So Much Grace

I’ve been really blessed with lots of “grace” in my life. My Mamaw Grace, my miracle daughter Grace, her namesake & obviously the abundance of God’s grace.

Yesterday would have been my Mamaw Grace’s birthday. She passed onward when I was 22yrs old & almost 8mnths pregnant with Chase. She was the most definitive mother figure I had all of those yrs. I looked forward to the future with her & how I’d gain wisdom from her as I had my own child; all those awesome grandmotherisms & bonds into womanhood so many cherish. But our time was surprisingly & for me devastatingly cut short.

When she exhaled the last breath from her earthly lungs, I lost in this life, a mother, a best friend, a confident & someone who I had more fun & laughs with than I can pen. She was so much to me, so much more than just a Mamaw.

If you believe scripture, like I do, I know she’s not an angel. She didn’t morph into that upon her passing. Scripture states angels as created beings, not human. If we believe Heaven is a place of no sorrow & tears, I know that she hasn’t been able to visibly see the past 17yrs because if so, she would’ve felt pain as I made painful choices, was dealt blows out of my control, etc. She would’ve grieved, Heaven doesn’t equate that.

I do however believe in the power of the spirit of God who allows His presence to be felt when I remember her. For every time my heart aches for her, how beside herself she’d be to know my babies & Jason. How proud of me she’d be for who God has formed me into- I know in those moments I miss her & I feel peace, I’m not feeling her ghostly presence, I’m feeling the absolute power of God’s love saying: She will know them. She will one day know your goodness & deeds. She’s experiencing the same peace in her soul that you are this very second & that’s how I, the Almighty created you & why I created you in my image.

We who believe God, not in God, but actually believe HIM, share so much more inside than a belief system. We share 1 connection in our souls, that connects us to things that words cannot be attached to explaining to the resistant to believe.

I rest on the promise that one day the feast will be huge, the banquet table will reunite us, so save me a seat Mamaw & if God allows just 1 more time, your fried potatoes & dressing would be a fantastic addition to our years lost on earth. Wish I would’ve appreciated it more when we had those moments I took so greatly for granted.

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Sermon On A Mess; Conference Notes

Anyone who follows me or knows me personally, knows early Jan. I had been invited to speak at a Women’s Conference in my hometown in Bama. It’s many days later, and aside from dealing with the ‘conference high’ wearing off, I am also dealing with the ‘dang it, wish I would’ve said this/that, hopefully I didn’t appear scattered, did I make a fool of myself’ self talk. Which is normal I guess, but I also know inside talk with doubt it is not from God. In order to shut that down, I am going blog to let you know a few things about my time on stage.

I had 16 pages of notes. I didn’t use 1 page of them. Everything that fell out of my mouth came directly from God. It’s why I don’t remember hardly any of what I said or prayed. I’ve asked several people, “did I look crazy? “did I seem to be going 700 mph with no control? ‘Cause I was.” So in the event that you were there & I seemed to be throwing different messages & topics left & right, please know that God wanted certain people to catch what He was throwing to them. And maybe some things didn’t apply to you directly, but maybe they hit your sister on pew 12 directly in her soul. I know for a fact that happened to several that came.

There was a moment at some point, where I just paused & hung my head for a minute or so. What was happening, was God flashing so rapidly in my mind, faces- one in particular- that I could not form a sentence because I was so overwhelmed in my soul. I needed to be still for just a second. In that time period I was so overwhelmed with emotion, that I almost broke completely down in front of everyone. What was happening inside me was something that I have never experienced & I did not want to ignore it or brush past it…. it was the fullness of God in spirit & it was awesome to be ministered to & through in that way. Even if it did cause me to look like I had ‘messed up’ or lost my train of thought.

Many of you were so precious after the event. You said wonderful things about the message. I didn’t even verbally know what to say back because A. it was God’s msg not mine & B. I didn’t remember a thing I’d said. Based on my info card placed in your bags, I received email & other msgs, how many of you personally were THE woman I kept stating that God had brought me there to minister too; I appreciate your boldness & bravery in sharing some of your stories with me. I am still praying for you!

