Latest Posts

The Process of Prayer: Power in the Process pt 2

 “…rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer…” ~ROM. 12:12

One thing that I have noticed in my own faith walk and processes is that sometimes, when time and patience seem to stretch, and trials seem to mount, my rejoicing has the propensity to draw into silence as I fill my time with distractions…and prayer about my situation goes silent.

Yes, I am still praying about other things, but praying about that purpose or point of passion that burns in my heart but seems oh so far away, I at times grow quite, fatigued. I begin to think, “Well, I’ve prayed enough times about this, and the Lord knows.”

But the problem with this attitude and posture is that when we cease to rejoice in our hope when we lose patience in the process when we grow quite in our pointed prayers, we inadvertently fall out of line with the purpose that God has for us.

We allow the passing of time to push us off course, thusly becoming distracted with things that will not strengthen us for our next level nor prepare our hearts for what is to come. We fall asleep on the battlefield and foolishly think the enemy will not cut us down even in our slumber.

THE SPIRIT IS WILLING…THE FLESH IS WEAK

 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ~MATTHEW 26:41

Peter and the other disciples on the night our Lord was betrayed know all about this. Here they were walking with the Lord in the Garden at night and as He prayed, preparing for the trial at hand that would be the birthing place for the Body of Christ, they…slept.

I am going to cut these young men some slack. They had been at a Passover Seder meal and drank several cups of wine during the ceremony after all. They had a reason to be sleepy and so it became easy, at night especially, in a quiet garden to fall asleep when they were supposed to be praying.

What would have been the outcome had the three sons of thunder, Peter, James, and John, prayed instead of sleeping? Would they have scattered? Would Peter have denied knowing the Lord three times, would ears have been cut off?

We will never know, but what we do know is that the Lord used this Passion story to bless us to keep in mind what we are capable of when we pray and what we are not when we don’t.

When we forgo prayer for whatever reason, we are making room for the flesh to overrule the spirit and for our baser inclinations to lead. 

Going under pressure without prayer leads to poor behavior. 

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: REJOICE, RENEW, RELEASE!

REJOICE: We are instructed to ‘rejoice in hope’. The Word of God says in Romans 5:5, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (See ROM 5:1-5)

We have the privilege to rejoice in what we are hoping for in Christ because we have been assured that what He has said He will do and we will not be disappointed.

Our Heavenly Father is faithful to honor His Word and to bring it to pass (ISA. 55:10-11).

What this means is that we need to maintain an attitude of expectation, which will produce joy and rejoicing as a result.

Think about it. When you have scheduled a vacation, or have a date planned with someone special, even if the day of the outing isn’t for a little while, each time you think about it, you tend to get excited and dare I say dance a little with joy and rejoicing.

The promises of God are so much more powerful than this. His Word will accomplish its goal. His promises will be fulfilled!

Rejoice in what He has said to you!

RENEW: In order for us to be patient in our tribulations as we walk through the process is to have our minds continuously renewed.

Romans 12:2, “ And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Our minds are renewed by the washing of His word, meditating on His word, and the Rhema word, He has specifically spoken to our hearts.

When we continuously remind ourselves what the Lord has said, we are able to rest in patience even as we walk through our trials.

To renew is to repeat an action. We need to continue to speak His words over and to ourselves and allow the roots of our faith and expectation to grow deep and strong.

RELEASE: To continue steadfastly in prayer is to continue to come into alignment with what God has spoken to you even as you wait for its manifestation.

When we pray continuously, we are keeping our hearts and minds in tune with His. We are openly expressing our cares and casting them on Him in exchange for His comfort and truth while we wait on Him. 

We find a new level of rest when we release our burdens into the able hands of our Savior, and when we know He is actively moving on our behalf through the power of prayer, we are able to reign over our troubles in triumph!

We are made ready to possess the promises we are hoping and waiting for!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

 

 

Viewing Sin God’s Way by Bri Lassiter

I‘m keenly aware that any time I have ever had victory over sin, it has been because of how kindly and patiently the Lord treated me as I struggled.

We are so obsessed with behavior modification in our church culture, that it can be difficult to accept or acknowledge the Lord’s lack of judgment towards us.

