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Start with a Seed: Start Here pt 1

“…Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” -MATTHEW 20:17b

When a person sets out to give life to their dream or vision, or even to undertake a project that is relevant for that season of their life, one thing they do without fail is to take stock of what they have in hand.

Our Master and Savior, the King Creator, actually instructs us in His Word that a wise man takes inventory of what he has before he begins, lest when he starts he finds he is unable to finish (LUKE 14:28-29).

The one thing that many of us find paralyzing about this is that when we do actually take inventory of what we have, we tend to lean on our own understanding, often stifling the voice of the Lord that is telling us to begin, in favor of believing what our eyes and logic are telling us, and that is we don’t have enough.

What is interesting and most compelling about these two verses; our view of the mustard seed (MT.20:17) and the urgency to take inventory (LK 14:28-29), is that if you view them from the paradigm of faith, you see that what the Lord is saying to us to take inventory of our faith and to have the faith to begin…oh and while we are having faith, it only needs to be the size of a mustard seed.

In short, if He is telling you to proceed, all you need is the seed of faith to even start right from where you are. 

TAKING INVENTORY OF WHAT WE HAVE

When we start with our seed of faith, we must marry it with the Word. We must remember what His Word says for faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word (ROMANS 10:17).

Here are a few words to stash in your starting-arsenal:

  • He (Jesus) blesses the work of my hands and the fruit of my body (DEUT. 28:14)
    • What you are beginning to produce is blessed by Him especially when it is He who has prompted you to start where you are.
  • He gives you the power to gain wealth. (DEUT. 8:18)
    • If He gave you the vision and the green light to start building it, then He will give the provision for the vision.
  • He will show you which way to go (ISA. 30:21)
    • If the Good Shepherd told you to start, then He will show you what to do at each step and turn. His word tells us that if we consult Him in all our ways, He will make straight our paths (PROV. 3:6). Knowing that His word is unchanging and steady, we can start with confidence that as we seek His leading in faith, He will faithfully guide us into success.

5 THINGS TO REMEMBER AS YOU START

Taking a firm grasp upon the word and promises of the Lord, even as we lean into Him, as He prompts us to go forward and begin to build what He has put in us we must:

  1. Allow His words of faith and truth to take residence in our hearts and evict everything that our spirit is telling us is contrary to the call.
  2. Abide in His wisdom as the plan of action is born and develops within you.
  3. See where you are and determine where it is that you would like to be.
  4. Write your vision (HABAKKUK 2:2-3)
  5. Step out in faith! The Children of Israel wanted freedom. They had to step out into the Red Sea to get it!

Determine from this moment on to take inventory of the faith within your heart that Christ has given you for the dream before you, take that seed in hand, and plant it in the soil with your first step.

The Lord is calling you to it! He has also equipped you with the faith you need to do it!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Recapture the Wonder by Briana Lassiter

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.

It’s such a crazy thing to think about, but it can cease to be astonishing if this has been something we learned about as a child and have known for some time.

Sometimes it’s easy for us to forget the wonder of our faith.

A couple months ago I was praying with a friend and she said something that really startled me, she said: “Briana He wants you to know that He is God.” I was a bit taken aback because of course, He is, I thought!

But later on as I began to think deeply about what that meant for me, what that meant for my circumstances that I was praying about and what that meant about the outcome He had promised, the wonder of it all returned as I realized fully that there is nothing too big for God and nothing He won’t do for me.

Friends if you are experiencing a struggle or difficulty that God has promised you He will heal, fix or move in, and you find yourself struggling with your faith to believe that He will do it, allow yourself to be reminded that He is God.

Allow the awe and wonder of Who He is, and what a loving Father He is, to wash over you and carry your doubt away.

If you’re not sure how to start, go ahead and read some things about Who God is, and think about His nature and how it affects YOU and your situation.

Here are some passages to get started, but ask Him to speak to you and remind you what He wants you to know about Himself and Who He wants to be to you.

• And He is before all things, and by Him, all things consist. Colossians 1:17

• For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Acts 17:28

• “Indeed before the day was, I Am He; And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?” Isaiah 43:13

• The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Psalms 50:1

• For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth He is called. Isaiah 54:5

Like with the very beginning of the Bible where the word starts with a shock and awe statement of Who God is, what He does to lay the foundation for us to build our entire faith upon, telling us that He was there from the very beginning, so too can we  take that same wonderful statement, and trust and know that He still has the power to create all things even now.

