No Turning Back

To some, 2015 has come and gone in a blink of an eye. To others, it has dragged on, full of obstacles, hardships, and disappointments. No matter what kind of year you have had, we all press on to another year. I am especially entertained this time of year by all the “get healthy” propaganda. Gym memberships, home fitness equipment, and diet plans are just a few of the life improvements that are being sold. Everyone has the best intentions, but by the time the end of January rolls around, the commitment to change has vanished along with all the leftover Christmas cookies.

On the other hand, I like to think of the beginning of the year as a time for spiritual refreshing. It’s a time to reflect back on the prior year, take note of all the successes, as well as the missteps. It’s a time to seek God’s help in becoming more like Him in the new year.

Unfortunately, many of us get too distracted with the missteps that we fail to see all the areas where we have succeeded. Discouragement sets in, and there is a tendency to return to, and sometimes long for, the lifestyle we used to live. That was, however, a life before we allowed Christ into it. People forget how empty and broken their life actually was before Jesus entered in.

There is a woman in the Bible who also made this tragic mistake. I am talking about Lot’s wife. She and her family were living in a depraved land filled with immorality and debauchery. Because of the persistent prayers of Lot’s uncle, Abraham, God graciously removed them from the judgment and destruction that was about to fall on Sodom and Gomorrah. But, Lot’s wife had gotten so used to the sinful lifestyle she was engrossed in that she failed to recognize the grace upon her life and the freedom God was granting her. And although she was warned not to, she looked back with fondness on the sins of her past, which ultimately brought destruction on her life.

But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. – Genesis 19:25

Ladies, it’s a new year and a fresh slate. Keep walking in the direction that God is calling you. Longing to go back to a life without Jesus will only cause heartache. Keep running the race for God, and His favor and abundant blessings will follow. Ready or not, 2016 is coming. There’s no turning back!

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14

No Turning Back

Damaged Goods

Have you ever felt like “damaged goods”? You know, where your circumstances have caused people around you to look at you differently. You may have been through a horrible divorce. You may have fallen off the ladder of success due to downsizing or poor choices, and are now unemployed. Or maybe, an unforeseen sickness has blindsided you. You’d like to believe that God still has plans for your life, yet the stigma attached to an unplanned circumstance has deflated your dreams. If you can relate, then this blog is for you. First of all, if you woke up this morning and you still have breath in your lungs, you need to understand that God still has a purpose for your life. I don’t know the specifics of your particular situation, but this truth remains the same for everyone. The world may see you as unusable, but God sees opportunity in your struggle. Opportunity? Yes, opportunity. You see, God loves using broken people. He takes all the disappointment and heartache, and He uses it for His glory.

Let’s take a look at the life of Job. This is a book in the Bible that I always avoided because I could not understand how God would allow the righteous to suffer so much. Instead of digging in and trying to see the purpose of including it in the scriptures, I just avoided it altogether.

Interestingly, I have now been tremendously encouraged when reading it. Job underwent great tragedy in his life and much suffering. Actually, Job experienced some of the worse type of misfortune – loss of his children, loss of financial security, and a horrible sickness that brought him much pain. But, God never looked at him as damaged goods. God still had plans and blessings for Job, in spite of the brokenness that he experienced.

The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. – Job 42:12

Ladies, I want to encourage you today by letting you know that just like in the case with Job, God hasn’t abandoned His plans for you. You have purpose. It doesn’t matter how others see you. All that matters is how God sees you.

You may be broken, but with Jesus, you are not damaged beyond repair!

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Damaged Goods

Stay Off the Rooftop


Today is a bittersweet day. My six foot two baby is about to graduate from middle school. Today he embarks on a new chapter in his life – one where I need to take a “small” step back and let him develop into the man that God is calling him to be. High school is a different world, full of different challenges and different temptations. As a mother, I need to trust that the years of prayer and instruction have prepared him for this next phase of his life. I would be foolish and naïve to think that taking a stand for Christ during high school is easy. To the contrary, it will be filled with daily decisions where he will need to make a choice whether to stand firm in his beliefs or compromise. So, real life begins.

The best advice I can give to him as a mother is to position himself well. What I mean is that he needs to know his purpose and make sure that he doesn’t abandon it. You see, people often fall into a pattern of sin because they find themselves in a situation that they shouldn’t be in the first place. Let’s take a look at the life of David. David was a strong leader, full of faith, and devoted fully to his heavenly father. But David fell into temptation and a series of sinful behavior because he abandoned his purpose and was not where he should have been.

