…Publisher of a Glorious Story

shout3

Ever find yourself in the middle of a conversation when you suddenly realize that you’ve said just a bit too much; revealed a little more than you intended to; or wish you would have stopped talking about 2 minutes before you actually did? Well, I tend to experience exactly this in more than enough instances. When I click with someone, I easily become chatty (to say the least) and have noted that my tendency for transparency can serve as either a gift or a blunder.

In recent weeks, I’ve found myself in several discussions about discussions. As VS and I brainstormed ways to better connect with friends that we see and talk to less often, we asked each other whether or not we’d ever taken time in our gushing moments and long winded conversations to simply share our story with them. With NS, I vetted my internal back and forth in whether I’m being too open, should be more open or am not being open enough with my JBA supporters and  friends. During a D-group call, we talked about relationship stewardship and the importance of discerning what to and what not to unveil about our own lives within discipleship. And, in conversing with MT, we recognized the struggle we sometimes face in choosing to be unreserved or politically correct in our friendly dialogues within the purview of our workplace.

In a moment, it dawned on me. The common thread in each discussion was the charge to make a conscious decision about the level of transparency to walk in with each person that God had given us. It can be so easy to be talkative about the trivial things; and in turn, it can be so easy to keep quiet about those things that are truly meaningful. Thus, the focus of our decision in each relationship that we have is not only about how transparent we are, but what we’re transparent about.

Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. Psalm 93:6 (NLT)

Testifying seems to be the most common and natural means to attest God’s goodness. Just as we once were, our family, our friends, our co-workers and even strangers that we encounter are searching for change, joy, peace, love, answers, provision and solutions. Therefore, regardless of what we currently think, someone out there can and is waiting to benefit from our story.

I was encouraged to give my testimony after experiencing freedom through hearing a testimony so akin to my own journey. Initially, the task seemed daunting. But, the memory of how I first felt in realizing that God is for me, just as He is for the woman with that testimony, kept me invigorated. Just as she had done, in obedience, I wanted to be bold; I wanted to encourage others with what He was doing in my heart and in my life; I wanted to defeat the enemy by sharing my victory. And, in doing so even in the first time, He proved that His Word does not return void. One young lady openly let go of her conviction after hearing the story of how He allowed me to do the same.

When we are open, He’s able to use our chattiness for His glory…not just in formal settings, but even in the day to day conversations that we have. The more we share of how He became real and alive in our lives, and the more we share about the positive changes He has made in us, the greater the invitation is for Him to show up.

I encourage you to find and tell someone your story this week. Whether in front of a small group or with one friend, do it. It is one of the easiest ways to brag on our loving Father, and it is one of the greatest ways to sow seed. Here are a few brief steps on how to share your testimony, below. For additional tips, please click here.

  1. Briefly describe your life before Christ
  2. Carefully explain how you came to the point of submitting your life to Christ
  3. Joyfully describe your life since Jesus became Lord

Someone is waiting on your testimony. Be ready to publish and proclaim it. If He did it for us, He’ll do it for them. Let’s not keep that truth ourselves!

…Meditation Moment : Romans 12:1-2

Dr. Seuss Quote

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do… Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it… Instead, fix your attention on God. Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)

Simply, be different.

…Maker of Something Out of Nothing

life plus jesus

I’m so thankful that He doesn’t allow me to remain in my nothing. Despite us, He loves us. Despite us, He’s made a way for us to become new.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

This song touches my heart. Press play to listen. Be encouraged.


…Meditation Moment : Philippians 4:6-7

dear stress

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

…Beautiful Cause to Remember

Rainbow Sky

The sight of a rainbow delights me; fascinates me; and frankly, puts me in awe. The beautiful phenomenon appears when light reflects in water droplets within the sky, and in turn takes on the form of a multi-colored arc.

As a child, the rainbow gave me hope of a pot of gold and a glimpse at a short, old man in a green suit. In our culture, we adults recognize it as a symbol of diversity, pride, peace and creation, amongst other things. As Christians, its meaning is so much more.

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 9:12-16

The covenant of God’s grace is represented in His spectrum of light, and this promise to Noah extends to each of us today. Furthermore, the rainbow displays the assurance of Christ Himself.

And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. Ezekiel 1:26-28 (NKJV)

Thus, the rainbow comes with reminders that are better than (that pot of) gold. So, the next time a rainbow appears – whether in the sky, on a flag, t-shirt or cup – may we remember His grace, His mercy, His love, the beauty of His creation and that He keeps His promises.

April showers bring May flowers. May the showers bring a beautiful cause to remember.

…Meditation Moment

He can truly be seen in everything. As we desire to seek Him, He will show Himself in a myriad of ways. As we see Him in it all, JBA will take a moment, each Friday, to meditate on the revelation of Him in our surroundings – from art to quotations that I have come across during the week. I pray this will be a prompting to take time to reflect and give thanks for the wonder of His majesty.

Will you join me, and ask Jesus to be a meditation moment? Here we go!

Every Flower Must Grow Through Dirt.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 (MSG)

…Place of Release

Let Go Let God

Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. Psalm 55:22

That weight you’re carrying seems so heavy because you weren’t built to carry it. Release it. Let it go. Give Him all control.

Press play to listen. Be encouraged.