A Great Light Has Come…

If we aren’t careful, we will peer into the darkness and lose our hope. The mind-numbing pain of the death of a child or a parent. The squeeze of finances, even debting for Christmas gifts. Dreams not yet realized. Faith not yet rewarded. Healing not yet completed. World issues that rattle our core so that we break down borders or build up borders. The prophet Isaiah said it well, “Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead.” (59:10)

But God. With us. In the very breath-crushing moment of your day, in the ache, the groan, remind yourself, “A great light has come into the world and the darkness cannot put it out.” This moment, your moment, is why Jesus came.  Your hopeless, helpless, overwhelming moment is why God sent His Son. His compassion made manifest through a baby.

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Fix it or Heal it?

I had this crazy encounter with God last week. The details don’t matter except to say that I was at my wits end. I had planted myself on my couch in desperation. I read my bible, I worshiped. I sat there crying, and crying out to the Lord, that I didn’t know what to do. I was hurting, and I needed to hear from Him. My heart was breaking and I knew I needed His comfort and  His wisdom.

“How do I fix this?” I feebly said.

First came a wave of comfort like a blanket around my shoulders. Then came a wave of peace settling my mind and spirit.  Then ever so gently came His reply.

“You’re trying to fix something. I am trying to heal something,” He said.

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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.

 

Do You Need To Re-think Christmas?

God gave me a huge download this last week.  I had a birthday which can be exhilarating and excruciating at the same time. Smile. I guess that reality aligns with our actual birth days which were full of joy and full of pain. However one precious gift I received was a word from the Lord. An actual word: honor.  I am still translating all that the Spirit poured out but I thought it was no accident to get this word right at Christmas time.

Honor is to elevate above, esteem, hold in high value. The Spirit brought to mind the verse, “he who honors me, him will I honor.” (1 Samuel 2:30)  It’s an odd verse.  But it is packed with promise. This isn’t a duty-bound, fear-driven demand. This is an invitation. From God.  He is saying, if you honor me, it’s not a one-way street. I am going to turn around and honor you back.  Selah.

I don’t know if you know this about God. But here is the word picture.  A mom says to her daughter, “You go fill up your hands with candy and give it to me. And then I will fill up my hands with candy and give it to you…”

Who do you think has bigger hands?

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Caught Unaware

A beautiful bush in my back yard is blooming. Yes, it is December and this plant seems undeterred by the normal spring season. To be honest, I almost missed it. I was not looking for flowers in December.

This beautiful white flower in the middle of a leafless East Tennessee just keeps singing in my spirit.

“Are you seeing the unexpected?”

If I had been alert, if I had known, if I had been looking, I would have been expecting the arrival of this unusual plant called a camellia. A quick Google search revealed an October through April blooming season. Here it has been in my yard, but I didn’t take the time to research it. To understand. To expect it.

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Let’s Love Our Kids—and Our Company

True confessions.  I used to get so stressed out cleaning and perfecting that my family hated having people come over.  It hit me like a ton of bricks the day both my girls whined, “I hate having company.”  Whaaaaat? How have I failed to teach them hospitality? How could they be so insular? so selfish?  Then the rest of their sentence rolled out.

“You are always so angry and stressed out that it’s not worth it.”

Selah.

How could I teach them love for others when I was not loving them under pressure? I am glad that hard conversation came when it did. And I am sad that my temper tantrums lasted as long as they did. Hospitality, it turns out, begins at home. So does honor, respect, patience and valuing others, no matter how old your kids are. Unskilled toddlers or resistant teens.

I know some of you sweet, calm moms have no idea what I am talking about. But some of you do.

We want everything to be so perfect, so under control, that we try to manage our children like little chess pieces on a gameboard to keep everything “just right.” Here is the kicker. If I have to yell to get my chore list done to my satisfaction, I don’t have my priorities in place.

“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,” the hymn rings out.  Maybe it is better said, “Let there be peace in my home, and let it begin with me.”

God changed me.  I have had many people over in the last four years. The chores have gotten done, or not. The table set beautifully, or not. The food delicious, or not. And none of those “things” have been more important than loving on my kids and husband well in the process.

I didn’t realize it before, but my explosion on them was inadvertently saying, you don’t matter as much as the company does. Although my message was “let’s love on other people,”  my actions said “let’s love on other people at your expense.”

Okay take a deep drink from the cup of Grace. He loves you no matter what. But let’s learn some new ways.