It was spring, and all the kings were off at war. David should have been with those other kings. But, instead, he chose to send Joab in his place. While staying behind, he got restless and bored, and he found himself on the rooftop of the palace. From there, he saw Bathsheba bathing, in all her beauty, and he sent for her, slept with her, got her pregnant, and then killed her husband. David abandoned the purpose that God charged him with, and he ended up falling into sin with some serious consequences.

Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. – Proverbs 4:26-27

All too often, we find ourselves in the midst of sin and scratch our heads wondering just how we got there. It doesn’t happen by accident. It involves a series of decisions that position us for failure, rather than success, often stemming from boredom. Like David, one poor choice leads to another and to another and to another. That is why it is crucial to position yourself well from the beginning to avoid these temptations.

With that said, we need to surround ourselves with people who share the same ideas. I guarantee that you will eventually fail at pursuing righteousness if you surround yourself with people who aren’t likeminded in purpose.

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. – Matthew 26:41

Our prayer should be one that asks God to help us stay away from people, places, and situations that will tempt us. We should be committed to His purpose for our lives. If you find yourself in a rooftop situation, get off of there as quickly as possible and return to doing the things that God has called you to do.

Chasing Crowns


The year was 1986. It was July. I was 10. My family and I were on vacation in Miami staying at the Fontainebleau Hotel. It was hot and humid, but the ocean water was so warm. During our stay, the hotel was hosting a national beauty pageant for preteens. Girls from all across the country were strolling about the hotel, dressed in fancy dresses, and decked out in make-up with their hair meticulously styled. To be honest, there was a piece of me that wanted to be one of them. They looked so beautiful and glamorous. But, the rest of me couldn’t imagine missing out on that warm ocean water and spectacular pool. The girls were constantly in competition mode. They were never able to just act like kids for fear that one of the judges would be sharing an elevator with them or watching them in the hotel lobby. Why would these girls put themselves through all this? Simple – they were chasing after a crown.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. – 1 Corinthians 9:25

To some, beauty pageants seem ridiculous. Who would undergo all that work for a silly piece of metal adorned with some crystals? Although, I must confess, I do love the bling. But, it is more than that. The crown represents something bigger. A crown signifies importance and significance. A crown sets you apart from the rest and deems you special.

We all want to feel important and significant. And we all want to feel special. We may not be chasing literal crowns, but if we were truthful, we would confess that we all chase after our own version of this. We set goals before us desperately searching for validation and honor. We all want to be set apart.

Ladies, we need to keep our eyes on a bigger crown – a crown that will not fade away. A crown that is given to those who faithfully run the race, who turn away from every selfish desire, and who help bring people to Christ Jesus. This is a crown that is definitely worth chasing after.

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:8


Such A Time As This


She was beautiful, young, and of Jewish decent, but living in exile in a foreign land. Both her mother and father had died when she was young. Fortunately, her kind-hearted cousin took her in and raised her as his own. Esther’s life may have seemed hopeless up to this point, but God had a plan for her life. King Xerxes was looking for a Queen. After a year of preparation, Esther was presented to the King, and he found favor with her. To most, being crowned Queen might appear as the redeeming moment of her life. But, it was just the beginning. God had an even greater purpose for her.

There was a plot to annihilate all the Jewish people, both young and old. Esther’s bold faith and Godly wisdom helped her orchestrate a masterful plan that not only saved her race, but punished the perpetrator. She acted without fear or hesitation. Esther was secure in the purposes God had designed for her.

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” – Esther 4:14,16

I love Esther’s confidence. She was completely obedient to what God called her to do. She put her life in jeopardy knowing that she was placed in that position for that moment in time. What a truly remarkable woman she was. She walked boldly into her destiny.

I know many of you are feeling empty and without purpose. You are not certain what you are to do with your life or why you are even here. You continually chase after self-defined goals in an effort to feel complete. Unfortunately, this leaves you feeling more depressed than before.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. – Psalm 139:16

You see, God has a plan for each of us. And that plan is different from everyone else’s. Only you can fulfill the task the God has for you. Sadly, we often strive for conformity and the status quo, rather than being original and becoming the woman God has called us to be. Just like Esther, each of us is on this earth, at this moment in history, to fulfill our destiny for His glory.

I know I am here for one reason – to fulfill the purpose that God has planned for me in advance. If I do my part, then I truly am a success. I may not be called to save my entire race, but I know with absolute assurance that I am here on this earth for such a time as this!