Even though I have been blessed over the years to have a hand in Women’s Ministry leadership, through Bible class facilitation & many other areas, I want you to know this conference was my 1st large speaking platform. 219 of you registered to come that Sat. & the night before the event I came to pray over your seats. I knelt again at the feet of Jesus, on the alter of the stage I spoke from, I anointed it with oil & I laid down my fear of public speaking. I realized I hadn’t FULLY surrendered that… and yes realized that the night before the event. Great timing yes?

I don’t know when or if there will be an event DVD to show you, so that I can watch from behind pillows, blankets & the couch, because who enjoys seeing AND hearing themselves speak? In the event I do or don’t, I wanted to at least share my original sermon notes with you.

I had invited God in prayer, many times before the event & minutes before I spoke, to take me fully off the notes if that were His intent & He did. I do however want you to know that the notes that were typed were also God breathed & since they were, I felt I should offer them to those who were there & those who could not attend as well. I did not memorize these notes in the event those who attended see similarities in some of the things I said that day being mirrored in the notes provided. As I mentioned when I introduced myself to you, I took 9 months of original prep notes & I tossed them away a few days before I flew to you because they seemed more of Jada’s msg than God’s. Even though this is the revised version, His version, He felt I should only bring what He wanted & that’s where we ended up on that Saturday.

Obviously the notes & this post will be long, as you expect this from me. I keep going. A gift & a curse I suppose. So please don’t expect a fast read. If you think it could mean something to you, please don’t rush through. SO here you have it. My original notes that I didn’t use, except for the key scripture verse & story, for Into the Light Conference 2015. And can I say… the highlight of my day was Ellie Holcomb digging around in the back of my leggings to adjust the sound on the pack of my lapel mic. Good stuff y’all. Not every day you get a DOVE winning artist fixing your junk. There are some grainy & not so grainy pics far below for you.

So I bring to you…. speaking notes:

Explain how God lead me to this message–

I started praying over this conference & what God would have me say, back in late Mar. Every time I sat down to write notes or key things, I was led to many different topics & scriptures, but the foundation of what I’d speak, kept going back to Matthew 22:34-40. It seemed to show up everywhere. So I took that as my answer where He’d have me start.

I sat down about a week ½ ago to take all of these notes & pray over them & put together a msg for you… and I was not getting clarity of any kind. I typed out the majority & in the humor that God has, well He decided we’d go in another direction. SO at 2am last Sat night (7 dys ago) this version came together.

I had been waiting & praying for some time for this commanding light & sound from the heavens to fall on me & just like in every other moment I’ve had with God, the inspiration came in the ordinary. And that ordinary was a lady in the Chinese take-out restaurant.

I know you’ve heard people who are continuously in the word discuss the importance of being in God’s word every day. I don’t mean devotionals, I am talking about THE word. Joining Bible studies whether in a women’s group, or a life group or even the abundance of online tools for free out there. I cannot stress to you the importance of getting into your Bible’s every day. Find a translation that is readable. If you go straight KJV & are not seasoned in the bible, much of it will not make sense nor will make an impact on you like a readable translation will. I use many translations during my studies & then I go back & reference them to the original greek & hebrew- and love a version called YLT, which is even more literal in American English than the KJV. Once you learn to study in a format that makes sense, then you start to challenge yourself with depth. Any good Bible teacher out there will encourage you in this area.

There are MANY reasons I can share as to why knowing  your word is so vital- but 1 of those for me, is how many years I missed because I didn’t realize scripture was always coming alive right in front of my face. Or if I was faced with a conflict or a lie from satan used in the form of a person or situation, I had no scripture to call on or refer-

Also, had I not been familiar with God’s word, I would have missed the heart of the moment that inspired me to rewrite my former message & bring you this one. You see once you are familiar with the breathed words of God Himself, you will start to see them surrounding you everywhere. It truly is a beautiful thing.

There is nothing more empty than to pick up a Bible & it make no sense to you, except the scriptures that people used to remind you if you didn’t live by them you’d roast in hell fire— look, the beauty of the word is so amazing & alive & exciting, that I do not stress enough how it will change you once it becomes a part of you. Even the way you listen to praise music. When you know the majority of what you hear on the radio is scripture set to music or scripture inspired, you’ll understand you’re praising God back with His own word.