I hear the phrase ALL the time, “The Lord never told us not to judge, He just said judge with righteous judgment”, which is, of course, is just an excuse to continue cherishing our own judgemental thoughts towards ourselves and others.

The righteous judgment the Lord exercised the most seemed to be kindness, and getting people to drop their rocks they were about to throw at each other.

The righteousness judgment I see Jesus exercise when a woman was caught in sin, was to ask questions that led to self-examination so that inner healing could take place.

Who is accusing you? Jesus asked. No one has a right to, but me, and I’m not going to. The rock and the accusations are dropped. And since there is no one left accusing you, you are free to go and sin no more.

If it is true that Jesus bore our sin and took the weight of all accusations against us so that we would never have to try to function under their burden anymore, WHY would we continue holding onto condemnation for our sins?

When He sees us, He sees us as spotless and blameless. He does not hold our own faulty view of ourselves, nor will He ever come into agreement with our flawed ideas that our sin deserves condemnation because our condemnation has already been taken away by what Jesus did on the cross.

The accusing thing is what the enemy does. The “accuser of the brethren” is what he is called. And how often do we decide to agree with the enemy about ourselves instead of Jesus?

Condemnation leads to a false form of repentance, a transformation of behavior based on guilt or shame.

This is why the enemy’s accusations and shame-based transformation appear so effective, because they look like the truth, but they bypass the heart and they bypass true healing and revealing.

It is the Lord’s kindness that leads us to true repentance, a transformation of behavior based on love. Romans 2:4

I tell my child all the time that I don’t want her to listen to me or do what I tell her because she’s afraid of punishment, or because she’s embarrassed, or because she feels like she’s obligated. I want her to listen to me and do what I tell her because she loves me and trusts me.

It is the same with the Lord.

He comes to heal our relationship with ourselves and teach us how to extend mercy to ourselves where He does. He comes to teach us how to forgive ourselves for our mistakes so we can accept His forgiveness and extend it to others.

The timelines of our lives are in His hands. It is not a surprise or a disappointment to Him to see where you are. Your sins and struggles do not make Him ‘clutch His pearls’ like a scandalized southern lady.

The Bible is filled with imperfect sin-laden people just like you, who did incredible history changing feats because they grabbed onto The Lord’s righteous right hand and trusted that it was enough to hold them up, and trusted that it was His righteousness that was enough to get them through to the end.

Our sins and our faults, He already sees as gone from us.

All we have to do until that is fully manifested in our lives is take hold of His righteous right hand, and as we walk with Him and experience His kindness and patience and love towards us, then we are enabled to receive true healing and wholeness of our hearts, not just our behavior.

*Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

By Bri Lassiter

Bri Small headshotI’m married to my dearest friend of 8 years and mom to an energetic 6-year-old. My greatest joys come from traveling with my little family, cooking for appreciative recipients, learning herbalism and natural medicine, and every experience I get to have in prayer ministry. I’m an avid tea and book lover and can’t get enough of either. I love Jesus and the daily adventure that comes from walking in friendship with him as he arranges and rearranges my story.

The Rewards of Resting & Waiting

“God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which He must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves.” ~A.W Tozer (PSALM 23)

Take a moment and read Psalm 23.  I know that most of us reading this article have been blessed to have already read, time and again, the wisdom and prophetic prayer of King David, the Shepherd after God’s own heart.

But have you taken the time to read it in the context of struggle? Have you read it through the perspective of process, or transition?

Here is David, a man dedicated to the perfect will, way, and call of God upon His life being bounced from one injustice and battle to another, beginning his prayer and praise to the Lord with these very words, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

You may think, well that’s beautiful, especially when you continue to read the next few verses: “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” (v 2-3)

But it is the verses that follow that really bring power to the first three, and those verses start with, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,” (v 4)

Here is the picture that puts the beginning praise and even the end of this chapter of the psalm into context. David is in the midst of emotional and physical turmoil. He is surrounded by conflict from family, friends, spiritual evils, and evils coming from opposing kingdoms that are around him.

Still, still, David submits himself completely to the leading of the Lord even though other forms of action seem to make much more sense than that of resting in the presence of the Lord.

