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Sheila Walsh has such a way with words, words that get right down into our hearts, breaking away the wielded iron that perhaps surrounds. I am beyond excited that she will be coming to my church with this much needed and powerful message, It’s okay not to be okay! Here is an excerpt of her book that I highly recommend, In the Middle of the Mess. ( see more information below)

I looked at my face in my dressing room mirror- pale and tired. I was losing weight. I wasn’t trying to, but I didn’t have the heart to eat these days. I felt sick and cold inside. What was wrong with me?

It was time for my daily television show, and Gail, our floor director, entered my room. “Five minutes to air,” she said. I picked up my notes, headed out into the studio, and took my seat on the set of Heart to Heart with Sheila Walsh.

The lights came up, and the heat set against my cheeks. The director pointed to me, and I opened. “Hello, and welcome, I’m sure you’ve heard other recording artists perform  songs such as ‘Sing Your Praise to the Lord’ and ‘Awesome God.’ “Today’s guest has written these and other hits songs.” “But not only is he a writer and recording artist, he also feels a responsibility to be real, and tell the truth, to be genuine with his audiences.” “His latest album, The World as Best as I Remember it, Volume 2 gives us a hint: he spends time thinking about life.” “Welcome Rich Mullins.”

The studio audience offered a conservative church applause, and the cameras turn to Rich at the piano as he sang, “Oh God, You are my God, and I will ever praise you.” There was something about the way he sang, the depth of his lyrics, and the pain that welled into that chorus; it was if that aching was just beneath the surface, haunting his music. It was both a comforting and unsettling piece, the kind of song that leaves you feeling raw and ragged. The lyrics bored down to the place where my secret lived, a secret I could never tell.

After playing his opening number, Rich walked from the piano and took a seat opposite of me on the studio set. The applause died down, and I asked Rich my first question. “What are the most important things in your life?” I still remember his answer.

“At any given moment it might be slightly different, but I would imagine that nothing would be more important than becoming fully who you are supposed to be. You know what I mean?” “For me that is what salvation is all about.” I wish I’d known how profound his response was. I wish I would have dug deeper and asked him to talk more about his understanding of salvation, the process of becoming more fully who we’re supposed to be. I had no idea how much I would need his wisdom in the weeks and years ahead- the wisdom of a thirty- six year- old musician. Instead, I pushed forward with my preplanned questions. “How are you different at thirty-six than you were at twenty-six?”

“Oh. I’m very different,” he said. “I have failed enough that I’ve learned that its not the end of the world to make mistakes… every morning the sun come up anyways.” “I think when you stop being afraid of failing, you become a lot more free.”

Throughout the interview, Rich talked about accountability, community, and the loneliness of not being known. He was speaking to my deepest pains, my deepest needs, but I didn’t quite understand yet. What’s more, I didn’t know how to ask for help. The very idea of being free, of being fully who God created me to be, felt cruel and unattainable.

I didn’t know God had a plan in place to help me understand. I didn’t know that in just a few weeks everything in my life would come crashing down and this would be the beginning of a fresh understanding of salvation for me. I didn’t know that this kind of salvation- the salvation Rich spoke of- isn’t a pretty process. Sometimes it’s a costly, bloody mess.

I hadn’t thought about that interview with Rich Mullins in years, but his name kept coming up in conversations. So, I decided to find the interview on YouTube. When I did, I asked my husband, Barry, if he wanted to watch it with me. The familiar music began, and as the show opened, I was transported back to that time and place. Neither of us said anything for a few minutes. Then Barry asked, “Do you see the date of this show?” “Yes, Its May of 1992,” I said. Then I realized the significance of the date. “How long was it before you ended up in the psych hospital?” “Three months.” “But you look fine, if I didn’t know, I’d never believe you were on the edge of a breakdown.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He was right. I looked very put together and in control, but I was dying inside, disappearing a little more every day. “I was very good at looking fine. “That was one of my problems.”

 

If you decide you want to purchase the livestream which I highly recommend. Watching a conference from the comfort of your home or with girlfriends. This is one you don’t want to miss.  Go to http://sheilawalsh.gotothehub.com/

Use code beliefnet to get a 10% discount

xo

 

 

 

 

We were created with desires for acceptance, purpose, and love. Even from infancy we are needy beings looking for anything that will satisfy our wants and needs.

We want things that will make us happy, healthy and complete. As children we thought it was the latest gadget, bike or doll. And as adults we think that a bigger house, better job, or fancy vacation will finally give us the satisfaction we so desperately desire. Even for some, when those things don’t fill the need we reach for sex, drugs, alcohol, or gambling to soothe our aching hearts leaving us feeling empty, exhausted and disappointed. Yet somehow we keep reaching for more.