Anyway, back to the Chinese rest. I had spent my late afternoon running errands & was absolutely starving. Called in our food & got there too early. There were only 2 empty parking spots in front this place & the 1 I had my eye on was immediately taken, so I sped into the 1 beside it. ** I am a HUGE watcher & observer of people. Constantly aware of my surroundings. I am not sure if this is a safety precaution I’ve created or if it’s simply just who I am, but I am always watching & reading people. As I am trying to wait out my final minutes to get my food, I start to play on my phone while still in the car. I looked in that spot to the left & notice a lady who was doing the same. I assumed she was also buying time until her food was ready & since I have the worst luck ever getting behind people in line who have EPIC issues, I decided I’d be real Christlike & jump out 1st, sprinting to the door to beat her. (Cause when my blood sugar drops I am not responsible for my bad attitude. It’s the hunger!)

I jumped out, dashed in, all excited & proud of being 1st & the girl at the counter has the brown bag all ready & it wasn’t mine, of course. About that time I hear a shuffling of feet behind me & guess who it is? The lady. The one I’d beat during the foot race she didn’t know she was having. And guess whose bag of food it was? Yep. It’s what I get for my lacking patience.

I happened to glance at the lady, because again as I mentioned, it’s what I do. She was in her wallet at a table close to the counter, gathering her money. However when she finished, I expected her to stand up & walk up to the counter. But she didn’t. She was BENT OVER. Like bent. Not slumped, bent. (give visual) It wasn’t the fact that she was bent that kicked me aware, it was the power of the holy spirit I felt fall all over me— God said immediately pray for her. In a move that I wish I could now go back & redo, I did as instructed. Over by the soy & duck sauce I am praying for this woman, but I wish now I would have asked her if I could pray over her where she was aware of me doing it– {I am still learning y’all, plus all of it was happening faster than I could compute it.

In my moment of prayer God spun me immediately to scripture.  And this is where I would’ve missed the depth of the moment had I still been me from 5 yrs ago who only knew the 23rd Psalm & some child’s Sun school verses. I didn’t really think much of the impact of that moment so much at the time as I did in the days that followed. I could not stop thinking about that woman, still am I guess. So with that explained I’d like for you to take your Bibles or your Bible apps & turn to the book of Luke. Chapter 13. And we’ll start in V. 10…… read it aloud to them—

**I read the verses to the conference, but I will post those verses I referenced to you here::: Luke 13:10-17 ,  On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues,  and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.  When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”  Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.  Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”  The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?  Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”  When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Now… I am not sure why healing seemed to be work to the religious leaders. To be honest, I think they just wanted something to be mad about. To throw scripture at. And as I read Luke’s account, I obviously had the fresh visual of what a doubled over, bent over woman looked like.  I had just crossed paths with her. I don’t know what caused the lady I witnessed to be that way–but lady in the Chinese place aside, I kept thinking about each of us.

How many of you came in here today, bent over? Spiritually bent over. You have been held in bondage by satan possibly for 18 yrs like the woman in the word. It could be 48 or 58 yrs.  Nonetheless, you girlfriend are bent– & the only one who can straighten you is Jesus, just like the woman in Luke. BUT like her, there is always some body who is standing in the way of your being touched so you can stand straight up & like this woman in Luke, and others can say about you….He touched her & she stood up straight & How she praised God!

So my thought to give to you today. What caused you to walk in here today bent over? I want you to put depth to that. Write it down if you need too. It may be 10 things, but when you leave this building today, I want you to have allowed Jesus to touch you & stand you straight up. Because today there will not be anyone who will stand in the way of you & Jesus. You can choose to stand in your own way, but I don’t think you came here for that today. It’s no accident that God decided you would be planted in this room . He wants to straighten your condition. Would you let Him?

I know maybe you thought you came today to leave all that stuff at home. Have a free day & relax…. that’s not why you are here. You are here because God wanted you to drag all your messy in here….and leave it here. Don’t pick it up on the way out. Leave it here. At His feet.  He wants you to leave free.

We don’t know why or what had this woman in Luke bent over specifically. We know it was based on bondage from satan, that’s all– but for our own selves we do know exactly why & who has US bent in our way.  Identify it or them today & let it go. Only so long can you lay blame before you take that blame & turn it into your crutch. Enabling yourself to stay bent over. Limping around like you need to be stuck that way. “But Jada you don’t understand, you wouldn’t begin to know what Ive gone through…..” How do you know?

