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Are you tired of the same old thing? Are you truly interested in falling deeper in love with Jesus? Do you really want to make one more New Year’s Resolution that doesn’t really invest in your spiritual life? I want to tell part of the story of how I got to where I am today and why I wanted to share this challenge with all of you.

This year I learned that I cannot just believe “in” God but that I have to “believe” God. I have to believe “all” of His word and His promises; not just some of them, ALL of them. Even Satan believes in God. I know people who never go to church who say they believe “in” Jesus.  It’s time to starting “believing” Him.

Then, when I truly searched my heart, I found that there were promises that I believed for other people but not for myself.That has put me on a journey of falling deeper in love with my Daddy!

It started several years ago when I got this great idea!  I was looking at all the books that I had read that year, and all the verses I had marked during my bible studies and I thought I should do something with them. So I went back through all the highlighted items and made them into a prayer. I would use that prayer daily for the next year. What a difference my prayers began to make in my life! Each line and every verse in the prayer would remind me of a promise from God, or it would remind me of some truth spoken from someone’s personal testimony or life experience.

About 6 years ago, one of the first prayers that I wrote using this method had a prayer in it that went something like this; “Lord I don’t want to wake up 10 years from now and be the same person I am today.”  I went on to add, “God give me a Holy make over.”

Well I’m here to testify:
God does answer prayers!

I’m not sure I would have wanted that “beauty treatment” quite the way the Lord allowed it to happen, but none the less He answered me.

Back then, I was in a place that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Can you relate?  I was struggling with the same sins, relying on money to make me happy, finding my significance in my abilities and my job, and I was craving approval from the world.

From the outside looking in, it looked like my life was great. But I was really struggling with me.  I was losing my JOY.

I wasn’t listening to what He was telling me because it sounded so absurd, and I was stubborn.  God was telling me things like: “I want you to home school your son Noah? Give up that great job? Give away your “stuff”? Write a book?”  What, are you crazy?  Not the best response I could have had. Then when I wouldn’t listen, He intervened!!! Lol (to put it mildly)

He took my job away for me, which in turn required that I take Noah out of private school and home school him. Along with losing half our income, we also lost our health insurance.

So, what did I start doing? You’re right!  I started giving my stuff away.

I remember the day I had the conversation with God that I would start listening to him better.  Well, it just so happen that in about two hours the ladies bible study would be meeting at my house. Perfect time to start He prompted.

I told myself ok, then, I am going to give away the first thing that any one of the ladies admires of mine and says it out loud.

During the next two hours of preparation, I did have a few minutes of reality hit me. You see, we always met in the apartment out back of my house where my M&M collection was.  Oh my, what if they admire one of them?  I also had a couple of laughs. I could just see trying to explain to my husband why one of the ladies was loading up our deep freeze in her truck!!! LOL

I couldn’t believe how quickly God moved.  Even before everyone was there, the first lady that sat down commented how beautiful this arrangement was on the coffee table.

It was big and the center of it lit up with twinkling lights.  Well, I immediately went and unplugged it and told her that it was hers and I would like her to have it.

When everyone arrived, I was able to share with them the verse that God had given me for our group which we had already named, W.IN.G.S. (Women In God’s Service), it was

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” Acts 4:32

Ok, surely now God would be proud of me and back off a little on me because I was obeying better? No, remember our ways are not his ways.  I also, learned that He means that verse that says,

“He who began a good work in you will be faithful on to completion” Philippians 1:6

He Was Breaking Me Beautifully!

We then lost our car, our home and our life’s savings.  I could tell you many ways in which the Lord used everything we deemed lost, during these last 5 years, to glorify Him!

All I knew to do was to keep praising Him and giving away my “stuff”.  It wasn’t only physical things He required for me to give away, but “pieces” of me; my time, my emotional support, my encouraging words and my testimony!

You see, before my brokenness, my “stuff” was more important than my love for my Daddy!!

All along I was praying for strength to live when He was trying to get me to die!!! To myself!!!!

It is hard to believe but during this time of physical loss, my JOY was returning!!!!!!!

I was watching the Oprah show one day, when some guy stood up and was trying to describe the elation he was feeling and he said “Joy Rising


That is what I was feeling. I just couldn’t put it into words.

God also gave me this verse to go along with Joy Rising.

“You will show me the path of life, granting me the Joy of your presence and the pleasure of living with you forever” Psalms 16:11

You see; Joy is a person – HIM!!!  Joy is maintained by abiding in Him, by believing Him, by obeying Him. You can lose a lot of things, even everything, but you must cling to Him to sustain your Joy. He will always still be “right there” with you.

Abiding in Him means staying put even when it seems “easier” to leave.  It means holding on even if only by a fingernail, when the world says give it up.  It means believing God when it appears far wiser to believe others.  It means “having done all to stand” and you still fall, and then you GET BACK UP!

Those words remind me of the story in the Bible.

In Mark 5:41-42; Jesus is called to help the daughter of a synagogue ruler, but He is delayed so long that eventually a messenger brings the news that she has died. But Jesus turns to the synagogue ruler and says, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”  When He got to the house, people were wailing but again Jesus says, “why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but sleeping.” He goes to her and takes her by the hand and He says,

“Talitha Koum!”
(which means, “little girl, I say to you, get up!).

Immediately the girl stood up and walked around.

Get Back Up My Daughters!!!!!

Why do we give up so easily? Satan has more tenacity than we do at times.  Satan got kicked out of heaven, cursed by God, and defeated by Jesus and he STILL keeps trying to take people to hell with him.  And here’s the kicker; he even knows he doesn’t win.

Why can’t we have that attitude?  We take our ball and go home at the slightest foul.  We give up constantly on God and on taking people with us to “The Party.”  And we claim to be on the winning team?
I want to be that one that causes Jesus to lean over to his Father and say:

Look Daddy, she is still praising you after losing everything,”
“Look papa, she still believes You even though her child is gone,”
“Daddy, look, your daughter is singing your praises even though she is all alone,”
“Look Daddy, your daughter is getting Back Up!”

And I want to be ready when God leans over to Jesus and says:

“It is time for the party Son, now go get your Bride, for her mansion is ready and the feast cannot begin without her!!"

Are you ready to commit to God? Do you want to fall deeper in love with Him?

You must abide in Him.  I have come to love this verse,

“For in him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28

I have made it personal and I repeat it daily, “God, in you I live and breathe and have my being.”  I say it on a daily basis to remind me where my Joy comes from.

Remember I said I started giving my stuff away, well I got more in return than I ever gave away.

You Can’t Out Give God!!!!

My husband Bobby and I have a joke between us about bicycles.  I can’t begin to tell you how many bikes my husband has given away only to have another bike show up. He literally has not been able to out give God.

Letting go of my “things” have left my hands empty so that I can receive from my Daddy all the things He intended for me to have from the very beginning, but I got in the way.