Good: The Enemy of Great


When does good become not good enough? When does good become bad? The answer is simple – when good stands in the way of great. God has called each of us to greatness. With that said, we should strive for it – in everything. I'm not talking about pursuing selfish ambition, where we look for notoriety, self-importance, or accolades. I'm talking about not settling. I'm talking about pursuing excellence in all that we do, so that God can be glorified fully in our lives.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9, ESV

If God wants us to be great, then why do we settle for good? There are many reasons such as laziness, lack of vision, or feelings of unworthiness, but today I want to focus on a different issue. I want to talk about fear.

Many of us are afraid to chase after greatness because it requires us to let go of familiar territory. Many of us are willing to remain right where we are at, even though it is not an ideal situation. Change can be scary, even if it is for the better. We become comfortable where we are. The bottom line is that we are not willing to trust Jesus completely with our lives.

I once saw an illustration of an interaction between a child and Jesus. The child was struggling to hand over her teddy bear to Jesus. What the child couldn't see was that there was a giant teddy bear behind Jesus's back that He wanted to bless her with. The child had a hard time trusting Jesus to allow the exchange. Sure, the first teddy bear was perfectly adequate and good, and the little girl grew quite fond of it. But, the one Jesus wanted to give the child was great.

This illustration had a big impact on me. I wondered in what areas of my life haven't I trusted Jesus. When did I allow fear stop me from pursuing the great things that God had in store for me?

Ladies, this fear can be present in many areas of our lives. We settle for good relationships, but God wants to bless us with great relationships – where each person honors and supports the other in Christ-like fashion. We settle for a good job, but God wants us to give us a great job where our passions and dreams are being fulfilled – a job where our gifts and talents are being fully utilized. We accept that our health is good enough, but God wants to bless us with great health so that we may go out and do the things He has called us to do.

Sadly, the biggest enemy to being great is being good. We feel good is enough. But, it is not. God wants better for us. The problem is that “great” requires effort and trust. It requires stepping out in faith and pursuing the things that God wants us to have. It requires letting go of what we know, to achieve something even grander. If we don’t let go, our hands will not be open to receive the great things that God has in store for us.

“Sometimes, we have to let go of what we have in our hands in order for God to give us what’s in His.” – Ashley Ormon

The pursuit of greatness is a sign of spiritual maturity, fully understanding God’s plan for our lives. Greatness cannot be achieved in our own strength. We must fully rely on the Lord to get us there. And we must trust Him explicitly with everything we have, recognizing that His ways are better than our own. It is time to stop letting good cloud our vision. Good is not enough – not when we serve a Great God!

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Here We Go Again

Once upon a time, there was a scared, fragile young woman who feared something bad was going to happen to her or, worse yet, to her children. She knew Jesus loved her, but she allowed the enemy to whisper in her ear and rob her of her peace. Things would be going well in her life, and the slightest hiccup would send her mind to the worst-case scenario. The Lord wanted to set her free from this fear, but to do so, He allowed her to endure some rigorous testing and trials. Needless to say, the next several years of her life were trying. Medical tests, two biopsies, and waiting for results nearly broke her.

Thankfully, the results were fine each time. But, in the midst of waiting, she came to the end of herself. She knew that this wasn’t the abundant life God wanted her to live. God didn’t want His daughter to be tormented about the future. He wanted her to trust Him explicitly, no matter how the test results would come back. She had a choice to make.

Thanks to the Holy Spirit’s intervention and some powerful revelation, she was set free.

I was set free.

This was nearly ten years ago, but God allowed me to go through a little retest this past month to make sure my faith was still strong. An all too familiar doctor’s appointment followed by a potential biopsy was in front of me. All I could think was, “here we go again.”

“What if” came knocking at my door. What if this time it was not the results I wanted? What if my string of favor had run out? I couldn't believe that I was reverting back to that scared, fragile woman. I thought she was gone. I thought I was stronger than that.

Then I remembered that I was. I didn't need to be a victim to these lies. I had been set free. “What if” couldn't torment me any more because God had delivered me. I chose to trust God with everything. I had power over my thoughts.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:5

Long story short, I went back to the Dermatologist full of faith and peace. It didn’t matter what the next steps were, I had Jesus by my side. Wouldn't you know the area of concern was no longer a concern? No need to even biopsy.

