All posts filed under: Living

Doing Your Part: The Art of What You Can

“You can’t do it all. But you can do your part.” ~Candice Coates I saw a collection of photos the other day on social media. It was a brilliant article about a couple who reforested land, shared on Bored Panda. The images showed the twenty-year difference that was made when a couple decided to reforest a deforested area. They planted 20 million trees and in the span of two decades what was nothing but a wasteland turned into a green oasis where even the wildlife began to return. This is victory. This is joy. This is doing ones part. This couple did not set out to rebuild all the damaged land but they did restore the land that was in front of them and they are now reaping the fruits of their labors just like the animals that returned, as well as future generations that will come. This couple can sit back and rejoice for a job well done because that is what they have done. They saw a need, they counted the cost, and …

Retraining Your Brain: Defeating Negativity in Your Faith-Walk by Briana Lassiter

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time on false and harmful thought patterns that only brought me deeper into whatever difficulty I happened to be in at the time. I have had to learn that my thought patterns are not God’s responsibility, not that He won’t help me when I need it, not that He won’t step in and heal and give me breakthroughs, He always will, but it is my choice. He cannot and will not work in our lives if we refuse Him access. I cannot expect Him to step in and heal my thought patterns if when He intends to begin, I intend to push back. Breakthroughs with anything only begin with surrender. Sometimes the Lord just whispers gently to us, ‘You gotta work with Me.’ So if you’re at the place with God where you’re ready to work with Him the next time you feel yourself falling into a bad thought pattern, the best way to retrain your brain, is to make a …

Wrestling with Unbelief: The Strengthening of Faith

Wrestling with unbelief and doubt is nothing that we should be ashamed of. In all actuality, it is something that we should celebrate with joy. Why? Because it is a clear sign that we have enough faith on the level in our faith-walk that we are currently pressing in to press for more than what we have. We are wrestling with the limit of now until we breakthrough to greater levels of belief. We wrestle because we believe! If we were hope-less people, we would cease to ask God for more. We cease to ask the Lord to strengthen us to overcome the unbelief that is being exposed. The simple truth is that we pray for what we have hope for and what does the Word of God say about hope: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” ~HEBREWS 11:1 Our faith pushes us to pray for what we have hope for and what we hope for is more faith, especially in the area He is calling …

Giving Him Permission to Make us Whole

“Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” ~ JOHN 5:5-6 To say that we all experience hurts and pains in this life is truly stating the obvious, but to follow that statement by saying being made whole is our choice and responsibility isn’t a known truth for many. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make the statement any less true even if it is not widely known or even accepted. Consider the man who had been laying by the pool of Bethesda. He had been laying there for thirty-eight years (see vs 5) watching others being made whole while he languished in his condition. Then along comes Jesus. But although fully able to make the man whole in an instant, the Lord does something else, He asks him if being healed and whole is what he desires. We would all immediately assume that the answer to that …

A Tale as Old as Time: Revelation in Relationship by Charlie Louthen

I think it’s important to share that I did not want to write this article. I literally tried twice to disqualify myself to Candice and to myself numerous times. But Papa (Christ Jesus) continuously tugged at my heart to do it. Why was I so resistant? I narrowed it down to one reason. Fear. Why was I afraid? 1. How do you write something on a topic so deeply personal like a hard break-up with care and consideration for the other party involved when you were hurt by their actions? 2. How do you help others with forgiveness when you are not fully healed? I prayed for days on these two questions and got wise counsel from close friends. In the end, the answer was simple. Truth and grace. The truth is sometimes God will give you exactly what you want so that He can show you what you really need. This is biblically accurate. He gave the Israelites a king when they begged Him for it. He even told them all the horrible things …

Knowing God or Knowing About God by Bri Lassiter

I feel like I’ve spent a lot of my life knowing about God but not actually knowing Him. It’s as if I’ve somehow thought I could have a relationship with God by knowing as many facts as I can about Him, and then “living right” in accordance with the facts I knew. It’s laughable how unrealistic that thinking is! Imagine approaching ANY other relationship in your life the same way, or imagine trying to apply any Christian catchphrase that we try so hard to live by, to an actual relationship like a husband, wife or friend. What if you tried to function in your human relationships by attempting to just work hard, sacrifice, conform, or serve and please them? What if you just came to them and begged to be used a lot? Or if you just came to them begging for them to fix you and make you clean? Those would sound like red flag signals of a dysfunctional or abusive relationship, void of feelings and necessary love. Yet these are the exact phrases …

The Power in Songs of Praise

I just wanted to take this moment to encourage you all with not just a song of worship, but with the powerful weapon that we have in worship through song, coming from our very lips and hearts, no matter if they are out of tune or not appreciated by those sitting next to us. Often times we allow men (to the delight of the enemy) to deter us from opening our mouths in song unto or Heavenly Father. What is the big deal with singing to our Heavenly Father? Well, there is power in it that shifts the atmosphere. It is through song that our hearts are encouraged, that we remember what our God has done for us in the past, is presently doing, and will do. It is through song that we find strength, and that the enemy is evicted from our atmosphere, for our God inhabits our praise. (PSALM 22:3) Ephesians 5:18-21 says, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and …

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 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 …

When Jesus Waits to Save You: by Bri Lassiter

I relate so much to the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. There are so many explosive feelings and questions in it. It’s just real life and I feel like I’ve lived this story many times in one way or another. Just put yourself in the story and you’ll probably be able to relate too. Can you imagine being besties with Jesus and having Him chill at your house? You would think that nothing bad could happen to you when the Savior of the world is your homie. You’re definitely not gonna die or anything right? Wrong! Imagine you’re Mary and Martha. Your brother gets sick and so if you’re buds with someone who heals sick people obviously you’re going to call Him first, He’ll do His healing thing and it’ll be great. But you call Him and He doesn’t come. And you wait and wait and your loved one gets sicker and sicker. And then there’s the dying part. Dying sucks you know. Everyone pretty much hates that. Your brother Lazarus dies because Jesus …