Here are a few guardrails God gave me to keep all the “getting ready” energy flowing in peace:

• It doesn’t have to be perfect to be well done. Be satisfied with less.

• If I am getting charged up, I am not trusting God in the details. Stop and pray.

• My kids are going to learn from me, so I might as well teach them grace instead of rage. Worship instead of worry.

• And finally, understand that the peace in your home is more important to everyone than the looks and the food.

I can go anywhere for food. I can’t go anywhere and get the peace of God. Invite Him to rest in your home while you prepare it for others.

Okay. Enjoy getting ready for Thanksgiving. I mean it. Enjoy it. All of it.

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Porter LeBoeuf enjoying some of her grandmother’s, Kate LeBoeuf, delicious goodies. And her peace.


 

Let’s Stop the Noise and Start Praying

43,200 rapes. Murdered mother and unborn child. Toddler’s body washed ashore.

I try to write my new book which is oddly on the topic of supernatural rest. But while I attempt to type out these life changing revelations from God, my mind swirls with these recent news stories.  A sex trafficked victim who estimates she was raped more than 43,000 times. A pregnant woman shot in the head by a home invader, who later died as did her unborn baby. A drowned toddler who joins the countless other bodies washed ashore in Europe as they fled from their country.

I sit in the silence and look outside my window. It’s sheer beauty. Right here in front of me. Warm. Safe. Peaceful. But it’s not beautiful everywhere. Not warm, safe or peaceful.

What’s to be done?

I cry out to the Lord the only thing I know to say. “I care, Lord. I care. In the name of Jesus, I care about these people and other heart-breaking stories.”

And to be candid, there is more to the mental swirl. The “red cup” coffee fiasco. Various celebrity plastic surgeries and adulteries. The nauseous amount of Santa Clauses crowding my Thanksgiving shopping.

Again, I cry out to the Lord. “I don’t care. I don’t care. In the name of Jesus, I don’t care about this insipid world.”

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Giving: No Strings Attached

I started seeing it everywhere.  Different words, but a similar melody. If you give…you get. If you give to my campaign, I will give you a hat. If you give to this school, I will put your name in the program. If you sponsor this child, we will give you a calendar. I am sad to say I have even heard, if you give to the Lord, you get more. While this sounds true if I hold my head just right, and I hang some verses on it to shine it up, it still doesn’t sound like true giving.

It sounds like negotiating, a barter system. Trade and commerce. I need this from you, so I am willing to give you this in order get what I need in return. For sure we live in an exchange system, which is a good and noble means of human interaction. However it still doesn’t sound like giving.

Compare this mentality to the bridal shower I just went to. I didn’t expect the bride-to-be to give me a gift.  I bought something and I freely chose to give it to her. My gift was one way. I didn’t expect anything back unless we count the snacks I ate.  Why would I give like this?

She invited me into her story.  I gave my resources to bless her story. No strings attached.

Giving by its very nature is a one-way phenomena. When I see a need, or desire, or vision, I want to invest or be part of it. It’s my willing sacrifice. I don’t need to be bribed to give.

Why am I hammering this? It is a heart check in a self-serving generation.

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Uncomfortable. The New Normal.

“When you walk into the room, everything changes.” Uhm yes. God changes everything. And yet, our concern about preserving our comfort zones often causes us to miss Him as He passes by, or worse, we close the door in His face. Why on earth would God’s people be so nervous about being with their God?

Great question. The short answer is about control. The long answer is about trust.

The short answer
We are not, and have never been, in control of God. We only control our responses to Him. The good news is, He freely offers the supernatural life to any person or body of believers that will ask “and receive” He revelation. The bad news, He freely honors any person or body of believers who refuses the supernatural. Either you can be in charge or He is.

The long answer
We don’t know how to trust God’s power. We know in our heads that He is all-powerful. But say the word “supernatural” and we get “uncomfortable.” We don’t really want to get too close to that power. In today’s Christian circles, we categorize God’s power into buckets of acceptable or unacceptable, weird or normal, legitimate or heresy, received or rejected. All this is based on our teaching, good or bad, and our experiences, good or bad. My friends, this is a scary and revealing reality. Because if the people of God are not careful, we will find ourselves being separated as well.

Jesus taught his disciples and rebuked the Pharisees. He apprenticed and tested his followers. He blessed them with power and authority. He washed their feet. The Pharisees…not so much. Although they had great knowledge and influence, Jesus publicly cursed them.

Are you nervous yet? Are you uncomfortable?

 

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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