I gave my full testimony on Wed night to the Bible class that I facilitate. You see most people only hear the past 4 ½ yrs because it’s an amazing unreal story of salvation & miracles for the 4 of us in my home. Unreal testimony. I think I have it poured into my blog for you somewhere if you’d ever like to read it, but anyway, the past 4.5 yrs are mind blowing enough. But I don’t think my women knew how much of a story of God’s grace really was at play until they heard me tell the version of the 36yrs that preceded those 4 ½. Some of them wept. Some of them looked like deer in the headlights. Because it is a story. And I have a lived every aching second of it. But at 40 yrs old I can tell you that standing here today, God has brought me full circle from the town I left, to march me back 15 yrs later into the doors of this church to let you know that I am FINALLY praise God, STANDING STRAIGHT UP!

I wasn’t just bent over. I was buckled under so much darkness & bondage & stuff, that I was pretty much doing the belly crawl from combat drills. So hear me now when I tell you there isn’t very much you can say to me about your condition or your pain that I wouldn’t understand. Except why you’re still carrying it on your back. If I’d known back then that Jesus could do for me what He has done so far…. I would’ve been freed faster than I could have blinked, but I didn’t have anyone show me the things like you all have seen & heard today. You are so blessed to have this opportunity in front of you!

No matter how bad things seem to you, remember these words, “it came to pass” Not to stay. Once you have learned what God is trying to show you & teach you through a situation, when you are matured & healed from that thing… then God will see your spiritual growth into Him & your season will pass too. It’s time today to move on.

The whole of this conference was to reiterate bringing the light of Jesus Christ into the dark & there are a lot of women in this room today who are still in the dark. You are just feeling your way around because you cannot see a thing it’s so dark. We want justice to be served. We want apologies we are never going to receive. We want to see the perpetrators punished. We want those who bent us over to pay for it— We are hurt & we are just flat out over it & we want to see the ones who bent us get what they deserve.

God & only God is the one authorized to hand out judgments & verdicts. The reason: because He alone is the only one who can examine the motives behind a human heart. We are quick to attribute negative motives towards others while excusing our own treatment of people: “she meant to hurt me” “she is so selfish” “they never think about anyone but themselves” “he knew better than do that to me or say that about me”  We aren’t for 1 second searching to forgive & heal. We are too busy waiting to see if they are going to get theirs. What we think they deserve. Yet we excuse our behaviors when we acted the same way.

Albert Ellis a top psychologist, gives us a great observation: “the best yrs of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You don’t blame them on your mother, your circumstances, the president or the world. You realize that you control your own destiny.” Florence Nightingale hero nurse of the Crimean War said, “I attribute my success to 1 thing: I never gave or took an excuse”

When a person who is humbled under the humility of Christ’s character makes a mistake…they ask forgiveness. When someone offends, they forgive & pray it out. Nothing shows the complete opposite of what God created you to be, like unforgiveness & always looking for somebody or some thing to blame for your bent over condition. Your soul will not share the light of Jesus Christ alongside darkness & unforgiveness- 1 has to choose to push the other one out. There is no room in you for 2 wills. It’s either His or yours. And until it’s His you’ll remain in the dark. You will remain bent over.

We have to accept the responsibilities of our actions. No matter who laid the foundation for them. It’s a cop out, especially for the Christian, to always blame satan, then accept his lies. “Well that’s from satan. Satan is allll over me. He’s all in my business & my life & he is hindering Gods plan. I must have a big blessing coming”

THEN GET IT- GO GET YOUR BLESSING

If satan is hindering God’s abundant joy in your life, tell him to move. Drop kick him. Everything that happens to us, passes 1st through the hands of God. If you don’t think that, then you think satan has equak power to the Almighty. Satan isn’t just 1 upping God & when God isn’t looking he sticks out his foot & trips us up.  God knows. He sees it. And he has provided you with the power to overcome what is in your way— He’s offered you THE WAY, the permanent way out- “God won’t put more on us than we can bear” of course He will. And I have no idea where that idea has been developed from. It isn’t scriptural. You won’t find that verse any where, in any Bible translation— what you will find is this: 1 Cor 10:13 instead: “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure”

