All posts tagged: struggle

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 …

Blessed Under Pressure: Faith for Creatives

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”~PHILIPPIANS 1:6 As I sat, several years ago, and practiced calligraphy with a pen I had never used before, I noticed that when I didn’t apply the right amount of pressure with my hand, the inky lines would break and lose their fluidity. They lacked perfection. I continued to draw more curved lines all in the attempt to make the perfect, curvy, line with thick sections here and thin, fine sections there, repeating the pattern, all without breaks. As I continued to draw the Holy Spirit gave me a revelation. Just like with that pen in my hand, Christ Jesus is working with us in His hands. He is working with us to get us to do greater things that we have never done before. Just like with the pen, He must apply the right amount of pressure at the right time to get our ‘lines’ perfect, fluid, without breaks. The task …

Don’t Give Up in Your Pursuit by Pastor Robert House III

The reality of living in a fallen world is that many times you may feel stuck, unfilled, hopeless, confused and even bitter. You put your full effort into making a change, pursuing something better in your life, fighting an addiction, changing your circle of friends or even connecting with family and then nothing changes. You have been lead to build a dream, you pray over your family and your marriage and nothing changes. Have you ever been passionately pursuing the will of God because you know what He told you and still find yourself empty? What do you do when nothing changes and yet everything changes. Where do you go when you feel like your prayers aren’t being heard. Your body aches, your heart cries, you know that you stepped into the miry clay and now trying to get out of it. You went right when God told you to go left and now your trying to make a U-turn. Pursuit, passion, change and finding a better balance to the brokenness of your life. In …

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 …

What They Say: Fiction by Candice Coates

“The only time I want to see a whole lot of red inky letters on paper is when Jesus is talking in my Bible, not when I have to hand you back your manuscript!” Mr. Hopeheld drummed his fingers on his desk, the frustration in his eyes melting into compassion. “Don’t look so chewed up. You and I both know you can do better than this. This,” He stabbed his pointer finger into the tome upon his shiny desktop. “This was a distracted effort of lifeless words and that just isn’t who you are.” The tempered rebuke from Lloyd’s publisher a week ago had nearly given him an ulcer. The sad thing was Mr. Hopeheld was right in all he said. The only problem was that him being right had not helped Lloyd one iota. He’d only told him what he’d already known. Lloyd didn’t believe in writer’s block. The truth was he always had something to say, always had some character whispering in his ears, flashing pictures of their questionable misadventures before his eyes. But …

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 …

A Song Called Revisions: 5 Encouragements For the Road Ahead

Revisions, revisions, revisions. If you have ever dreamed of writing a novel, or have already undergone the work of doing so, then the song called “Revisions,” is one of familiarity to you. It’s a catchy tune, being that it only has ONE word…Revisions. Let’s face it, writing a novel is an amazing adventure, one that you can’t really express how great it is in words, even though it is built of nothing but words. But even with all that fun and glory there is the not-so-fun part of the journey, which entails editing and revisions. Revision: (re·vi·sion)- To change text: To amend text in order to improve, adapt it, update it, or correct it” Even without a definition the word itself tells you what it is about; Revision-re-vision: Get a different vision. Maybe you are seeing with decent creative vision, but 20/20 is obviously better than “decent.” Can we all be honest? Most of us think our first drafts are GOLDEN anyway! So what they are either devoid of comma’s or infected with them. So what …

Taking Hold of Greatness: A Word of Creative Encouragement

Sometimes doing great work means taking several steps backward.”~Candice Coates I don’t know of a single human being throughout the span of time who has not desired some level of success and greatness.  I am not talking about the greatness that world conquers sought, the empty success that only leaves you with an insatiable high for more in all the wrong ways, the kind that leaves victims wounded, and bloodied in your wake. I am talking about the great work of authentic meaning and self-expression. I am talking about that work that comes from an honest and sincere heart, that one that you can whisper to God with a smile and say, “We did good, eh?” Be it your art, your writing, your marriage, your conquering of the daily grind whereas you force yourself to say “This is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it! I will do well today no matter the odds, no matter the discomfort.” This is the great work I speak about. It cost. …

Seeing through the Fog of Fear

If you are willing to go where God leads, He will see you through the journey.” -Pastor Jesse Duplantis Writing is what I love. Sharing is what I love. Creating is what I love. However even in the face of things we love there can at times be a cloud of fog that blinds our direction. We start off heading one way with excitement and hope, and somewhere down the road we end up choking on the fog of fear. For a while now I have battled with the fear of failure. I know that I am capable. I know I have a story to tell, and image to showcase, but I have stumbled on the stones that say “What if you don’t tell the story right?” or “What if you mess up that really expensive piece of cotton rag artist paper you just purchased?” The fear is paralyzing. It kept me still for far too many years. I wished I had pushed through it sooner. Being able to create a perfectly scaled form with …