Finally — My Book Is in Print!

The baby has been birthed. 

On and off for several years, I’ve been working on my book Created for Fearlessness. I sometimes went months without looking at it, while at other times I focused on little else. Twice I spent four or five days at a friend’s cabin in the woods in order to minimize distractions and finish this project, which is unlike anything else I’ve ever done in my life.

During the past eight years, I’ve had dozens of magazine articles published by LifeWay and a hardback book (365 Devotions for Living Joyfully) by Zondervan. I’m deeply grateful to God and to my editors for allowing me all those wonderful opportunities! But there’s been nothing quite like Created for Fearlessness. It’s my heart, my passion, my mission, and my soul because it tells of my journey out of 50 years of fear and anxiety. In 2013, the Lord led me out of bondage to fear and into freedom and light and joy, and the bulk of this transformation happened in a week! He changed my life radically and permanently, and now He’s given me the opportunity to share what He did for me with others. Finally, the book is finished and available on Amazon, and I feel like a new mother: exhausted but elated.

In 2017-18, even though the book didn’t yet exist in a literal sense, I conducted two 8-week studies with about a dozen students each time, teaching them the principles the Lord taught me concerning fearlessness. Since then, I’ve heard many stories of how their lives have changed for the better. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to convey these principles so that others could understand and apply them, but they’re “getting it”! These truths are “clicking” with them, and lives are being changed—not because there’s anything special about me or my writing style but because of the transforming power of God and His desire that we, His children, walk in fearlessness.

What I feel like now that the book is finished.

God changed my whole life, and he can change yours too. He showed me the way to fearlessness, and now He’s commissioned me to share it with you. What’s freedom from fear worth to you? I encourage you to get your hands on this book and see what happens. What have to got to lose? See if it speaks to you, and then let me know about your personal journey out of fear. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy reading!

 

Stop Accepting Fear as Just a Part of Life

Too often, even Christians believe that anxiety and worry are annoying but unavoidable parts of life. “Oh well,” we say, “No one enjoys fear, but it’s to be expected, right?” WRONG. This mindset is a major roadblock to living fearlessly. Let’s talk about it. 

 

 

 

True or False? Denying Abortion Results in Unwanted, Neglected Children

One of the many abortion myths I’ll be addressing in the coming months is this: “Denying abortion results in unwanted, neglected children.” We hear this argument so often that even some Christians believe it. We must stop waffling in regard to the sanctity of life and be able to discuss these lies and offer people the truth. The lives of many, many children depend on it! So please spend the next ten minutes with me as I explain why this particular argument is utterly false.

Starting the Abortion Conversation

Which of the arguments for abortion listed below is most confusing to you as a Christian? Let’s talk through one at a time to see why they are all myths that don’t hold up under scrutiny.

  • “If you aren’t going to adopt the unwanted babies, you shouldn’t try to stop abortion.”
  • “A child who isn’t planned is most likely going to be neglected, unwanted, or even abused.”
  • “Women have a right to decide what to do with their own bodies.”
  • “Calling abortion ‘murder‘ is over the top.”
  • Talking about abortion is unloving and offensive to women who have had abortions in the past.”
  • “It’s best to speak quietly and one-on-one about this topic rather than through a public platform.”
  • “Sometimes an abortion is necessary to save a woman’s life.”
  • “Women will resort to dangerous, back-alley abortions if we make it illegal.”
  • “A woman should be allowed to abort a child who is disabled or who will suffer for some other reason if carried to term.”
  • “We must make exceptions in the case of rape or incest.”
  • Enforcing anti-abortion laws would be impossible, so it’s best to just keep it legal and safe.”

 

Why You Should Pursue the Fear of God

About ten years ago, when I first saw the ocean, the Lord began to show me why we should never shy away from the fear of God. In fact, pursuing the fear of God will allow you to be fearless about the very things that used to cause you to panic. In this video, I discuss this subject along with a few others, including the question, What does God’s wrath have to do with His love?

Divorcing Social Media While Still Using It for Good

Do you feel like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. are stealing your time and energy but don’t know how to stop? Here’s a PRACTICAL way to reclaim all that precious time while still using social media for good.

Breaking Ties with Halloween

Warning: this post concerns Halloween. If you love Halloween, you might want to keep scrolling. But if you’re feeling the nudge of the Holy Spirit to steer clear of it, keep reading.

Are you struggling with how to align your love for the Light of the world with that time of year that endorses fear, death, and darkness? Are you on the verge of saying, “I can’t do this anymore”? I want to encourage you to follow your conscience. Contrary to popular belief, your kids won’t die without celebrating Halloween. They’ll probably wail and feel persecuted, but they won’t be damaged. Think about it: When has obeying God, even when it involved sacrifice, ever damaged you? It might have caused you discomfort or even pain, but it also made you stronger, more settled, and perhaps even joyful. If you’re hesitant about forfeiting Halloween simply because it’s fun, ask yourself—Do you really want to make decisions about how to live the Christian life according to what’s fun? Good luck with that. (And no, I’m not implying that the Christian life is void of fun. Far from it! But I will say that when you stop indulging in certain types of “fun,” you start having joy.)