THE REWARDS OF REST

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” (v 4-6)

Although David was in the eye of many storms, because he took time and put the Lord in His proper place, at the Throne of All in David’s life and circumstances, David was able to reap the rewards that were born out of resting in the Lord Himself, and those rewards were:

  • A Place of Abundance: David found that all of his needs were met and would be completely met when he rested in the Lord. (v 1)
  • A Secret Place of Strength, Refocus & Repose: David was blessed with a secret place of tranquility that not only quieted his heart and mind, but it strengthened him. In both Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17, we read that the righteous (that is anyone in  Christ who put there trust in Him in all things) is made unmovable and even fruitful no matter the season or circumstances. He is planted by water, given deep roots, his foliage never fades nor does his fruit, and he doesn’t even notice when the heat comes. (v 2)
  • Restoration & Guidance of his soul: David found refreshing and wholeness in his identity as he rested in the Way and timing of the Lord. Our soul is our personality, the man or woman we happen to be. When we are in a storm, that identity is often attacked. Resting in the Lord reaffirms our identity and strengthens us to keep pressing toward the call and promise even in the midst of the storm. So when David rested, not only was his soul refreshed and rejuvenated but because he was rerooted in the truth of God’s faithfulness and promise, he was primed and ready to receive the Lord’s direction for his next faith moves. And he did so knowing he would gain the victory since it was all for the name of the Lord! (v 3)
  • Confidence in the Lord’s Protection & Comfort: David acknowledge his storm but he also knew with confident assurance that the Lord was guiding him through his battle and would also protect him because HE was with him. Because he recognized the presence of the Lord, he was ever ready to lean into Him for comfort and assurance with each step he took in faith. (v 4)
  • Victory, Deliverance & Enrichment to Reign: In the posture of resting, David watched as the Lord elevated, blessed, and delivered him even before his enemies! LET’S BREAK THIS DOWN (ISA.53): David was given a Table, an overflowing Cup, and Oil as he rested in the Lord:
    • TABLE: The table, if you can receive it, is the for the believer today the Bread of Communion. When we take the Bread of our Lord’s Body, we establish the covenant we have with Him that we are more than conquerors, healed, and free!
    • THE CUP:  This cup that overflows today is the Blood of our Savior, the new wine of joy, that cleanses us from all unrighteousness, redeems us from the curse of the Law of sin and death, and establishes as joint heirs with Christ, free from sin.
    • THE OIL: The oil of anointing comes from His crushing on our behalf and from His crushing comes for the oil that gives us anointing and this anointing not only enables us to perform the calling and purpose in and on our lives but it destroys yokes (from the enemy) and lifts burdens (from the enemy.) And our resting today comes ever more as often as we sit and take from this table (I COR 11:23-26ISAIAH 10:27
  • Confident Hope for Tomorrow & Established Relationship with Christ: When David, when we, rest in the Lord we gain the confidence in knowing that yes indeed His goodness and mercy are with and following us always. But not only that, but we know that our position in Him will never, NEVER, be removed, for in walking and resting with Him in one trial, we fall deeper in love with Him and closer even before the next! (v 6)

PERSPECTIVE BORN OF REST

The glorious beauty about Psalm 23 is that no matter which direction you read it, the Lord’s faithfulness to His children and those who take rest in Him are undeniable and the fruits and rewards from both directions are immeasurable. David began with praise and blessing and ended with praise and blessing.

Again, David acknowledges his trouble but he magnifies his triumph in the King of Kings!

SEEING PSALM 23 IN REVERSE & SEEING CHRIST’S GOODNESS WHILE WE REST

6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

3. He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.

1. The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.

CHRIST IS ALWAYS ON TIME AT THE RIGHT TIME

Take your rest in Him. Go with Him into the quiet place when He calls out to you, no matter the cares, no matter the storms. You lack nothing in His presence and rest. But you are blessed to gain everything

Remember, Christ is always on time at the right time when we rest!

*Photo by Eduardo Flores on Unsplash

The God of All Comfort: Faith for Creatives

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” ~II CORINTHIANS 3-4

I am so grateful for the Word of God that not only encourages us to keep the faith but encourages us with purpose as we continue forward in faith.

The Lord Jesus Christ assured us of His great and many blessings to and for us, but in that, He also assured us that alongside the blessings there would be troubles and tribulations.

