All posts tagged: struggle

Seeing Through the Fog of Fear

*Revised from January 6, 2014 “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 many years I battled with the foggy fear of failure. I knew that I was capable as a writer and storyteller. I knew I had many great stories to tell, but I had stumbled on the stones that said, “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 was paralyzing. It kept me still and inactive in my creativity for far too many years. I wished I had pushed through …

Change Your Mind: Choose Your Own Adventure pt 1

“…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life…” ~DEUTERONOMY 30:19b Remember back in the day when you were in elementary school and you got to go to the school library and pick out a few books to take home and read? Back when I was a child, that was one of the highlights of the week, going to the school library, and nothing brought more joy than getting my hands on the latest Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Those books were fantastic in that within the limitations of maybe one-hundred and thirty or so pages of medium-sized print, seemed to be an infinite amount of unique stories that came to life simply by skipping from one section of the book to another. Choose your own adventure. To see what happens if Sally falls in the well, skip to page sixty-four. To have Sally leap over the well to safety, go to page fifty-seven, to see what happens next from here, keep reading. Some of these stories always had the same …

A word on Contentment

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”    ~HEBREWS 13:5 Be content. The statement can be seen as a command or a verbalized form of permission. Be happy. Be wise. Be joyful. Be content. One of the biggest mountains that I face is the mountain whose shadow attempts to cast its darkness upon my garden of contentment. Lack of contentment, for me and I am certain many if not all of you, comes from the need to “do more.” I seem to be in a constant state of growth as I divorce myself from this out ‘need’, but there are a few straggly roots that are still present in my heart. The need to do more makes me measure and count and compare, as if my life is on some scale. And we all know that comparison kills. This attitude and mid-set, like that mountain, stands in opposition to my faith. …It is a hard …

My Favorite Read by Briana Lassiter: Encouraged in the Wait

This weeks summer favorite is an article from 2016, titled, ENCOURAGED IN THE WAIT by Candice Coates. I (Briana) had just met Candice and when I saw this post of hers on Facebook, I was in a deep waiting/suffering period and it resonated deeply as I sat and cried over the reminders of the truth about God that my tired heart desperately needed. As I read it over today, I find myself in a waiting period again, and the truths about God are still true, and His comfort is still as powerful as it was the first time I read it. And as Candice wrote, “Our Heavenly Father loves us beyond measure so much so that He would never forget us nor forsake us, especially not when we are distressed. Just as a parent is moved by the cries of their child so too is our Heavenly Father moved by ours.” I hope you are blessed with the encouragement you need today for your own wait as you read this summer favorite! By Briana Lassiter …

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 …