What Makes a Beautiful Life?

 

//  What makes a beautiful life?

Is it the number of friends you have on Facebook? Or the number of followers on Instagram? Or perhaps the number of subscribers to your blog?

Is it dependent on the size of your house, the size of your bank account, or the successes of your children?

Or is your quality-of-life dependent on the busyness of your social calendar? Or the winning streak of the sports teams you play on?

No, my friends. None of those things can accurately determine whether or not you have a beautiful life? That life-more-abundantly kinda life that you are looking for is so much more than external circumstances.

♥ It’s about having people around you who truly know, love, and accept you.

♥ It’s about having a purpose in getting up each morning, and satisfaction when you lay your head on the pillow at night.

♥ It’s about having a deep understanding that “God sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6) and you don’t have to figure things out on your own.

♥ It means opening the door to your house… and your heart… and allowing people IN.

I’ve often said over the years that…         Read more

I’m Just NOT Ready (When Leaders Feel Inadequate)

// Her SMS arrived at the worst possible moment. All of my ‘balls’ were in the air, and I was teetering on the brink of a multi-tasking implosion. You know, that moment when multi-tasking becomes physically painful because your brain simply can’t handle ONE… MORE… THING.

Let me set the stage: Our first mentoring* meeting was set for that evening and, for once, I had all my ducks in a row. In fact, I was feeling pretty proud of myself. My group was in order, the venue was ready, the food was ready, the resources were ready. It was perfect.

Without warning, my schedule filled with last-minute applications, new placements, new groups, new leaders, and a whole lot of coordination.

New people? That’s awesome! Oh no, where are we going to put them all?

Before two hours passed, all my ‘ducks’ were decidedly messed up. Don’t get me wrong. Growth is an excellent thing, but it often messes with our finely-laid plans, doesn’t it?

I was in the middle of wrapping my head around my new responsibilities when the SMS arrived. It came from one of the leaders I had been walking with for many years. She had been doing so well up until now—steady, mature, and reliable. Her words stunned me.

“Sorry to dump this on you now… bad shape in the heart department… hypocrite… letting you know where I’m at… I don’t have my ‘poop’ together… concerned about leading…”

I started hyperventilating. Was this seriously happening today? Six hours before the first meeting of the year? Oh my gosh! //

I quickly called her to see what was going on, and soon discovered the problem.

  • Was she living in sin? No.
  • Had she committed major crimes? No.
  • Was she addicted to drugs, alcohol, or porn? No.

Her biggest crime was simply neglecting her spirit.

She was ‘empty’ in both spirit and soul, and she’d been listening to the lies of the enemy that said, “How can you lead those women? You don’t know what you’re talking about. See, you had a fight with that person last night. You’re a hypocrite. You can’t do this. You have nothing to offer. You should quit now.”

What a rotten enemy! He always attacks us when we’re most vulnerable.

Why do people believe the lie that they can ONLY lead when they are perfect? My friends, that will never happen. If you are waiting to be perfect before obeying God and serving people, you will NEVER be ready.

We lead because God is perfect and He enables us, despite our imperfections. Click To Tweet

In fact, you don’t even have to ‘sin’ to feel disqualified. You don’t have to be an addict, a thief, or a whore. All you have to be is… EMPTY… in your emotions (your soul) and empty in your spirit (the part of you that connects with God).

If you are feeling empty today…

you desperately need to hear the Words of Life that God is speaking over you. HE LOVES YOU, HE LOVES YOU, HE LOVES YOU. And when you truly hear the wonderful things He’s saying about you, it’ll become easy to live up to that potential.

Isaiah 43:1 says,

“But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!'”

And 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT says,

“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

 

My friends, growing in maturity is a SLOW process. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and pressure to be transformed into the image of His Son.

Success doesn’t mean perfection. No! But IF YOU LOOK AND SMELL MORE LIKE JESUS AT THE END OF THIS YEAR, THEN YOU’LL HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL!

God doesn’t call the qualified; he qualifies the called! Click To Tweet

 

A holy anger rose up in me, and I lovingly but firmly gave my friend a ‘kick in the butt.’ I charged her to take her negative thoughts captive and spend some time in God’s presence.

“My friend, you don’t have time to argue with the enemy about whether or not you are qualified. Get with Jesus NOW, and let Him fill up the empty spaces. You CAN do this!

She listened to me and did just that.  And the next morning, I got a different kind of SMS:

“Just some feedback. Thanks for the butt kicking earlier and pointing me to Jesus… Jesus came to the rescue, and our first meeting together went well. It’s going to be a good year!

Thank You, Father!

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* Me2 Mentoring is an amazing ministry in our church that strategically and intentionally mentors women to be ALL that God created them to be.

“Being transformed through relationships with God and one another.”

I am on the leadership team for Me2, and it’s such a privilege to walk with these fantastic women. In our area alone, we currently have over 400 women participating in over 40 groups (not including the other centres in South Africa, Holland, the UK, Canada, and the US). Check it out!

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Every Friday, I join an inspiring group of writers to write for FIVE MINUTES on a one-word prompt. No editing. No revising. Just WRITE. This week, the prompt word was SLOW.

// indicates the start and stop of the timer.

For more information on Five Minute Friday, check out Kate Motaung’s site!

When Foreigners Become Family

foreigners-become-family

The lights had been dimmed, and delicious aromas filled the air as unsuspecting guests entered the house. I could hear small gasps and expressions of delight! Wow, look at this place! Where is the furniture?

They were not expecting this.

I smiled with quiet pleasure as, one by one, these precious people entered my home. It’s the time of year to say “Thank You” to our amazing team of worship leaders for their tireless service this past year. We normally celebrate end-of-the-season success with a potluck, or a bring’n braai (or whatever other name you choose). But this year, two of our ‘Creative Divas’ decided to BLESS this team with more than just food… they were going to throw us a

Moroccan dining experience!

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