We can rest in His might for our own situations and release our fear and doubt to Him as we remember that He is the God that created us and holds everything together, and there is nothing too hard for Him.

*Photo by Candice Picard on Unsplash

By Briana 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.

It’s Worth the Mess: 3 Reasons to Keep Creating

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly . . . until you can learn to do it well.” ~Zig Ziglar

have always been a believer that anything worth having is definitely worth fighting for. Having healthy relationships? Worth fighting for. Having security? Worth fighting for. Having victory in maintaining faith? Worth fighting for.

I could go on and I am sure that you could add several things to the ‘worth fighting for’ list. But one thing I have often lost the fight in (because I didn’t show up) was in learning new avenues of creating.

Why? Because more times than not I was afraid of failure. I wonder if you can relate.

The thing about being a creative person–the thing about being human–is that the beginnings of all of our successes begin in a mess. We don’t begin walking with elegant or confident gaits. We fall and we scuff our hands and knees.

The same is true for each and every creative venture that we embark upon.

Our first drafts will likely be, well, garbage in comparison to the final drafts. Our first paintings, even done as adults will show the skills of an enthusiastic three-year-old. Our first meal as a new wife may leave much to be desired.

All of this is okay. All of this is part of the process.

We have to learn in all things that before we are able to play “Moonlight Sonata” with our eyes closed, that we must first begin playing “Chopsticks” with sharp concentration.

We have to keep giving and keep practicing until our muscles are trained and our creativity flows with the same ease as breathing.

Consider your craft to be like rerouting natural water into a beautiful city situated in a dry place. The water is there. The city is there. You just have to be willing to do what it takes to bring them together.

HERE ARE 3 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

  1. Being a ‘beginner’ is a necessary step in becoming a master or even mediocre. Both however take time.
  2. What you give you will get. If you keep at your practice you will either learn how to do it well or learn that there is no shame in learning that you aren’t meant to do everything, but that there are never any regrets in giving some things a try.
  3. Every beautiful home begins as a messy, muddy, hole in the ground. Foundations are often the least favorite part of the process but the most important. The mansion is definitely worth the mud!

So keep working on your novels. Keep slinging that paint, and scratching those ivories until they bleed into submission and your touch turns into a tickle.

What you are doing is worth it. It is worth the moments of frustration. It is worth relentlessly pounding the ‘delete’ button until the letters on the key are all but worn away. It’s worth burning the roast into leather until you can make that thing fork-tender one day!

It is all worth it because the day will come when you finally learn how to do what you are doing well. And it will be beautiful!

*Revised from April 3, 2017

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER! 

Abiding Fruitfulness Series Up Until October 13th!

Hello, Creatives!

I don’t know if you had the chance to journey along with us in our first ever recorded series, Abiding Fruitfulness: 40-days of Resting to Success. If you did, that is fantastic! But if not, no worries.

We will be having the videos and other content available until SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2019. 

Now is the perfect time to spend some time in rest and reflection as you contemplate your ‘start‘ for the coming new year.

There also may be some merch available soon to help remind you of the importance of your rest for success.

Keep your eyes open!

Abiding Fruitfulness fall image

Start Here: Starting Right From the Heart Series Intro

Do you have a vision? Do you have an ember of hope for something different burning inside you? Have you found yourself frustrated with the predictability of the ‘usual’ and often slip into the imaginative world created by the dream in you?

That is fantastic! Christ has given us all seeds or ‘talents’ to work with, but oftentimes we find ourselves lost in the fog of ‘how’. How do we get from where we are to where we dream we can be doing the very thing that Christ has branded in our hearts to do?

We start. And we start here, right where we are.

This new series, Start Here, will explore what it means to take the first step of faith to go toward your vision, dream, call, or destiny.

Sometimes you have to start in the dark, sometimes the mess, but the glory is starting in faith, right where you are.

It begins with the heart and the matters that lie within and go to places beyond our imagining.

Join us for this 3-week teaching and take the steps into your dream right from where you are!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Photo by Christian Chen on Unsplash

Who We Are: The Mission of ICFTS

WHAT IS ICFTS:

Welcome to “I came for the soup…,”  a growing community of Creatives, designed to encourage others to dream or dream again, in Christ-centered faith, helping them to discover their unique creative call, identity, and vision and the courage it takes to make them thrive.

We create many things in life; art, industry, relationships, legacy. All of which are divinely influenced and require courage, faith, vision, and a plan to go from ‘mental thought’ to manifestation.

