Month: February 2019

Growing in Grace & Favor: Faith for Creatives

“…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” II PETER 3:18 NKJV We are told in the Word to grow in favor/grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. It seems simple enough, and even obvious, really, which only begs the question, why the instruction. The answer? All of us at some point in time has struggled or will struggle with our position in Christ and the truly awesome, and completely free gift of unmerited favor. Knowing that in many things we will fail and fall short even as we walk with Him but yet are never disqualified from His grace is just mindblowing (ROMANS 5:20). The even bigger mind-blow is that when we fail and fall short, no matter how great our intentions to do good, it is His GRACE pouring out to us that brings us into deeper repentance (ROMANS 2:4). When we walk in unperfected love, and we all have, which is a fear of punishment, we don’t …

Rejecting the Burdens of Sin & Shame by Bri Lassiter

This is what the Lord says of you, “You are cleansed, you are clear, you are clean you are free. Walk in victory” Sounds amazing, but a lot of times we agree with what the Lord says of us in our heads but not in our walk. We hear Him and nod our heads, that’s nice Jesus, now back to me. Here’s my checklist, can you fix this, this, this, and this about me? And the Lord just facepalms a little bit because we missed it. It’s done. We are already fixed. We have the ability and the right to walk in victory. We are free to receive our free gift of righteousness now. We don’t have to work for it, we don’t have to beg, we don’t have to be subject to shame in the areas we are still learning how to walk it out yet, we just have to believe what the Lord says and receive as we walk with Him. This is a bit different from the religious way of thinking, the …

In Awe of Him: A Moment of Musing

Today, like many days, the Lord woke me up with a song of worship in my head and heart. The song that He deposited into my heart this morning was “Let Me Trade You,” sung by Mahalia Buchanan. If you’ve not heard the song before, I encourage you to click on the title above and take a listen. But the greatest beauty of the song this morning was the fact that I hadn’t listened to the song in nearly a year, but when I listened to it sparked such amazing joy. Why? The words are sung as if it is Christ Himself singing them, the Precious Lamb of God, the Mighty Lion of Judah, singing unto His creation, calling the lost unto Himself, offering healing, love, hope, wholeness, joy, and so much more in exchange for…our brokenness, our weakness, our anxiety, our sin. Meditating on this brings tears of awe to my eyes and such a love in the well of my being. It makes me stop and really think about the ‘fear of the …

Single While Serving & the Blessing in Both: Mini-Series

One of the hardest things that I have found while walking with the Lord and serving in His Kingdom, is that the older I get, the more my desire for a husband and a family of my own grows. I know that at my age, I am not alone in this. I am not the only one that, although at peace with my singleness, still find myself battling with understanding my desire for companionship. I at times find that I am wrestling to understand the sudden longing for something as simple as having my hand held, or wanting to be tucked under a protective masculine wing, to simply have companionship. After all, the Lord said Himself that it is not good for man (or woman) to be alone. Yet, many of us in the Body of Christ and even in the world, have found ourselves over the age of thirty and just that, alone. We find ourselves not only being asked the question of why we are still single by well-meaning others, but some of …

The Promise of Pursuit: Pursuit of Passion pt 5

“For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.” ~ DEUT. 2:7 Over the past month, we have journeyed through the concept and truths of our pursuits of passion. By the Grace of God, we have learned where our passions come from, what it means to pursue, and with what posture we need to pursue with Christ always at the center and head of it all. But even with all of this, there will still be times in our journey that we face discouragement and even find ourselves questioning if our efforts and even our pursuit was worth it. There are several reasons why we may ever get to these places; maybe our pursuit seems fruitless after an extended time. Maybe there was once life but now it seems the fruits of our labors have shriveled up into laughable dried stumps of lost potential. Maybe we question if we were ever really pursuing …