Are you tempted to turn to other things when you feel overwhelmed? Tempted to feel sorry for yourself–to gossip–to take your mood to Facebook instead of the feet of Jesus–tempted to smoke–drink–maybe it’s sex outside marriage–maybe its pornography–maybe its adultery–maybe it’s self medicating:: I don’t know what your temptations are, or how they’ve bent you or why you are in the dark. Whether it’s an emotion or an addiction & no matter how long it’s been there: HE PROVIDES YOU A WAY OUT. Trust me.

In that moment of choosing this way or that one you have the steering wheel. There are a few Ephesians prayers that I pray over myself & Jason/the kids….1 of my favorite reminders when my mind & actions are standing at that fork in the road & I have to make a choice of who I am going to follow– take satan’s way or take the way of the one who died a heinous death for me to even have God’s grace enough to make that choice: It’s a reminder for you too: Ephesians 1:  this is Paul’s letter to the Ephesus Church– Eph. 1: we’ll start with V 18– I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.  Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

I want you to realize the power of the spirit living inside yourself. It’s untapped power. You can self choice yourself into a life of crippling misery & you can blame satan or your childhood or whatever you want, but the simple fact is we want all of the benefits of the cross without investing any work or sacrifice into obtaining our freedom. We just want God to swoop in & throw some magical glitter & healing onto us. Not realizing that what we are created for is relationship with Him. Not what He can do FOR us. He has been standing there your entire life. If you have ever accepted Jesus, the spirit of the Lord is already in you. God doesn’t move or shift…we do!!

Lay down the pride & pick up the softness & humility of Jesus guidance in your lives. Look, Jesus was betrayed by his buddy. His disciple. His bro. Judas was THE very choice maker in the wheels that turned to crucify Jesus. And not once did Jesus blame Judas. You know why… because he knew Judas wasn’t working alone. Neither are or were your attackers.

Every morning before Prek, my 4 yo daughter & I pray & then we dress ourselves in the body armor of God listed in Ephesians 5. That body armor is KEY to our day. Why? like I said our attackers do not work alone. And even the biggest Christians can fall into unChristian behavior & not even realize it. As Paul explains in Eph 5 & he starts explaining in verse 10— we are NOT fighting against flesh & blood enemies. We are fighting against evil spirits of an unseen world.

Those evil spirits have the same capability of turning into emotions that have many of us here today bent over & face down in the dark— you may say “no way, I don’t believe that, I’m not under a stronghold of satan because I do believe in God & Jesus” I am sure for many that is true, but THE biggest success story satan can tell is the one where he has blinded & tricked the Christian church into thinking they aren’t blinded & tricked by him.

I did a survey before I retyped this whole msg. I did it via social networking & internet. In all my yrs of leadership & interaction with the homeless-with addicts-with brokenness in people like you would not even believe- I always hope & pray for the day that these survey answers will change, but sadly they don’t. I asked a series of questions to people who are unchurched, churched, nonbelievers & believers alike. And what never ceases to shock me is that across the board from non to believing people, the same frustrations with the body of Christ- the church- always ring out the same.

I asked them a series of questions which some answered publicly, some private, about why they don’t go to church, what irritates them most about the church & its members–if the church lived & loved like Jesus, what would that look like to you? These answers came from people, primarily women. From my city, from this town & from cities all over the U.S.- diff. backgrounds, social status, etc & the cry was the same: words used to describe church goers like this: easily judgmental, criticized for past choices, cliques, cold shouldered because I am or we were poor, fake, legalism & man made rules instead of God’s, bickering, gossiping, no feeling of the unconditional love they preach, wanting to corral new bodies in the door & forgetting they exist, placing emphasis on dress codes, hypocrisy, lack of honesty,…. I could go on & on::: the exact same answers over & over & over. It is devastating.

And in the same minds & ears that hears this outcry from the non churched people & the ones under the roof, in the same minds that hear this problem, the same minds say: well that’s not my church. Not my women’s ministry. NOPE. And satan kicks back his head & he laughs & laughs & laughs. Because there is your trick & lie. If you think for 1 second that your church & your ministries are absent from these feelings then you have just handed satan what he wants.