Suffering, unfortunately, is a part of all of our faith walks varying from person to person and calling to calling.

But one of the glorious things found in this is that through our own personal trials we are able to strengthen and encourage others who are walking alongside us as our Shepherd, Lord, and King, carries us.

What better encouragement in a trial is there than to see someone who has walked where you are walking and made it out of the desert into an oasis of victory and rest? What better testimony is there in seeing that the Lord carries all of His children and remains faithful to His word.

Better than all of this, is that HE walks with each and every one of us. It is in His walking with us and comforting us that we are able to overcome, draw closer to Him, know His love in deeper and more intimate ways, and thusly share that grace and glory with others.

Our Heavenly Father is so good to each and every one of us. No, He is not the one to send the trouble, but He does turn it around for our good. In our trouble, we learn the deepness of His tenderness.

We learn His great comfort and in that we find and share in His strength!

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

*Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on Unsplash

Like a Sapling through Soil: Flash Fiction & Musing

You’ve gone quiet,” their words weren’t condemning, still, it drew her attention with enough force to make her spine go rigid.

Forcing her nerves into a sense of calm, she shook her head. “I haven’t really gone quiet.”

“No?”

“No. I’ve been in the dark, much like a seed.” Without looking at them she could almost feel their interest peek and a smile bloom with interest.

“Explain if you can. I like seeds, so much potential there.”

This made her smile. “Like a seed I’ve been in the dark. I have a lot of things pressing on me from every side, but the pressure is only promoting change. I have much to say. The words are on the tip of my tongue but I need to allow the right moment to arrive.”

“Like a sapling through the soil,”

“Precisely! Like a sapling through the soil. Seeds planted in Fall burst forth in the Spring.”

“Spring is right around the corner you know?”

Another smile. “Yes, it is. I can feel it in my bones.”

THE BEGINNING…

*No matter where you are in your process, trust that the Lord knows where He has planted you and you are not forgotten nor lost, not even under the darkness of pressure. Soon and very soon, your roots will reach their depth and you will breakthrough to His glory! Be encouraged. Your time is coming!

*Revised from February 23, 2017

*Photo by Igor Son on Unsplash

The Process of Patience: Power in the Process pt 1

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him…” ~PSALM 37:7

Patience. For many, especially in the age of ‘hustle and grind,’ has become a foul word and even more a foreign concept to those who have a heart that beats to the tune of ‘do and achieve.’

Patience itself seems to be the very antithesis of progress and success itself, almost as if it is a waste of time. And waiting on the Lord, well, that seems to be a difficulty all its own.

But oh is it so very worth it!

First, let’s gain the understanding and the truth that more than you or I want to succeed, the Lord wants us to succeed even more. The glory and beauty of His desire and plans for us is that He is the one who planted those desires in us in the first place. He is the one who has written each of our stories from beginning to end, and He knows exactly what it is going to take to get us for beginning to glorious end!

He knows that in order for all that He desires to do for us and through us to come to pass, there must be a process and that process requires patience from us.

THE  SO-CALLED UGLY TWINS

“Patience and Process are fraternal twins that no one likes…But God changes their names to Abundance and Overflow.” ~Candice Coates & Regina Hernandez

Very few people like the words patience or process, and even fewer seem to get excited when they see the two coming together. But in order for us to be all and achieve all that Christ has in store for us, we must learn to walk hand and hand with both.

James 1:4 says, “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

When we submit ourselves to patience and allow the process to take place (whatever our process at the time may be) then we are positioning ourselves to be made perfect and lack nothing i.e reap abundance and overflow!

WHAT COMES IN THE WAITING

Psalm 37 encourages us with further truth about what happens when we rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him to excel us and not try to do so ourselves.

  • WE FIND OUR DELIGHT IN HIM: As we wait patiently in the process of our ‘becoming,’ we are made to set our focus and our minds on Christ and thus we are able to see more of His beauty and goodness. We see Him in ways we never have before and are blessed to fall more deeply in love with Him.
  • WE FIND OUR REST IN HIM: As we bask in His beauty and holiness, we shed the weight of our worries and ambition in the wait for His movement on our behalf. We learn to trust Him more, and we begin to see His faithfulness manifest in mighty ways, ways we could not have produced on our own strength.
  • HE GIVES US THE DESIRE OF OUR HEART: Psalm 37 tells us over and over how He will give us the desire of our heart, how He blesses us to inherit the ‘land,’ how He establishes us and keeps us from destruction even as He blesses us with peace. The most amazing thing about this, however, is that by the time we do inherit, Christ has become our greatest desire and everything else the bonus!