Please don’t misunderstand, God doesn’t promise us a life absent of real challenges. I know that first hand too. But, He has peacefully brought me through those times as well.

Ladies, I truly believe God was checking my heart. He wanted to make sure that I hadn’t fallen back into an area that He had freed me from. I don’t know if you struggle with fear or anxiety or any other area of bondage, but there is freedom in Christ. And, if the Lord has already freed you, please don’t revert back to the area He delivered you from. 

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:36

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The Deep

When my kids were five and seven years old, we put an in-the-ground swimming pool in our backyard. We waited to do so until I felt comfortable in their swimming capabilities. And although I was confident they could swim, I still took every precaution to keep them safe. We installed a pool alarm and a gate around the pool. And of course, I never left them poolside without an adult watching them. Even though I had all these precautions in place, I still felt it necessary to teach them what to do in case of an emergency.

If, by some chance, they fell into the deep end of the pool, I told them not to panic. I instructed them to roll on their backs, float, and call for help. Well, my kids are now teenagers, and I certainly don't need to worry about this anymore, but the instructions I gave them still pertain today.

You see, sometimes life throws us out into the deep. Our feet can't touch the ground and we feel helpless. Anxiety floods in, and we panic. We begin to tread water, and eventually, we grow tired and weary. At this point, we are just praying we don’t drown.

Maybe you feel like you've been tossed into the deep in this season of your life. Your finances are consuming your every thought. Or maybe, the call you received from your doctor about your latest test has left you numb. Your marriage might be unravelling right before your very eyes. Perhaps, your child is going down a path of destruction.

Don’t despair. I can tell you with first hand experience that you need not panic! You will not drown if you invite the Lord into your circumstance. Just turn to your back, float, and call on Him for help. Surprisingly, you can even find peace in the midst of the deep. In fact, it is during these “deep” moments when we can have the most remarkable encounters with our Savior.

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

When we come to the end of ourselves, when there is no rescue boat or lifeguard around, when we have exhausted all other options, that is when God shows himself mighty. Hypothetical faith is great. But faith tested in the deep waters is a beautiful thing. The Spirit of God comes upon us, encourages us, and keeps us afloat. If you allow yourself, you might even begin to enjoy the beauty of the ocean knowing that God will not let you drown.

Ladies, I don’t know what you are going through today. Relief may be nowhere in sight. But, remember, we serve a Savior that can walk on water. I encourage you to call out to Jesus today, and let Him teach you how you can too.

“Your grace abounds in deepest waters,

Your sovereign hand

Will be my guide.

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me,

You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.”

– Hillsong United, Oceans

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Are You a Victim of Terrorism?

It truly is some scary times that we are living in. Each week, I turn on the news and hear about another cruel act of terror inflicted on innocent lives. My heart breaks for those involved, and the media coverage just plays into my emotions. The interesting thing about terrorism is that it doesn't end with the horrific act. The aftermath and fear that is perpetrates destroys the lives of people close to and removed from the situation. “Will it happen again?” and “When?” are questions that run through our minds. “Could this happen in our hometown, workplace, or school system?” These thoughts gnaw away at our peace.

The spirit behind these evildoers isn't just to harm people physically. The intent is to also perpetuate fear, leaving individuals anxious and unsettled. Make no mistake, this spirit is demonic, and we, at times, are all victims of this terror. We are in a spiritual battle. But, how do we get ourselves free from this victimization?

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. – 1 Peter 5:8

We need to be wise to our enemy’s tactics. The devil wants to rob us of our peace. That’s his plan. He wants to create feelings of dread and trepidation in our hearts. He wants to consume our thought life and inner being with worry. That is what terrorism does best. That's what the devil does best. But, rest assured, we have power over these tormenting thoughts.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

As Christians, God has given us divine power. That’s right, we have authority over our minds. The Word of God is true. So, we must actively take authority over our thoughts and emotions, and command them to come into alignment with scripture.

Jesus wants us to live in peace, free from the torment of the enemy. He wants us to rest in His loving arms, trusting in Him unconditionally. When these destructive thoughts come, we must silence them. Make a decision right now to not negotiate with a terrorist. Don’t rationalize these lies or give them any credence. Immediately reject them and ask for the Holy Spirit Comforter to overcome you. Ask Him to bring to remembrance all the promises that God has in store for you. You don't need to be a victim anymore!