I was unchurched for many many yrs because of the way I was treated. I don’t even think half the people who treated me the way they did even realized they were doing it.  Which is even worse. And here begins another issue, division.

I have seen churches slander other churches. I mean churches in the same communities. Why? Because the pastor preaches too loosely or tightly. Because you think they should be managing their budget differently? You’ve heard they do this & that over at the church of so & so. You don’t even attend there. You entertain church gossip & then rebuke people who church gossip. Well, that group over there raises their hands in worship. So they are now pew jumpers. Say what? I raise my hands. I mean lifting hands in praise to the Lord is actually scriptural & spirit led. Now if a person doesn’t feel led to throw ’em up, fine. Who have we become in Christ when we slander people for how they praise HIM but yet think nothing of throwing those same hands up in celebration to their favorite fball teams? When did touchdown take the place of thank you Jesus? I mean who in the church decided this slander & division is ok?? I will tell you who doesn’t approve & it’s God.

There’s a dangerous root of division: competition. Competition. Churches competing. It’s laughable isn’t it?  And it’s real. Competing for what?? I ask this so often. Because I am so blessed to be a part of several outreaches across several towns & many zip codes, where our denominations do not matter– who turns the biggest numbers at our services– our skin color–if my husband wears leather flip flops or my son wears shorts to church, doesn’t matter–none of it. We are so blessed to join across these communities & work together for Jesus & by Jesus. We don’t wait for the lost to show up on our doors. Cause if the words I just read to you above & that I have lived myself are how people view the church– they are NOT going to come to you when they feel about you as they have voiced.

1 local church cannot will not make ALL the difference anyway. It takes an army for Jesus. You want to be that light & that city on a hill?? Then you have to fix your brokenness individually-then connect inside your walls and join forces in your community & go get them. The hungry, the spiritually starved for Christ. The hurt. Go get them. Go get them together with your brothers & sisters all over the church community. Assemble a mighty team who works together.

Just as God blessed us each with spiritual gifts when we accepted Christ, He also has equipped each of His churches the same way. If the core message is salvation & direct line to God through Jesus Christ, then look, we need to drop the idea that our bunch is doing it better & that just maybe by exposing our churches as a unified loving system, then we will gain people who are a better fit for us & help encourage others who may be a better fit at the church across town. If heaven & loving like Jesus & loving God with all our heart, soul, mind & strength is our purpose, as we say & pray & have it as our creeds & our mantras, THEN our unity with other churches should not be a problem. If we aren’t seeking applause, money, fame, status, & reputation, we should have NO problem establishing community events where our teens & our men & our women are bound together from different churches for 1 purpose…that purpose to be not to bicker & compete & compare, but to put feet to our words & our faith & go feed HIS Sheep. Together y’all. Want a full flock, go get them. Take friends. It’s too overwhelming for 1 church to try to even think they can take on the role of saving a community on their own. If it were possible, would it not have happened already?

1 of the blessings of my life is incorporating with people to make kingdom changes on earth for heaven. If I know how it feels to be shut out, how could ever allow myself to think I don’t have the power to make changes alongside other believers?  For example, our last women’s conference was joined forces with other women’s ministries from all over the community. When another church has a women’s function, my class promotes it & we get on board. I get phone calls & messages all the time asking us to promote or assist & pray their events up & I do the same. It is unreal how many people can be reached for the kingdom that way. And when people in the community, those lost, connect with us at those events individually & they see we are friends with other churches & we are transparent & trustworthy, we invite them to our bible classes & places of worship. If they say well that’s a bit too far for me to drive, then we can say, I totally understand, here’s my friend _____ I think you may be closer to her group & you would be really blessed there & pass the baton. They aren’t your people, they are God’s & He wants them back from what the darkness has stolen. We have developed this idea if people decide a church is a better fit, then we have lost them. We have got to get out of God’s way & we have got to retrain our minds to Christlike thinking. Please if you a part of a ministry program, start praying incessantly over how God would use you & your tribe to connect with other church groups in your surrounding areas & let the holy spirit blow this place of earth off the map.

