New Wine Church

What can I say? We have been doing “church” for years. Jesus called it ‘where two or more are gathered in his name.’  So yeah. That’s what we have been doing. But then came the call to start something on Sunday. And it just feels— different.

Call it cultural perceptions. Call it fear of man. Whatever it is, God is asking us for radical trust that this is His dream. New Wine Church is His idea.

We want to foster a place where the presence of God is the most important thing. We believe in a community that functioned like Paul’s gatherings. A place where deep hearted believers can come to celebrate God, to be fed, to grow in their gifting, and, a place where the unsaved are drawn into the family.

How?  The power and presence of God.

So what to expect. A community with opportunities to engage with each other. Worship times where we expect to encounter the Holy Spirit. And teaching that is fresh manna.

Here is mine and Chuck’s heart. We know God is laying out a table of truth, grace, transformation, power. We are inviting anyone who as hungry as we are to join us for more.

First meeting is January 26 at The Empty Cup located on Executive Park Drive.

9:15-10:00   Coffee and Community

10:00 -11:30 Worship, Teaching and Prayer


Pearls of Wisdom: Pressure Is Good Medicine

My first born, Salem, began her college adventure on Saturday. I have to tell you, as some of you mamas already know, this whole season of packing and preparing has stirred my heart on so many levels. I feel like a kaleidoscope of emotions. Turn the wheel ever so slightly and my emotional mosaic shifts into another beautiful picture of memories, regrets, sadness, excitement, pride, and hope.

I find myself remembering the smallest details about her childhood.
I find myself grading myself as a mom over the last 18 years.
I find myself recalling my own teen years, and college years.
I find myself missing her in the oddest of ways.

Walking in her empty room, still takes my breath away.  (Yes, I smell her pillow.) But there is, deeper than all these feelings, an overwhelming sense of joy and gratefulness.

God is so big. So kind. So amazingly faithful. He will continue to be that. To her. And To me.

Believe it or not, I didn’t cry as we drove off. We didn’t understand it necessarily, but we were ready.  All of us. And there was a very real peace that passes understanding.

Before the big day, God laid on my heart to capture some of the pearls He had given me. I kept getting a holy ping of  “have I told Salem _____ yet”?  It would wake me up at night.

These deposits, these  pearls of wisdom, are aptly named since pearls are something very beautiful created out of great anguish and agitation. They had come at a high price. And although most teens get tired of hearing  “one more thing” from their parents, I wrote her letters anyway.  Smile. But then, I felt compelled to share with you the modified versions. His pearls are for us all.

The first Pearl was about our gifts poured out on the feet of Jesus in the same way the woman poured out her best from the alabaster box. 

The second pearl is about Pressure. imgres

When I was in college I was broke. And alone. And eager to please an incredible professor. I am not sure which of these factors clouded my judgment. Maybe it was the combination of all three. But I took on the formidable role of the editor of the yearbook, the editor of the newspaper, taking full time classes and working at least 30 hours to keep my tuition discount. Don’t be impressed. The story doesn’t have a happy ending.

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Undaunted. Are You Ready?

A Woman’s Rightful Place in the Kingdom. Women are asking questions about Undaunted. No, it’s not like Unhindered. Yes, it’s for women only.  Audio will be available to share with your men No, this isn’t the standard party line about submissive roles. Yes, it honors God’s image of men. No, it’s not for wimps. Yes, it will challenge you, make you uncomfortable and just might rock your world.

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Sounds audacious, I know. But sometimes God blows me up spiritually to such a degree that I know He means business.

Undaunted is a message that God planted in my spirit years ago and He now says is finally ready to be released. It is about freedom. It is about daring to follow God into the most oppressive environments, even the church. It is about taking up God’s divine weapons to live fully gifted, fully loved, fully seen in the world today.

It’s about what happens globally when women rise up to God’s ordained place in the Kingdom. So many social issues of the day are linked to the missing voice of God’s women. This is not feminism. Not a militant posture. This is an invitation, permission, to discover God’s heart for women. And how we all, men and women, will be better when we are in our rightful places.

Come if you are spiritually dying for more. Come if you are curious, doubtful, or leery. Come if you want to spend some time in the presence of God.

Let the Spirit speak to your heart about who you are, why you are, and where you belong.

January 22, Friday Night, 7:00 – 9:30 pm
January 23, Saturday Morning, 9:00 – 12:00 pm

Fuse Church, Kirby Road, Knoxville

Love offering event.
Beverages and light snacks served.

 

Why We Need Kingdom Moms More Than Super Moms

Sometimes, it’s hard to get the ache and groan into print. So please, give me grace as this revelation comes into the light of day. I am stepping into the scary topic of Motherhood which always seems to circle back to Womanhood.  It started like this.