THE POINT OF THE PROCESS

Through patience, we learn the beauty of abiding. We learn the posture of rest and reigning, we learn that none of our end goals are really the end goals but that Christ is truly our all and all.

This is why He requires patience from us, for in the process of patience we grow deeper in and closer to Him, and when we are established in Him, we are able to withstand any odds.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

 

 

Coin Toss: A Short Story by Candice Coates

Heads or tails?”

“What? You can’t be seri-”

“Heads? Or tales?” Quarter sat at the ready, balanced atop the smoothness of his thumbnail, Josiah cut off her words. It wasn’t so much his words that eased her into silence, but the glint in his eyes and the smile that curved his lips.

He was serious, deadly serious.

Severin pressed her eyes closed and pinched the bridge of her nose, feeling nervousness roll up and around her belly. Had she actually eaten the lunch he had packed for them instead of anxiously pushing it around with her fork, nibbling it here and there, she would have had no room inside for anxiety to fill her guts in the first place.

At least the plate was neatly stashed away in the cooler for later if she survived to eat it later. Of course, the coin was two-sided so there was the other option that didn’t involve leaping to her death, but it did have a “leap” all its own.

As it were, Severin Hastings, true to her name, had spoken in feisty haste and she was now going to have to eat her words for lunch, the heads or the tales of it.

“Come on, Severin.” Josiah’s smile deepened followed by a chuckle that was too deep and thunder-like to be considered delightful, and yet somehow it was.

Severin’s tummy gave another nervous roll. Oh, how she wanted to slap that quarter from Josiah’s hands. They were too old for this; she at her thirty-one, and he thirty-seven. She knew his age not because she had asked around, but because another of their coworkers had given the information.

Claire, in Human Resources, had a bizarre fixation on Josiah Reed. Truth was, it wasn’t so bizarre. He was the epitome of “perfect guy.” Gorgeous, with black licorice hair, dark chocolate eyes, teeth like milk, a physique like The David, but he had such a generous heart and sincere faith in the Lord that Severin had yet to see in any man she had dated over the years, even the ones she had grown up with.

Josiah caused massive swoon fatalities whenever he walked into the office, so Claire’s “obsession” was contagious…not at all bizarre. What was bizarre, however, was that Josiah had taken an interest in Severin. And as it went, the sudden revelation left Severin leery and guarded-severe, also like the meaning of her name.

“That’s fine,” he said with another chuckle. “I’ll call it then.” He winked before sending the quarter into a series of twist and turns in the airspace between them.

“Heads!” He shouted just as Severin shrieked “tails,” caring not for Josiah’s reaction, as calling out either side left her in a precarious predicament that would demand an embarrassing go at trying to explain herself.

Tails: Please Josiah Reed, put your lips on my lips. Kiss me now!  Or Heads: Josiah Reed, I would rather base jump off this cliff than kiss you! Both options completely childish, and both born out of her foolish attempt to hide behind fear of liking this man by making herself seem disinterested.

Of course, he was the one who had planned their date, but she was the one who said, “I am not one for kissing on the first date. It is not my thing. But I would rather lock lips than jump off of this cliff!” The words sounded good in her head, but terrible once they were said.

Josiah then, after giving her a long and curious silent appraisal, and explaining that jumping twelve feet down into a pond was not actually base jumping, suggested a coin toss, having obviously seen through her mask and assumed this would be the best way to “break the ice.”

He was so wrong. He should have prayed about it!

The coin did one final turn in the air before clanking down on the rock face, rolling about mockingly on its thin quarter’s edge between their bare feet, before sliding sideways into a crack; neither heads nor tails.

It had opted for both.

“Well,” Severin finally said, having found her voice again rife with its usually starch and guarded tone. “I suppose this means we are at a dra-”

Before the words were free of her tongue, Josiah had kissed her, not on the lips but right on the cheek, with enough innocent tenderness to send a heated blush up her neck and face.

