumper stickers. Yes, God loves us.

I’m not talking about knowing He loves us.

I’m talking about living as if we really believe it.

I’m talking about walking confidently in the certainty of God’s love even when our feelings beg us not to.

I’m talking about training our hearts and our minds to process everything through the filter of the absolute assurance of God’s love. Period. Without the possible question mark.

Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a precious mom whose eldest daughter is nearing 30 and has never had a boyfriend. The younger siblings have all gone through the whole dating thing and one is now engaged to be married. The eldest daughter sat on the side of her mom’s bed recently with tears slipping down her cheeks and said, “Why mom? Why can’t I find anyone to love me? What’s wrong with me?”

This mom was asking me for advice in helping her daughter process these questions. These feelings are real. These feelings are tough.

And I’m sure if I were able to untangle all the emotions wrapped in and around these questions, somewhere deep inside I would find this girl doubting God’s love for her.

I remember being single, the only one of my friends without a boyfriend, and wondering why. I would see these nice boys and think God could make one of them fall in love with me but He hasn’t. And that hurt.

But here’s the thing I wish I had known then … I must process this through the filter of God’s love not through the tangled places of my heart.

When I process things through the tangled places of my heart, often the outcome is, “If God loves me so much, why would He let this happen?”

Instead when I process things through the filter of the absolute assurance of God’s love, the outcome is, “God loves me so much therefore I have to trust why He is allowing this to happen.”

I took the mom’s hand who was asking for advice and told her to help her daughter rewrite the way she is processing this. It’s okay to feel hurt, lonely and sad. But these feelings shouldn’t be a trigger to doubt God’s love for her. They should be a trigger to look for God’s protection, provision and possible growth opportunities.

I know this can be hard. But what if we really lived in the absolute assurance of God’s love?

I want to help you walk in that truth. That’s why my team at Proverbs 31 Ministries and I are hosting a FREE online Bible study of my book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl. Sign up today and be equipped to:

• Stop going through the motions of religion and learn how to experience Jesus in a personal way.
• Overcome the issues that pull your heart away from the Lord by gaining passion and confidence about your faith.
• Move past simply knowing about God and discover how to become vibrantly alive as you apply Biblical truths to your life.

Sign up here.

I’m giving away 5 copies of Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl. To be entered to win, leave a comment letting me know what you’re looking forward to most in the study!

7.6.2015

How to Read the Bible in a New Way

I loved God. I was serving in ministry. I was doing all the right stuff but I felt distant and parched.

I’d been reading the Bible because that’s what Jesus-following girls do. But I was tired of reading my same go-to Scriptures over and over. I wanted more. I wanted to dive deeper. I wanted the Bible to make sense and make a difference in how I lived my life.

I was desperate for a fresh experience with God and His Word.

If you can relate to feeling the deep ache of wanting more for your spiritual life, watch the video below…

(If you’re viewing this post in an email, click here to watch the video.)

Pre-order your Experience Guide today for our study of John and get it for a special price of $13! The 21-day study begins July 27. Click here to purchase your Experience Guide.

I can’t wait to take this journey with you!

5.8.2015

Make Your First 5 Count

Have you ever felt something stirring in your spirit that wouldn’t go away?

I have one of those things on my heart right now. And it all started with my middle daughter, Ashley.

Ashley is a driven and responsible girl. Last fall, she went off to college and while she’s always excelled academically, the same couldn’t be said for her spiritual life.

As her mom, my heart broke over her struggle in her relationship with the Lord. I just couldn’t understand it — she grew up going to church, learned Bible lessons and saw my husband Art and me read Scripture each day.

But no matter what we did or said, we just couldn’t make it connect for her.

If you’re in that place right now with your child or in your own walk with the Lord, I understand. I think for Ashley, the Bible felt complicated and disconnected from her everyday life issues.

As I cried out to the Lord on behalf of my daughter, the word that kept coming to mind was poverty. Poverty might seem like a strange word for this situation but when I saw the lack of spiritual nourishment in Ashley, the parallels from physical to spiritual lined up.

I chased down this thought a little more — what causes poverty? A lack of access to what you need.

Ashley had “physical” access to the Bible. We have many copies in our home.

But she lacked “personal” access. She wasn’t personally digging into the Bible herself. Therefore it wasn’t nourishing her parched spirit.

So where was the disconnect? As I wrestled with this, God brought me to the book of Proverbs.

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:1-5).

There is one word in this passage that’s repeated over and over: understand! Solomon says if we want fear of the Lord and knowledge of God, then we will crave understanding.

That’s what she needed… to crave understanding of the Scriptures!

Meanwhile, at school, Ashley was invited to attend a Bible study. She was challenged by her leaders to spend the first 5 minutes of her day in the Word.

After admitting she hadn’t been reading her Bible and hearing many of her friends talk about the benefits they were getting, she finally gave it a try. Each day, little by little, her interest in the Bible grew. Her life and attitude was being transformed.

I recently visited her at college and could hardly believe my eyes.

She’s a completely different girl.

At one point during our time together, I asked her, “What finally made following Jesus wholeheartedly click for you?” She said, “Mom, I’ve made friends who love Jesus. I saw a joy in them that I wanted. So, I started doing what they do even when I didn’t want to. At first I thought getting up to read the Bible was unrealistic. But as I kept doing it, the Lord started changing my thought patterns. And when I started thinking about life from the standpoint of Truth, I had so much more joy.”

I can hardly type these words without crying.

As Ashley began to share with me what was happening, I also had a light switch go on. Her spiritual poverty was going away the more she personally accessed truth and gained understanding.

In that moment, the burden on my mama heart turned to a vision for a hurting world. What if Proverbs 31 Ministries could help every mom recommend a tool to really facilitate their daughters getting into God’s Word for at least 5 minutes first thing every morning?

What if we could bring the Word of God to college students, moms, daughters, business owners and grandmothers across the globe in a way that made the first minutes of every day life-changing? So, the minute they pick up their phones in the morning, instead of getting distracted by other things, they can get invigorated with Truth.

We must exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world. Instead of immediately checking in with social media with the first moments of our day, we can truly make God first by giving Him our first thoughts.

With God’s vision and your help, Proverbs 31 Ministries is striving to eradicate Biblical poverty. And we want to start by developing a free mobile app called the “First 5″ to:

• Bring life and Truth to the First 5 minutes of every day.
• Provide a healthier alternative to hopping on social media in the first moments of our day.
• Give us the opportunity to share hope with the people in our lives who struggle with putting God’s Word first.

We need people whose hearts are burdened like ours to bring the Word of God to women across the globe.

Together, all hands in, we can change lives with the Word of God! Will you join me? I’m so excited to do this together. Click here for more information.