During one of my sessions at a retreat, I remarked that “we need Kingdom Moms more than we need Super Moms.”  My spirit  “gonged” as this comment rolled off my tongue. I noted the reaction and I continued my teaching. A couple of days later, one my friends asked me to give her some more words around what a Kingdom Mom looked like. Ahhh. Yes. That loaded comment…someone else heard it too. Dang it.

First, before we break this down, I want to affirm, recognize and challenge us as women.

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I affirm us as we attempt the ever-demanding role of being mothers. We are all in process and God loves us in and through this beautiful, sometimes painful, process.  I have always said, “mothers are made, not born.” Every child, every season makes deposits in us as women, as mothers and these deposits change us over time. We are made into mothers.  Hats off to us for trying, for learning, for showing up. (Even when we would rather lock ourselves in the bathroom.)

I recognize the pressure cooker we live in. Do you ever listen to moms talk? We are Exhausted. Anxious. And Insecure. I get it completely because there is a lot of pressure to perform today. To be frank, some of the pressure may be self-created, but some of the pressure is socially driven.  So my observations are two fold. Some are based on my own personal healing from such distorted pressures and some are based on my sadness as I watch other women try to be something other than Kingdom Moms.

I challenge the status quo —the just the way it is — the everybody does it — mentality that keeps us stuck. You know this already, but let me put it in black and white. We take on and give out too many labels, false notions, and unreal expectations as moms, or, make that as women.

Here is an incomplete list of the Counterfeit Mom persona that we either wear or give to each other and the possible Kingdom alternatives: Continue reading

The October Launching. Can you say, “Wow!”?

As promised, here are the links to the teaching and worship of The October Launching. There were healings of body and soul. There were promotions and impartations. But most importantly, God was in the house and we marveled at being loved by Him and loving on Him.

Thank you Lord for your faithful teaching and revelation to us. We long for more of you. Amen.

All Teaching Sessions here.

Worship Songs here.

We will do another Launching next Spring. But it is important for you to know this is a building block event. Not a repeat event. If you came once, come again. Because the Holy Spirit is taking us, as a community of women, into more of what’s available in the Kingdom. And fresh revelation, fresh manna, is being poured out.

If you are hungry, keep coming. He is feasting with us.

 

Blessed to Be a Blessing…

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.”― Benjamin Disraeli

My heart is full of joy this morning. I recently received an overwhelming gift. Many of my friends have as well. In my case, someone paid for my entire family to go to a life-changing conference. Among my friends, one received financing for a book project, another was blessed with a new car,  another received long-awaited professional counsel at no charge, another received funding for a photography project. The list goes on…

But there’s more. All of these gifts had one common result—they empowered the recipient to do what God had called them to do. The gift-givers didn’t give out of duty or obligation or worse, pity. They gave with a heart to empower the work of God.

This is the Abrahamic covenant in action. We are blessed to be a blessing. (Genesis 12: 1-3) God was up to something amazing when He released this promise. He began a domino effect that has carried on for thousands of years.

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.  Proverbs 3:27

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.  Proverbs 11:25

–See that you also excel in this grace of giving. 2 Corinthians 8:7

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  2 Corinthians 9:11

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That is exactly what happened. Each of the gift-receivers praised God for His faithfulness. Don’t miss this. God is teaching us to be like Him.  Out of His abundance, He “graciously gives us all things.” (Romans 8:32) His holy intention is to produce in us a righteous harvest. In layman’s terms, good fruit. He plants His good seed in us so that we will in turn have an abundant harvest to plant good seed in others. Is God smart or what?

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Wild About You

New Class Starting: Wild About You
Our community class is shifting and shaking.
It is open to any woman. Period. Churched, unchurched, curious, desperate, lonely, hungry, even skeptical.  You are welcome. Broken or overflowing, God is doing something unique and you have a place here.

New name just to pique your interest.  What does it mean to do life with this Good but Wild God? We are going after a life-giving Love and learning how to pour that out on others.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

New location: Fuse Church, 1501 Kirby Rd, Knoxville, TN 37909. It is right behind Red Roof Inn off Papermill Drive. (It used to be Baileys Fitness or 180 Fitness) Come around to back of the church for easy entrance.

New schedule: We will meet weekly on Tues until mid November and then break for the holidays.

New faces: This is a great time to join in since we will be adding a lot of new people. We will have worship, teaching and time to really connect on a heart level.

 

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“Darling, if you want me to be closer to you…”

I never get tired of the hilarity and the absurd closeness of God. Try to picture this.  I have just come back from a mind-blowing week of listening to people who are movers and shakers in the Kingdom. (More on that later.)  My head and heart is like a whirring blender full of questions, resurrected dreams, and — numbness.

What?

You heard me. Last week, I was so completely overwhelmed by the reality of God’s movement on the earth, so undone by the hugeness of God that my heart shifted into paralysis mode. I suddenly felt very, very small.  My efforts seemed so insignificant. My “risky” endeavors now seemed ridiculous and little.  Was I hearing from God at all? Did I have faith at all?