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:26-27


Get Your Shovel Out


I have lived in the country for most of my life. So you would think that by now I wouldn’t freak out every time I see a snake. But, I can’t help myself. Seeing their bodies slither on the ground or in the grass really elevates my heart rate. Now, please don’t feel bad for me. I am not some damsel in distress, incapable of protecting myself in the outdoors. When I see a snake, I don’t let fear cripple me. I quickly grab a shovel and send the snake to “meet Jesus.” But, every once in a while, a snake escapes too quickly, and I am unable to dispose of it properly. That is what happened to me just a couple of weeks ago.

This situation really leaves me uneasy. Snakes tend to stick around the same area. In fact, my son saw this same snake sunbathing on the patio a few days ago. This means that it will likely return again, but we don’t know exactly when. So now we wait, keeping the shovel close by.

Why am I sharing this story with all of you and alienating all my animal-loving readers? Simply to show you how silly it is to worry over something that might happen, especially when we have all the tools available to deal with it.

All too often in life, we allow the anticipation of something to get a hold over us. We dwell on it until it consumes us. We lose sight of our source of strength and allow anxiety to fill our hearts. The worst part about all this is that we fail to keep our spiritual tools close by. What tools are these?

The first tool we have is the word of God. We need to remember that the scriptures are as powerful in our mouth as they were in Jesus’ mouth. We can boldly speak these truths over any situation and trust that these words have power. We need not fear.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Our second tool is staying connected to God. Praying during seasons of calm will prepare us for any storm that comes our way. Prayer time with Jesus cannot be replaced with anything else. He prepares us for the battle. So as we wait, we can wait in peace knowing that He is faithful.

Our last tool is to rely on fellow believers to stand in agreement with us. They help us fight the battles that come our way. There is power in agreement.

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. – Matthew 18:20

The devil, like a snake, will try to catch you off guard. He enjoys watching you worry about when he will appear next. Don’t allow anxiety to cripple you. Start preparing so that you may stop him in his path. Ladies, it’s time to get your shovel out!

Closeup photo of man holding foot on shovel at garden at sunny day

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ We hope that you will be able to join us for the "Taking Every Thought Captive" Conference on Saturday, September 19th from 9:00 a.m. - 3:oo p.m. We expect it to be a refreshing time for all women. Special Guest, Amy Carroll, from Proverbs 31 Ministries, will be speaking that day about her new book, "Breaking Up With Perfect." Tickets are $30 if purchased before August 15th and $35 after that. Go to to get your ticket today.

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Big Waves and Strong Undertows


Did you know that the Pacific Ocean is known for big waves and strong undertows? Well, I learned that first hand on vacation when I was twelve. My family and I were having a good time in the ocean when the tide quickly changed. The big waves turned into huge waves, and the undertow got increasingly stronger. I vividly remember looking out at the ocean only to see an enormous wall of water coming our way. Noticing the fear on my face and realizing he wasn’t close enough to help me, my father calmly instructed, “don’t panic, just dive through it before it breaks on you.”

Well, I panicked! And, I didn’t dive through the wave like he said. I froze with fear and allowed the wave to pick me up and slam me face-first against the sand and shells. I was completely disoriented, not knowing which way was up or down. If that weren’t bad enough, the undertow quickly pulled me back, and I got caught in another vicious wave cycle.

With some help from my family, I was eventually able to fight the undertow and run back to the beach. I’d like to say I was cool and collected, but I was anything but that. I was covered in sand from head to toe and had scrapes all over my body. In fact, I had so much sand in my bathing suit that I could have made a sandcastle from it. Completely shaken up by the whole ordeal, I refused to even go near the water to rinse off.

Interestingly, even though I looked like I had just escaped a shark attack, my family looked unscathed. They went through the same waves I did, yet they weathered them effortlessly. Why? They didn’t panic. They listened to my father’s instructions and dove through the waves with confidence.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” – Isaiah 43:1-2

Ladies, the tides of life sometimes change on us and generate some pretty big waves. Our Heavenly Father tells us not to panic or fear. If we listen to His direction during these tumultuous moments, we too can come out unscathed. When we trust in our own strength or let fear paralyze us, we can easily be tossed around and pulled out to sea. Our trust needs to be in Him.