The good news is that God did create us for more! IF we allow them, our desires will point us to Him. For it is Him alone that all our wants and needs can be fulfilled.  God is not put off by our needs. He is a loving Father who lavishly gives from His abundance. He is a God of life, love, and satisfaction. He created us for relationship. To know Him, love Him, and live our lives for Him. Not just to know about Him but to really know Him like we know our children or parents. A relationship with God gives us a life with purpose, direction and satisfaction. God will never force Himself on you. He is a gentlemen. He will give you choices.

Chose God or something else will choose your desires.

This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1John 4

Having a personal experience with God will change you in an instant. It could happen really anyway God chooses to get your attention. For me, it is happening more frequently and still leaving me with a longing for more of Him. See, God wants to talk to His children, he wants to have intimacy with us.  When Scripture says seek me with ALL of your heart, He’s not playing mind games with us. He is clearly stating, I made you, I know all of your thoughts, behaviors, and hangups better than you even know yourself.  So wouldn’t He know if you are not seeking Him with all of your heart? The next part of that scripture says, And when you do, you will find Me. Ah- ha, most of the time we give up before we find Him. Then we make excuses about God and then we continue to let the world shape our thoughts and actions. Soon, we feel lost but this whole God thing is just too much work when Ive got kids, work, me time, etc. I mean who has time to go on a treasure hunt to find God? Hello, if He can see all then doesn’t he know I am drowning in busyness?

Now, He is so kind and merciful that He knows we are going to stray away ( like a little lost sheep) because we just don’t have the time or the energy to give Him a pennies worth. So then He says, Come to Me all who are tired and burden and I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy. Ah-Ha, God is pretty clever. There is not one thing He doesn’t have that you need and more. He even says, that I have all you need.

Ok , now that I have made my point….

What do you want out of the remaining days you have left? BTW, guess who knows how many days you have left ( Hint, hint)

Test the Spirit ( scripture)  and this will help your faith. God created us to ask questions but to also trust so ask  God to reveal himself to you, give you a sign, a dream. Start by asking. He does listen to you. Yep, he knows what you said last night and he knows what you said this morning. Maybe try talking to Him directly for a change.

Ask Him to open your ears to His voice.

God will steer you in the “good” direction if you allow him to. But here is the kicker, you might want to start talking to him, quieting yourself down, putting your EGO down ( Edging God Out) I hate to burst your bubble, but His plan is better than yours.

There are many, many, many people(s) throughout the earth that believe Miracles, Visions, Dreams are ridiculous and the people who believe in Miracles, Visions, Dreams are just out of their minds. For those who only talk about miracles and leave God out of the equation is dangerous and an out of your mind place to be. God wants to reveal himself but we humans are so fickle that we are often chase the shiny things, the new things, the exciting things, the sexy things. We don’t think we are irrational or easily misread but we truly are not as smart nor as wise as we think we are. We need a Savior and we also need a Lord of our lives.  Sometimes I laugh at how silly people can be ( myself included) because we think we are so powerful but in reality it would be like an ant walking into your front door and believing that they will now be ruling and reigning in your home. It’s crazy how ignorant we are and continue to be. If you are searching and I know you are, then here are two books I recommend by the same author. Isn’t it time to wake up from your slumber little ant?

Everything you want to know about God ( but were afraid to ask) by Eric Metaxas

Miracles by Eric Metaxas

Self awareness is a God thing.

 

“Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.” – John Calvin

Self awareness and God awareness are linked together, however they are not the same thing. God and humanity are different from each other and the pathway to God is not found through exploring oneself. The reason they are so strongly linked is because when we “come to the end of our rope” “recognize the true depths of our own depravity and mortality,” we can then finally reflect on who He is and who we are not.

Self awareness can have a positive or negative impact on our relationships. If we walk around with blinders on, unable to see our characteristics at play, then we become hard and live for no other reason than our own selfish desires. We become our own God when we are the object of our own pursuits. This unfortunately is the unintended result of our emphasis on “community” and “authenticity.” We just become people who justify sin and our shortcomings because they are known and acknowledged by others. We no longer feel conviction about this stuff in our lives that has yet to be fully claimed by the gospel because our struggles are common and even understandable. However, like other parts of our lives there is a certain kind of maturity to our self awareness that happens as we grow in Christ

Part of self awareness is knowing that we are in fact, good at things. But the other side of that coin is being aware that even when we are doing something that seems to be pretty selfless in the moment, our motives are still tainted with vain conceit and self- indulgence. We serve but we want to be acknowledged for our service. We give but we feel slighted when we aren’t recognized for what we’ve done.

As we learn who God is and by his grace hopefully we are moving in the direction where we know ourselves more and yet think ourselves less- M. Kelley