The world is watching us. Every controversy taken online- every jab at someone else or there lifestyle–every time we designate our self as junior God– they see & they won’t come. How can the woman who’s had an abortion come to your arms when you use the fingers attached to the end of those arms to constantly remind others from your internet platforms, how vile, murderous, dirty & evil someone is who has partaken in such– Please I beg you, beg you, that as God moves through you today & the days that follow this conference, as He stands you straight up, ask Him for the self control in Christ to have every thought & word in your head & from your mouth, surrendered to the will, authority & power of His will & ways. So that what YOU & your ministries produce are fruit. Not weeds.

And I want a take a minute to those of you sitting out there that have never known anything but being bent over. Somebody brought you here today. Or maybe you were made to come. And you have no idea what salvation is. This is all foreign to you. Maybe all you have ever known in women & in the church & the world, is pain & abuse & suffering. You didn’t even get a chance to decide anything before someone else had decided for you. Maybe you were tossed away by the ones who were suppose to love & protect you most. Maybe the loneliness & the isolation & the darkness bent you over so badly that you started drinking, having sex, smoking, doing drugs, stealing, fighting, cursing & wearing a tough guys suit…. girlfriend let me tell you something. He sees you. He saw you. Every time you got hit. Every time you got touched inappropriately. Every time you took off your clothes for no other reason than to feel cared about. Every sip you took & you said this is the last night I am going to do it. He was there. With His arms over you. Hovering, protecting. Trust me. You have no idea the string of ugly in my own past. Nobody but God & I know the full story. And nobody but God & I know the full deliverance from that story. But you have to trust me.

If you think that holiness is for perfect people, then heaven is going to be empty. If you do not know anything about the Bible or women of the Bible, I pray that you will be ushered into a church that will minister to your spirit in a small group that peels the layers off  the truth of Gods word & His love.

The entire Bible is a story of redemption & hope & promise, based off the lives of people with stories & backgrounds & lives that are so messy, you wouldn’t think for 2 seconds they’d be used for the glory of anything. Murderers, drunks, prostitutes, non believers, liars, adulterers, demon possessed individuals, the poor, the low of society, and they are who God chose to breathe not just His word through, but they are the lineage & the ancestors of Jesus Christ himself.

Don’t ever ever let anyone tell you that women, especially society’s version of the bad woman- have no place or significance in Biblical definition. The Bible is full, old & new testament alike, of women who paved the way. The first  Christian church ever founded had a woman as it’s foundation. Mary Magdalene the outcast who Jesus rebuked 7 demons from, was always by Jesus side throughout His ministry. At the cross during His crucifixion, and was the 1st one to see Him when He rose from the tomb. A redeemed woman He chose to come too 1st & be seen.

The sexually promiscuous woman at the well, who came to draw water when the other women wouldn’t be there because she didn’t want to be judged. Jesus was there waiting & He counted her worthy & an entire town believed in Him because of her testimony. If it were not for the trust in God that Queen Esther had, a poor girl who used her looks to get into the king’s view, put on display like a piece of meat. The Jews would have been wiped out had it not been for her trust in God & faith.

If the insignificant, sister named Leah hadn’t allowed herself to use fraud & sex to trick Jacob into sleeping with her, Judah would never have been born. And if that had not happened then his son Perez would not have been born through Tamar, who tricked her father in law into sex & getting her pregnant, then several generations later a child named Salmon would not have been born & had God not saved the prostitute Rahab, then Salmon wouldn’t have married her & Boaz wouldn’t have been born. And had Boaz not chosen to marry the faithful & widowed Ruth, then a few generations later Jesse the father of the biggest & most influential king that Israel ever knew, King David would not have entered the world & had he not had a terrible affair with Bathsheba, they would’ve eventually had no King Solomon & on & on & on it goes until we have a teenage girl who is a virgin- who out of the blue has to explain & wrap her head around a pregnancy & not look like a scandalous, sexually active shamed female. You see, God could have chosen any bloodline, any story, any ways & means possible to enter this world in the flesh. God in the flesh & He chose to arrive after a 400 year silence, to enter the messy world through a FEMALE. He chose a grandmother lineage for THE Messiah from a family line of disfunction & mess. And HE still does—

He is still choosing women & messes & mistakes, because it’s out of our redemption that we sing His glory the loudest. If you would have told me 15 yrs ago when I left this town & headed for FL that I would be back 15 yrs later with a God story like mine, in front of a group of women,  after everything I have ever done & endured. If you would’ve told me all those years of mess was for this… this time. This day. I too would’ve told you, you were nuts. Maybe that’s what you want to tell me also. That you can’t be used. It’s just too much.