Treat Yourself! The Blessings Found in Showing Yourself Love

Valentine’s day was nearly a good month away when I began plotting with delight how I was going to, for the first time in my near thirty-seven years, treat myself with love and kindness. Now, before we get the wrong idea, let me just say I’ve always believed that I have treated myself well but I have never really ‘treated’ myself. Sure, I have gone out just like the next person and purchased myself something that I had desired, but this…this was different. This was celebrating love for me! Okay, I know that still sounds a bit vain, but journey along with me and I think you will catch the revelation. Valentine’s, as I stated in my article A Valentine From Your Father, was more of an acquaintance than a moment of romance that I had ever experienced. Having truly spent my adult years circling around a relationship with the opposite sex but never being drawn in to the point of having an established relationship, I had always felt disqualified from the fantasy and delight …

A Golden Confession: A Short Story by Candice Coates

He sat his cup down and pressed his lips together in a hard line. She didn’t know if his expression was due to the bitterness of the brew or what she’d just said. “I’m sorry!” she spat out. “I shouldn’t have said anything,” she tried to press the burn of embarrassment from her cheeks with her trembling hands that had grown surprisingly cold despite the heat of the cup she’d been gripping as if it were a lifeline. She’d clearly not gripped tight enough. She felt as if she were on the verge of death, dying of utter humiliation. Worse, it was her own doing. Why had she never learned to keep her mouth shut? At least she had already put in her resignation. Hazel eyes, that normally shown with flecks of gold, green, and brown simmered like deep emeralds. He stared at her, seeming to not blink, his lips slowly drawing from stiffness to softness, but his eyes continued to blaze. “I’m sorry, Mr. Gold,” she apologized again. “You see? This is why … …

Safe Pastures of Pursuit: Faith for Creatives

“Trust in the Lord, and do good. Dwell in the land, and enjoy safe pasture. Also delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him, and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine out like light, and your justice as the noonday sun. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Don’t fret because of Him who prospers in His way, because of the man who makes wicked plots happen.” PSALMS 37:3‭-‬7 WMB It seems almost counterintuitive when you read Psalms 37 and ponder the pursuits of your heart. Your heart is filled with God-given dreams and goals for a successful life and contrary to the instructions of the Psalmist, to wait on God and rest in His timing, human nature tells you that in order to see these things come to life you have to join the rat race, hustle, strive, push, accept the pain if you want to achieve the gain. The ‘noise’ …

The Kindling Spark: Musings on Love & Romance

The look on his face The taste of his lips Was nothing short of sublime The honey-sweet savor encompassed my soul The instant his lips touched mine The first of that moment The kindling spark Birthed fire within our dance The flavor of passion In an innocent kiss Spoke whispers of Romance THE POWER OF THE KISS Kiss– If my memory serves me correctly the Hebrew word, ‘Nashaq’ used for ‘kiss’ also means ‘to kindle or ignite.’  In Syriac, ‘to smell.’ An Arabic translation for the word means, ‘to fasten together.’** Basically “To kiss is to kindle or ignite with the scent of fastening together”. (On what it means to “fasten together,” I’m going to encourage you to use your blessed imagination.) In short, WOW! Adhering to this truth, one that is not widely shared among the young in love or even those who are seasoned, I am only made to view the act of kissing as something far more sacred and special than our modern world has made it out to be. Where some …

A Valentine from Your Father

Valentine’s Day.  I’ve always loved it. As a child, my dad would always come home with heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and a teddy bear for me and my little sister. It was a delight. Daddy loves you. Who doesn’t thrive there? When I hit my early teen years my dad’s gifts kind of trickled off but my Granddaddy began to send me flowers through the mail. It was such a heart-filling act that, as I write this brings tears to my eyes. My granddaddy is no longer on this side of Heaven, but the fruit of his acts live on. My Granddaddy loved and loves me. In undergrad or university, the guys in the art department pooled their money and purchased all the ladies in the program flowers, chocolates, and teddy bears. Then they went around campus delivering them to us as a surprise. Wow, unexpected care and appreciation. They saw me…they saw us. Now as a single woman, well in my thirties I realize Valentine’s Day has always been more of an ‘acquaintance’ of …