All posts tagged: growth

Achieving the Greatest Expression: The Gift of Transformation

*Revised from July 1, 2016 “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ~CYNTHIA OCCELLI Isn’t this the exact description of what happened to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ when He submitted to the death on the cross for our sins, was first brutally beaten and undone before buried in the grave? To anyone looking in from the outside, and even those who’d walked with Him during His three-year ministry of preparing the soil for the Church to be planted and born, it would appear that all of His work was for naught. He was crucified and pronounced dead after all. Nothing but destruction was left. Christ and His work had been completely undone.  But in fact, it was finished! “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” ~I COR. 15:20 From the ‘undoing’ and destruction of Christ’s body on the cross, …

Inevitable Change: Encouragement in Transition

Revised from August 18, 2015 “Change is inevitable, Growth is optional.”~JOHN C. MAXWELL Change. The only time that most people search out change and willingly run with it is when unsavory circumstances have begun to dim the light and joy form their life and they are desperate to get it back. Otherwise, change is seen as the unwelcome guest who showed up at your perfectly numbered dinner party, uninvited. Change requires sacrifice, which generally goes hand and hand with discomfort and for some of us, discombobulation. But change is necessary. It is going to happen whether we like it or not, whether we are prepared or not. Think about an infant in their mother’s womb. Change comes and is without a doubt a straining shock to everything within the infant and around them. But what awaits them at the end of their travailing journey is something far greater. Consider the caterpillar who crawls through life, knowing in the core of their being that they are meant for greater heights. They must burn with the urge to …

Team Up! :How to Achieve Your Dream Pt 3

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” ~John C. Maxwell Everything God created was created to be most fruitful when it is connected with another. Why? Because there is such beauty and satisfaction to be had when triumph and victory are born from cooperation. When a man takes a wife, children are born. When a bee meets a flower, more flowers, bees, and honey are born as well as food for the world. When seed meets soil and is saturated with rain, new life is produced. Joy and appreciation from the works and gifts of others bless us with gratitude and cultivate a culture of encouragement. When we, dreamers and visionaries becoming creators, have taken the steps to: 1. Believe: Believe that we can achieve the dream that is inside of us. (See Believe You Can). 2. Simplify: Take your processes one step at a time without over-complicating each move you make. (See Keep it Simple). … we are on the path to productively multiplying our success which is found in our ability to properly align ourselves to achieve our …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Choosing Faith in Prison: by Bri Lassiter

By Bri Lassiter I love the story of Joseph, it really inspires me, and I go back to it often and I feel like I’m constantly seeing something new in it. I grew up with a deep churchy background where I heard familiar stories like this one so much in childhood, but they were always told without the heart, just the bones, so as an adult sometimes when I read them again, it can be a process for me to tear back the dead layers of familiarity and boredom with an old story and really allow the heart and the fiery emotions of some of these radical stories to speak to me. I remember when I connected with this story for the first time as an adult, I had been speaking with the Lord about a now twelve-year health issue that’s made me feel imprisoned, and I was asking Him WHY am I still here in this prison, why have You not brought me out of this yet, and how am I supposed to even …

Weapons of Thanks-Giving by Bri Lassiter

By Bri Lassiter I love Thanksgiving. It’s great, okay. I love the idea of taking a whole day to be thankful. I like a whole day of celebrating with food and family. It’s polite and reasonable. Anyone can take one day of the year to be thankful. But I want to talk for a minute about the heavy kind of thankfulness. This one’s messy and not pumpkin bedazzled. It can be ugly and painful and powerful. This kind of thankfulness is the kind you fight with and the kind you win with. This kind of thankfulness is a practice and a difficult habit to form on the inside of you. This is the kind of thanking you do to your Father when life sucks. When you are at THE END. When there are no answers from anywhere for you. When life is beating you up and only He knows. When you’re carrying around sorrow and pain or you’re still in the ‘not yet’ part of seeing your healing. When you’re fighting hopelessness and you’re not …

Waiting Like Bamboo: Learning to Progress One Step at a Time

Over the years, I’ve been asked by several people I know, like I know you have been too, ‘what is your plan?’ They ask because they know my dreams. They ask because they have seen my struggle, and from their vantage point and sometimes even my own, it seems like nothing fruitful is happening. That seeming reality couldn’t be further from the truth. I once heard Joyce Meyer talking about growth and waiting on God. She talked about how she’d learned bamboo shoots, once planted, will spend up to five years growing deep roots before actually breaking through the surface. But once they break through they can grow a foot in a matter of hours. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” ~PSALM 119:105 That teaching was so encouraging but the reality is, nobody really wants to wait like bamboo. We want the deep roots TODAY and the foot-by-the-hour growth TODAY. All of this makes me think about the deceiving phrase of ‘overnight success.’ Again, one sees bamboo stretching …

Learning the Beauty in Less being More: Part 1

I am truly learning and embracing the joy of ‘less is more.’ As I intentionally take the time to build the life that I imagine for myself by His prompting, I am living the truth that I can create without hustle. I can be a success without embracing the lie that I need to be stressed to do it. I don’t have to do ‘it’ the way everyone has shouted that ‘it’ needs to be done. The wisdom is to perform for an audience of ONE, Christ Jesus, and to learn how to be better than the person you were the day before. I have no need to keep up with the Jones…Neither do you! We don’t even know who the Jones are, which makes it all the better. Our lives are unique and designed by Christ. It is our honor and privilege to discover the path He has designed for us and to walk them by faith in His hands. Our hands and knees may get messy along the way since the path is …