But you’re here. For a time such as this. You are here. Stand up straight & take your healing. Take your future. If God can change the life of 1 woman in this room, He will change an entire generation from that. Trust me. He’s doing it in my kids. He knows your name & every hair on your head & He loves you & He wants you. You are not your choices. You’re not. And if somebody says you are, then you tell them they are a liar because EVERY word of God proves true & it is yours & it’s mine. Lay claim to your inheritance so you will receive your full crown in heaven. You are a daughter of the King! Stand up & walk out of here today & act like it. Let every one out there know that God does not make mistakes. No one born into this world is a mistake. Not 1.

When anyone ever brings up a remember when about me. A who does she think she is, I remember when Jada was 16 or 19 or 25 & what she did. Well here’s what I say about that. I am 40. Not 16, not 19, not 25….And I am so flattered that you take the time to remember me as I was…..that’s real cool. Because guess who doesn’t remember my sin? And unless you died on a cross like a criminal for me, your approval & your opinion matters zero. Zero. The slate is clean. Let us be sisters who stop remembering who everyone else used to be & forgetting that we need to work on ourselves. The only story we need to ever recall is the one that we had a hand in writing & we are using it for our testimony.

If you are out there today & I know somebody is– I know it. God brought me here just for you today. You know He is talking to you. I have been you. Today is your day. Gal 5:1 says that it is for FREEDOM that Christ has set you FREE. It’s not for money, or fame or popularity- it’s for FREEDOM. Can you imagine a life FREE?? He’s not a scary God. He’s not a fancy, glamourized Jesus. He’s not mad at you. You are not dirty. You are not alone anymore. To know Him is to accept your salvation through Him. But it’s going to cost you.

To get something you have to give something. And today is the day you commit & fully surrender to THE relationship not the wish list. A new year, a new day, a new chance– let’s get a new life. Die to yourself today & let Him breathe you back to a life you have always dreamed of living. A life of joy & peace in all circumstances. Maybe you accepted Christ yrs ago & you realize you’re faith is dead. You need a jump start. This is also your day. Let us not be women who are satisfied being bent. Let us not be women who stand in the way of a bent woman’s healing. Let us all like the scripture we started with in Luke be the women who Jesus touches with the light of His healing …and instantly stand straight up & PRAISE GOD!!!!

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::: After I finished the notes I did not use, I prayed over the group & offered a salvation msg for the ladies to open up & accept Christ where they were in their hearts & in their seats vs the alter call. With every head bowed & eye closed I asked ladies after we’d prayed to slip up there hands if they had accepted Jesus that day & Praise God, they did.

After the conference several women who had not slipped up their hands, fear I suppose had kept them from it, contacted me via the cards that had been placed in their bags. Their stories & what the conference meant to them, had me in tears on the plane ride home & even after returning to FL. It never mattered to me before I came to that conference if everyone in the room felt what God led me to say or if they thought I was worthy of even standing up there. What mattered to me was just 1 woman who walked out of there changed. Accepting Jesus & accepting that she didn’t have to live her life bent over anymore. That’s what meant the most to me. In ministry that will always mean the most to me because it’s His will & He will always deliver the ones who need Him the most.

I look  forward to God developing me over the years & wherever He will lead me. My platform may always remain small, unnoticed by the masses & only to be grown in whatever community I live in, but whatever that scale or that stage will be, I am elated that He’s chosen me to stand on it!

 

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-the morning I arrived for conference & Ellie Holcomb was warming up. I was a little excited & fan girling.

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-ladies starting to fill in the seats

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-loved meeting Courtney Boyll & hearing her amazing testimony & story of faith

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-Ellie Holcomb digging in the back of my leggings. Not for fun, I was having sound issues

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-hand talker

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-really loved meeting & sharing the stage with Ellie Holcomb. Such a kind & amazing talent for the kingdom.

 

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