I don’t know what wave you are facing in your life, but I am confident that the Lord will guide you through it with His loving care. He is a compassionate father who wants to protect you from harm. Don’t get intimidated by the size of the wave. Remember, with God, there is no wave too big or undertow too strong!

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” – Psalm 91:14-15

In the barrel of a perfect wave.

Time to Start Playing Offense

It seems like everywhere I go, I run into a woman who is is struggling with fear. I must admit, there was a period in my life when I struggled too. I am not just someone who speaks hypothetically about the battle with fear; I am a woman who was right on the front lines. But after years of feeling at the mercy of my emotions, I discovered a valuable truth.

The devil is smart, timely, and crafty, but he is not original!

He deliberately attacks women in the area of emotions because he knows that he will have the greatest success. Women are sensitive, we nurture, and we love deeply. God made us this way, which is why the devil likes to target those areas.

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul warns that “no temptation has seized you except for what is common to man” or, in our case, woman. Recognizing that I was not alone in this battle brought great relief for me. There wasn’t something wrong with me. I was just another victim of Satan’s lies.

In Matthew 4, we see Jesus, a man, being tempted in areas dealing with physical needs like hunger, emotional needs like security, and psychological needs like significance. Men are different. Women are made differently, and although we too can be targeted in these areas, we are mostly attacked in the way we feel.

So what? Why am I telling you this? Because with knowledge comes freedom. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life a slave to the devil and his deceptions. We must recognize that he is coming for us.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

How do we win this war against women? First, we must recognize we are in a battle and we need to start fighting. We start by playing defense. When the lies pour in, and they will, combat them with truth – truth from scripture. Declare His glorious promises over you and your loved ones.

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7

This is a great strategy. But just like in sports, you can’t win unless you also have a strong offense. Ladies, we need to stop just playing defense. We can’t just sit around and wait for the next anxious thought to come our way and then pray it away. Instead, we need to build ourselves up in advance, creating a strong identity of who we are in Christ.

We do this by going back to the basics. Read the Word of God each day. Familiarize yourself with His promises for your life. Spend time with Him in prayer, so that you can truly learn about His character, hear His voice, and understand His undeniable love for you. Once you grasp these fundamental truths, your emotions will be strengthened. Stop waiting for the next attack to come and let’s start playing offense.

“Draw Near to God, and He will draw near to you.” – James 4:8

Faith is a Choice!

I turned on the news the other day only hear of yet another tragedy. My heart aches for those involved in the tragic killings in France. It seems like we are surrounded with bad news, and it is nearly impossible to step away from it. It’s logical to react with feelings of fear and anxiety. Plus, the media does a great job of informing us of all the things that can go wrong in our lives:  terrorist attacks, shootings, plane crashes, and Ebola outbreaks, to name a few. To make matters worse, the devil likes to take advantage of these tragedies and harass us with a spirit of “what if.”

You know “what if.” I am certain he is no stranger to many of you. He disrupts your peace and coyly whispers in your ears:

         What if something happens to my children?

         What if my blood work comes back badly?

         What if I can’t pay my bills?

         What if terrorists strike in our country?

         What if my husband leaves me?

         What if I am alone the rest of my life?

         What if I fail?

         What if _______? (You fill in the blank)

He robs you of your sleep and your peace. Peace is one of the best gifts that God gives to us. Unfortunately, fear is very prevalent, especially in women. We are emotional beings, very feeling and nurturing, so the devil knows exactly how to attack us – in our emotions. As women of faith, we need to fight back with faith in God, faith in His Word, and faith in His promises.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7

We need to recognize that faith isn’t something we just naturally flow in. It’s a choice we must make each day, just like choosing which shoes to wear. Stilettos or sandals of peace?

You are not just going to wake up one morning and no longer have fear. We are surrounded by fear triggers. Turn on the news, read the paper, hear about a dear friend who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

We need to reprogram our natural thought default setting to one that defaults to God’s promises, not “What if that happens to me?” As 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, we have the power to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

You are fearless not because you don’t have fears, but because you choose to live above them. Faith is a choice!