If you decide to replace typical Halloween festivities with something else, please consider a movie or pizza versus a “Christian replacement.” Don’t teach your kids that Halloween is so important that avoiding it altogether is simply out of the question. Dressing up in costumes and going someplace to collect candy equals Halloween. Your kids won’t be fooled into thinking otherwise just because it takes place in a church parking lot. If it looks, sounds, and tastes like Halloween, it’s Halloween.

And please don’t fret about robbing your kids of a childhood tradition. No doubt your children have iPads, soft beds, ice cream, trendy clothes, and more toys than they know what to do with. To deny them of one night per year because it flies in the face of everything you’ve tried to teach them the other 364 days of the year is not robbing them, it’s teaching them to have a backbone and to put the Lord’s wishes before their own.

I’m convinced that there’s at least one person who will read this who knows it’s time to break ties with Halloween but needs someone in his/her corner who will say, “You can do it!” Like I said, if you love Halloween, I’m not here to talk you out of it. Maybe I’ll do that next year. But if you’re in the “I-don’t-feel-right-about-this-but-my-kids-will-disown-me-and-my-friends-will-think-I’m-a-religious-nut” frame of mind, where you’d love to put a stop to it all but feel like you have no choice, I’m here for you. I’m here to remind you that you definitely have a choice, and this is a perfect opportunity to exemplify what it looks like to stand firm in your faith and devotion to Jesus. This year, turn off the porch light and order a pizza. Watch a silly movie. Play Uno. You’ll never regret forgoing the glorification of darkness and death in favor of what pleases the Lord.

Don’t continue to team up with unbelievers in mismatched alliances, for what partnership is there between righteousness and rebellion? Who could mingle light with darkness?  —2 Cor. 6:14, TPT 

Two Little Words: the Key to Fearlessness

I battled with anxiety for decades (!!!!!), but I’ve been free of it for more than five years. So can you. Take a look at the story of Peter walking on water in a brand new way and discover the key to fearlessness.

 

Are You Burdened by Regret?

When it comes to testimony, there are the Mary Magdalenes (those whose list of past sins could fill a ream of paper) and there are the John the Baptists (those whose past sins are so inconsequential they’re not even mentioned in the course of their story). I know some John the Baptists—people who made good choices even as children and who devoted their lives to the Lord before making the sorts of mistakes that throw one’s life completely off course. I wish I were a John the Baptist, but I’m not. I was Mary Magdalene, racking up sins (starting at the tender age of 15) that had lifelong consequences and leaving a path of debris and pain. I hurt others and myself, and, although I loved God, I wasted years that could have been spent for the Kingdom just trying to survive the fallout of my choices.

But then I remember that all are lost, all are hopeless apart from Jesus. It’s strange to think that Billy Graham was just as lost and hell-bound as the worst of sinners apart from the cross, but it’s true. Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, needed a savior! No one deserves heaven. And those like me, who are ever-aware of the years they squandered and the wreckage they left in their wake—sometimes I think we’re even more mindful that we don’t deserve the mercy we’ve been granted. We don’t deserve those million second chances we’ve been given; we don’t deserve joy and love and beauty. For me, this awareness produces deep, deep gratitude and the determination to spend the rest of my years wisely. It propels me to give my time to the poor, to love the addicts and alcoholics who have (like me) made a mess of their lives. When you see yourself in “the worst of sinners,” there’s no room for smugness or complacency. I am a hair’s breadth away from the prostitute on the corner, and I pray I never forget it.

I’ve been known to throw myself into worship in an undignified way. I’ve danced until my feet were literally blistered. Why? Because, like Paul, I know that “Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, came into the world to save sinners, and I am the worst of them all” (1 Tim.). He didn’t have to save me, but He did. He didn’t have to grant me mercy again and again and again as the years passed, but He did. So when it’s time to worship, how can I do anything less than unleash my love on the One who unleashed His grace on me? I don’t care what the person next to me thinks about me—that person didn’t pluck me out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock, Jesus did. My days are numbered, so each time I worship, I understand it could be the last opportunity to do so while here on earth, and I want to go out while giving Him what He deserves: ALL of me.

Are you a Mary Magdalene too? Don’t waste your energy, much less your time, on regrets. Regarding your past, let it go—but don’t forget it either because those who remember they’ve been forgiven much love much. Love your Rescuer without restraint or limits! Allow your scars to propel you into the heart of God until He turns those scars into gold and you begin to dispel light everywhere you go. Love and serve those who are still floundering and whose scars are still bleeding. Trust that God will redeem the years you wasted if you’ll simply do what He tells you to do from here on.

“But it is for this reason I was given mercy: by displaying His perfect patience in me, the very worst of all sinners, Jesus the Anointed could show that patience to all who would believe in Him and gain eternal life” (1 Tim.).

The Tiny Sins that Can Take Us Down

Recently, I came home to find chunks of wood from my favorite tree all over the yard, the street, and even the front porch. Here’s what I learned about myself from that rather strange experience. 

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