The kiss was short but it had sent a jolt through Severin, one so gripping that she hadn’t even realized Josiah had laced his fingers with hers and pulled her off the rock’s edge with him, down into the pond below.

Water and bubbles erupted around her with effervescence, drawing her into a fit of laughter that melted her rigidity away. Her eyes fell upon his and that same rolling in her belly rolled again, except for this time it wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t bad at all. This time it made her hope for more coin tosses in the future and his thunderous laughter.

THE BEGINNING

Written September 8, 2015

The Right Time: A Word on Seizing Our Moments

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is indeed a time and a season to all things, but how many times have we used this “truth” out of context, and as a means to hide behind our fear, allowing great opportunities to pass us by?

God does indeed have a plan for all of us. He has the perfect time set up for each and every one of us. I am not a believer in “coincidences” but “God-incidences,” however even with a beautifully orchestrated God-incidence if we are insistent upon finding every reason for why we shouldn’t make a move, we will miss our moment.

Some moments don’t come around twice. They are truly once-in-a-lifetime events.

So I encourage you to, yes, pray without ceasing. Seek the face of God and allow the wisdom of Christ Jesus to guide you in His perfect way and will in all that you do, but don’t let fear of waiting for the “perfect moment” to rob you of the moment at hand.

“If you’re waiting for the right time The right time will fly right by you Always planning, never moving Always praying, never doing It ain’t living if you’re just spending your life Waiting for the right time” ~Warren Barfield, The Right Time

There is no such thing as a perfect moment, only the right time and most of the time the right time happens when it looks impossible.

Many of us like to say we are waiting on God…but have you ever considered that maybe God is waiting on you?

The time is now! Step out on faith, and don’t let your “moment” pass you by.

For further encouragement, listen to this track by Warren Barefield, “The Right Time,” and go forward in faith into your moment!

*Revised from September 4, 2015

*Photo by Chris Nguyen on Unsplash

 

Pray for Rain: Faith for Creatives

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”

~JAMES 5:17-18

He prayed, and the land was dry. He prayed again and the heavens were opened and the earth saturated.

This is the story of Elijah. If you are familiar with the great Prophet, then you know how he stood alone against a multitude and those who served a false god and their queen, Jezebel, armed only with his faith and the authority of the True and Living God.

You know that when it was time for him to pass the baton of faith that he was called up to heaven in a chariot of fire and swept away into eternity without ever being touched by death even though at one point in time, death was indeed his prayer.

You know then that he was a man of great power and great authority on this earth. But do you know that that same power, the Power of the Living God lives inside of you and is waiting for you to speak life?

When you gave your heart and life to Christ, you became not only His beloved and redeemed child, but you became His voice in the earth.

The glory in this, even though I imagine you may be thinking, “Oh, no! Not me! I’m just…me.” is that that is all Christ needs you to be in order for His glory to be seen. All He needs is for you to have the faith to speak, the faith to pray.

The book of Psalms says that, “His angels obey the voice of His word and run swiftly to perform it.”(PS. 103:20)

You are the one who gives voice to His word!

You and I, under this glorious covenant of Grace and Truth, which is Christ, have such great power to speak and believe and to see the heavens and earth respond to Christ’s glory.

What has the Lord put in you to speak. What does He desire to do with a mouth, or hands, that you deem ordinary? Open your mouth, lift those hands and pray for the rain and revelation to come. And watch how the Heavens move!

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

*Photo by Nicklas Bajema on Unsplash

 

Cari Burns: Creative in Action

Interview by Bri Lassiter

I am so happy to introduce this month’s Creative In Action, Cari Burns! I personally have been blessed by Cari’s ministry and as I read her story, I’m reminded of the truth that when you obey, you will always be blessed.

Caris story, (like all of ours,) is not done yet. And while I’m excited we get to read about the chapter she is in, I am even more excited that as she is prophesying with her life of the goodness and favor of the Lord and proving that when you step out in faith you will be blessed and multiplied greatly. Like many of us who have sown for a long time, she is about to step out into yet more of the abundance that God designed for her ministry.

And just like Cari, as we work with the Lord in the plans He has for our future, He takes us to an end that is better than anything we could imagine for ourselves as He dumps on us the blessings He reserved for us before He even put the dreams in our heart in the first place.