OUR MISSION

ICFTS’s mission is to encourage and guide you to rediscover and take hold of your vision and unique creative voice by aiding you in discovering and applying creative inspiration and information to the areas that you are seeking to flourish in, in order to step out in faith and give life to your vision.

Our aim is to aid others in growing through their Vision, developing their Voice, and clarify their plan of execution for each creative endeavor through their Doing.

We believe this is achieved through:

  • Strengthening FAITH
  • Becoming deeply rooted in our IDENTITY in Christ
  • Acknowledging the divine nature and DNA of CREATIVITY
  • Keeping REST in Christ at the center of all that we do

This platform is an invitation, geared toward encouraging, enriching and inspiring you to go and explore beyond your creative limits and to share that experience with others, whether as a profession or a tailored creative outlet for personal growth and expression.

We share a motto of DIBDC (Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!), five process steps that we believe lead into the realm of creative success.

WHO IS ICFTS FOR

ICFTS is for those who feel the heartbeat of a dream or vision within them but lack the courage, ‘wind,’ or even direction, to lift their wings to fly toward it.

ICFTS is also for those who have yet to discover what their dream or vision is. Everyone needs to be reminded that they can do ‘it’. Others need light to know ‘how’ to do it, while there are those who are searching for ‘what’ to do.

Here is a place to spark a conversation about creativity, how it is deeply woven within the threads of our faith, and what it takes to thrive beyond obstacles, beyond fear, and even in the simple pursuit of fun!

All are invited and all who share at this table can rediscover and take hold of their own creative visions and voice and embark on a grand adventure of DREAMING bigger than you ever have before, IMAGINING beyond all limitations, BELIEVING the impossible, DOING the incredible, & CONQUERING your goals!

Our hope and prayer are that those who chose to travel with us will find themselves greatly enriched and fed while they grow in their creativity as they pursue their vision and dream.

To read about how ICFTS came to exist, see How ICFTS Began.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash

He Holds It All Together: A Scripture & Song

*Revised from September 2, 2016

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the Head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.” ~Colossians 1:15-20

It is my pleasure to speak of Messiah Yeshua, Christ Jesus, the God of Creation, the Beloved King and lover of my soul. When it seems my world is falling apart or even just shaking so much that my vision is blurred, when transition comes, and change even for the better is inevitable, I take rest in the truth that He is in control and holds ALL things together.

He holds me.

He is for me.

He loves me.

And He loves you.

*Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Enthusiasm Equals Greatness: A Quote & Encouragement

*Revised from May 6, 2016

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Whatever you set your mind to do be sure to do it with enthusiasm. People appreciate the spirit in which something is done more so than the actual doing. And in that shared spirit is true greatness.

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”     ~II COR. 9:6-7

The Word of God instructs us to be cheerful givers and to sow with purpose from our hearts. Great or small, a simple act of kindness, a story written, a picture painted, or even a glass of water, give it with enthusiasm.

It is out of little seeds of enthusiasm sown that fruitful trees of greatness grow.

*Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

A Merry Heart: The Gift of Laughter

*Revised from May 20, 2016

“The most wasted of all days is the one without laughter.” ~E.E CUMMINGS

Laughter, like food, is the one other universal language that every person on this planet not only enjoys but needs to survive. Laughter is the music that is never out of tune. It is the one song that we all can sing, and find ourselves singing along with even if we can’t explain why.

Laughter is a gift, a precious gift given to us from Christ Jesus and one that we can give to others. It is a fire that burns nothing but calories! And who doesn’t like that?

Laughter is priceless. Be sure to treasure it and share it with those around you. No day or heart is complete without it.

“A merry heart does good like medicine…” ~PROVERBS 17:22

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Jesus, the Oil of Joy: A Poem by Briana Lassiter

This is a poem about the symbolic oil of Joy that is made from Myrhh and only offers it’s sweet scent once it’s been crushed.

Joy on the inside, joy from within.
This is joy; the joy you win.
Crushed and bruised, this is released,
the oil of joy, the oil of peace.

The joy You’ve put into me
cultivated with care, now is released.
It is all you, Jesus my joy.
Strength, peace, confirming,
fighting, killing, declaring.
These are the things that joy enables
when crushed beyond belief.

This is it! This is the way, this is joy.
A heart that is white, a heart that is clean,
a heart that is trusting, what is unseen.
Friendship and love, never-ending, not losing,

This is the oil, pour it over everything

*Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

By Briana 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.