I told a friend at lunch yesterday, “One common theme from all the speakers was intimacy more than outcomes.”   Even my spoken revelation didn’t help me in this blurry moment. It did trigger a tough question in my spirit.

“Lord. Am I loving you well?”

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The question surfaced in my spirit at the conference. Here in the quiet aftermath, it surfaced again.

“Lord. Am I loving you well?”

After my lunch, I asked the question out loud in private, as in, wanting Him to answer. I really wanted some grand ray of sunshine to pour down out of heaven, or an angelic chorus, or a neon sign. Anything. But nada. Nothing. Silence. And to be honest, His silence scared me.

All I could do was cry out to the Lord. So I spent the day praying, seeking Him.  As I was going throughout my chore list, I just kept saying the same thing:  “Touch me again. Tell me again you love me. I am listening. I will do whatever you want.”

Nothing.

So I reviewed my notes.  I tried to collect the stories I had heard at the conference. I worshiped and studied. Still, nothing. No response.

Finally, I threw up this simple prayer more out of frustration than faith:

“Jesus.  I believe everything you have ever promised me. I know you love me even if I don’t feel it. I am going to stand on the truths you have deposited. I am going to move forward in faith, with or without the warm fuzzies. I am not quitting. I stop comparing myself to others. I love you. No matter what.”

I buried my thoughts in my work for a little while. When it was time to pack up, I noticed this oddly familiar song over the intercom. I hadn’t heard that song since high school. Who is that? Seals and Croft? Wait, what are they saying?

Darling if you want me to be closer to you
Get closer to me
Darling if you want me to be closer to you
Get closer to me
Darling if you want me to love, love only you
Then love only me
Darling if you want me to see, see only you
Then see only me

The lady in the store looked at me funny when I busted out laughing. God knows that is one of the few albums I owned in high school. God knows I have hardly heard that song since high school. God knows how to capture my heart. Again.

 But trust me, I didn’t miss the instruction. Get closer to Me. Love only Me. See only Me.
That whole intimacy over outcomes revelation? That’ll preach. That’ll change your life.
I am still unpacking my heart and head. But this is a great guide. He is always, ever always, after my heart. And that is the model we are to follow. To be ever always after His heart.
It’s not the What that matters, it’s the Who. And when the Who is rightly placed, then the What falls into place. It’s not the great feats, signs and wonders, tremendous salvations, or heroic endeavors, that matter. It’s the Great God of Love being well loved by His people that matters. Those other things will follow.
Here is something the Lord told me on my last beach trip. “Jana, your obedience is precious to me. There are seeds I have planted in you that will only grow through your obedience.”  Sometimes “Yes, Lord” and “I love you” mean the same thing.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17

 

 

So about the Beach…

Yes, it’s a beach trip. Yes, it’s a date with Jesus. Yes, it is soul time. Yes, it is heart time with other women (don’t let that scare you.) Yes, it is a deep breath, a belly laugh, a new vision, a creative outlet, even a few walls are torn down. It is worship and teaching. It is Yes and Amen Retreat at the Beach.

I don’t really know why this is such a profound time…But women from all ages and stages overcome their dreaded fears of “other women” and we soak in the presence of God. And it changes us all.

There is time to walk on the beach and gather shells. Time to  journal. Time to share thoughts and ideas. Time to be creative and stretch yourself. Time to pray for yourself and others. Maybe most of all, it is time to listen to the One our souls love. And the beach is the perfect place to hear him.  In a very real way, this is time you set apart to be with God. And that in itself is profound.

So you are formally invited. To step out, to draw near. To risk and be rewarded.  But seriously, don’t wait too long. The spaces are half full already. Continue reading

When a “Good Wife” Marries an Porn Addict

I’ve heard the story too many times, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Good women who put their hopes into one marriage, one man, one idea, only to find out, after marriage, they married a porn addict.

In a very candid way, a porn addict is any woman’s nightmare. Prince Charming is not. The one true love is not true.

Some of us hoped against hope that we had found  a man who loved us for who we are. Some of us saved our virginity for this one person who  promised to honor us and to “forsake all others.”   Yet we found out that he valued his own needs and desires  above  all. I know it sounds callous.  But it’s true.  While all addictions are brutal,  pornography especially assaults a woman’s soul.  It’s a very strategic tool in the hands of the enemy to destroy the man and the woman. And marriage.

So now what? broken_heart_by_fastreflex-1We find ourselves in a marriage that is far from the romantic notions we held as young girls.  Instead of the cherished  ideas about being good wives in happy homes, we find ourselves in isolated and abusive relationships. We have become  helpless women in religious and social traps, where the “good wife”  is never supposed to leave her addict husband.

Let me try to clarify two things. Brace yourself.

1). There’s no such thing as a “Good Wife.”

2).  A man addicted to pornography has already forsaken his wedding vows. Continue reading