~Bri Lassiter

Cari’s Story

Wow, I really can’t recall a time in my teenage/adult life that did not involve being a caregiver to children. My neighbor trusted me with my first official babysitting job at the ripe age of fourteen and from that point forward, I was deemed the neighborhood babysitter.

Accepting that childcare was indeed my ministry, didn’t come until recently. l always said to myself, “This is just what I am good at.” The revelation hit me one day when I was doing laundry for the family that I currently serve.

Cari Burns 4I recall the voice of the Lord saying to me, “This is your ministry, run daughter.” Bridging The Gap Family Solutions was birthed while l was employed by a marketing company, sitting at my desk, wondering how l could get back to what my heart desired. On the back of an envelope I began to write and from writing came vision after vision!

The Lord is very clear that the things of the heart are what matters. Caring for the heart of the children and parents that I serve draws them closer to the Kingdom.

Through me, through Bridging The Gap, a family that was no longer attending a church is now attending on a weekly basis and wanting to know Him and have a relationship with Him.

“When I serve a family, I want them to think, “Wow that was the best experience that we’ve ever had!””

Anytime we, His children, can bring people into the house of the Lord so that they can
become connected with the Kingdom, that lights the fire, it ignites the passion.

My passion derives from wanting to see families in the church, in the Kingdom, being whole. When you have whole parents, they produce whole children and raising a family takes a village. And that’s what I want to be, a part of the village.

My dream for Bridging The Gap is to provide nannies to families and foster the tribe-like culture in the community. Not only do I see Bridging The Gap Family Solutions
providing nannies, but l intend on helping mothers bring life into the world through being a part of their birthing team.

Cari BurnsI have dreams of planting childcare “hubs” in various neighborhoods that allow parents to send their children to a place that feels like home when the parents have to be away. I don’t want facilities, I want second homes.

I believe that dreaming big and casting big vision is so necessary in this line of work. It
keeps the mind sharp and the heart postured to receive direction from The Lord.

During the first year of this journey, I was challenged in the area of finances and not being properly compensated in the way that I knew I should have been. Even though there were times when my bank account suffered, I remained faithful to my clients, honored my commitments, and maintained a faithful mindset.

God has provided! He has sustained me and preserved my heart to serve.

The challenge propelled me forward in so many ways! I was able to really see the goodness of God and also see how much my husband supports me. He’s worked harder so that I can embark on the journey of being an entrepreneur.

When I serve a family, I want them to think, “Wow that was the best experience that
we’ve ever had!” I know that Bridging The Gap will be described as a business that provides flawless, heart-connected, and unmatchable service. I want to build a brand that people want to duplicate in regions that I may not be able to reach!

Cari Burns 2Caring for families is so important, it can start with one person that steps in and simply lends a hand! I want parents and children that I serve to feel genuinely loved, supported, and advocated for. I can look back on my childhood and how many people from our church were so eager and willing to help my parents and were a part of my village.

Whether it was hanging out with their children, going to see a movie, or just making sure my dad and I had hot meals when my mom would travel for work, our family roots in the church ran and still run so so deep.

Cari Burns 1There has never been anything that has happened that a member of our family church has not been there to be a helping hand.

It was always refreshing to know that someone was available to be a shelter if needed, and my mother always instilled in me how important it was to show up for people.

My husband, my friends, and my family have supported me deep and wide throughout this journey. The support given has been unmeasurable, and I couldn’t hope for anything more!

God has truly shown Himself in so many ways, my faith is stronger and my relationship with Him is deeper. I am just so very grateful!

You can follow Cari and her Bridging The Gap ministry on:

Facebook:@BTGFamilySolutions Or on Instagram: @BridgingTheGapLLC

 

By Bri LassiterBy Bri Lassiter

Bri Small headshot

I’m married to my dearest friend of 8 years and mom to an energetic 6-year-old. My greatest joys come from traveling with my little family, cooking for appreciative recipients, learning herbalism and natural medicine, and every experience I get to have in prayer ministry. I’m an avid tea and book lover and can’t get enough of either. I love Jesus and the daily adventure that comes from walking in friendship with him as he arranges and rearranges my story.