In a word, transformation

Chuck and I are dipping our toes into church life here in the sunny land of Pensacola. I know, I know. It’s been over a year. Perhaps like you, church is hard for us. We are looking for real. Real Jesus. Real Holy Spirit. Real community. Which in turn means there will be real gifts and power. Oh yeah. And real worship. And the right view of women. It doesn’t seem like such a tall order when I read the New Testament. But in today’s churchianity, real is nearly impossible to find. That said, we walked into a church a couple of weeks ago and I started crying as the worship team was only warming up. 

I thought, ‘Okay, now we are getting someplace.’ We’ve been several times since and it is close enough for now.

All this is to set up what happened yesterday. In this particular denomination, they celebrate what they call Transformation Sunday, and then they begin Lent on Ash Wednesday. I have lots of thoughts about these man-made traditions. But let’s focus on Transformation Sunday which is based on the transfiguration of Jesus found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

In our current world, trans is a loaded word and most commonly meant to cross over, from one to another. Think transatlantic, transfer, and of course recently, transgender.

But in scripture, trans is connected to the word transform which means beyond or above… Remember Romans 12:2 says do not be conformed, think cookie cutter, but be transformed, altogether different, by the renewing of your mind.  

I notice we say transformation a lot in Greater Things. I mean. A. Lot. As I sat in church on Sunday I began to piece together why that is. Jesus took three disciples up on a mountain. Why only three? Why those three? But once there, Jesus transformed beyond His natural man to reveal His heavenly one. The three-dollar word transfiguration means to shape or fashion, above. If you look up the definition it speaks of Christ being seen in his glory.

Peter, James and John had a BLOW YOUR MIND encounter with Jesus. Jesus trusted them and planted in them a vision of Who He truly was. Seeing Jesus unveiled in this dramatic way changed those three men forever. They could not un-see this beautiful Jesus.

All through the bible, we see transformation. People changed over time. People healed in a moment. Murders becoming kings. Persecutors becoming apostles. Demon possessed becoming worshippers. And then Jesus ups the ante and says there is even more transformation possible. Beyond. Above. 

I was so immersed in the scripture yesterday and then they showed the classic art masterpiece by Raphael. My mind was recalling different visions I have had personally, and other’s stories of great manifestations. My spirit was soaring…until the pastor dialed it-all-back-down.

He summarized, and I paraphrase, if you have visions, great.  If you don’t, great. It doesn’t really matter as long as you love Jesus.  Wait, what?

Jesus has revealed His glorious nature to mere mortals and they didn’t die. Then Jesus went on to say He has shared this same glory with us. Then Holy Spirit shows up and shows us how to live a life that is beyond or above the common human experience in the middle of the common human experience.

And the pastor is telling me the supernatural doesn’t matter? Is that true?

I tell you it is not.

We have a supernatural, glorious, all-together-other God who is living within us, breathing His life into us, pouring heaven out on us and through us. We dare not settle for the human answers and responses and diagnoses. We dare not settle for comfortable or quitting or resignation. We dare not settle for dead, dreamless lives that have no hope of change.

I have been through too much pain, too much brokenness, too much devastation to dial down the goodness of God, the wonder of His interventions, and the power of His transformation in my life. If it wasn’t for His supernatural presence I wouldn’t be here. Hard Stop.

I have seen too many miracles and experienced His glories too many times to dial it down. I will ALWAYS expect God to move miraculously in every area of my life.

So here is what I would have said yesterday in that sermon.

  1. You have a powerful, beautiful God who longs to reveal himself to his people. Are you looking, asking and receiving from Him?
  2. Once you have encountered Him, what are you doing with the divine revelation? He shows you things for a reason. Carry it well.
  3. Your hunger for the heavenly encounters brings about change in your own life and thus the change in others. We don’t need more therapy as much as we need to connect with this glorious God.

Listen. I am all about counseling. Heck, GT is built on helping others get healthy.  But at its core, counseling and therapy and deliverance is removing obstacles so people can truly see God and see themselves as God does.

It is delusional for us to say we love a supernatural God and then believe we should stay the same.  So we go for transformation. We go for dreams and visions and encounters.

We speak it. We seek it. We live it. We promise it. We promote it.



Remember Me

Is it just me? Or is everyone feeling this crazy pace? It’s like someone stole… I don’t know…maybe a couple of weeks or a month out of my life? With the time change, Spring Break, an early Easter, and just the pace of life, it’s all I can do to keep up. My calendar almost has a life of its own. And now, Palm Sunday is upon us.  Here is my humble ask.

In the same way that Christmas gets crowded, Easter gets crowded with counterfeits. So make a plan to pause and reflect on the highest Holy Day of the year.

My friend Suzanne told me about the rituals they do at their church to prepare hearts for the Savior. It was beautiful how they deliberately created awareness of and hunger for their need for Jesus. Other churches do different things to celebrate and prepare.

The church we are going to has many offerings for reflection. One night is a Seder meal. I am so excited to walk through this traditional Jewish practice again. To remember the first Passover lamb. And the Last Passover Lamb.

But apart from Church activity, let’s talk about you, your home, and your family. This photo is a collection of items my family made over many years, from when the kids were toddlers to teenagers.  Each year we made something together and added it to the Resurrection Scene that we put on display.

Some years we would do a foot-washing time as a family and take the Lord’s supper together. Let me tell you, having your five-year-old daughter wash your feet will wipe you out…But we took a Bible story and made it real to them. Jesus did this and so are we.  We were all changed by it.

Our friends had a game with plastic eggs called Resurrection Eggs. After a big meal, everyone at the table took an egg and shared part of the story represented by the token inside the egg.

One year, our small group took the Lord’s supper together and we “remembered” Jesus. He said when He did the Last Supper, do this is in remembrance of Me. So we literally remembered Jesus. We remembered our favorite story about Jesus and how He revealed Himself to us through it.

The point —the main point —every, single time is to make space for your God.

Carve out some worship, some silence, some scripture so you can remember the Who and Why of this season. I promise you it has nothing to do with a bunny or candy. But it DOES have to do with the VERY BEST news in the whole universe.

He is risen just as He said.

So break through the grumbling of your kids or the family’s awkward fumbling and begin a real conversation about our Beautiful Jesus. He is worthy of our attention.

For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying,
“This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup,saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.[a]

Luke 22:18-20 NIV

Manna for Today

Yay! I am almost finished with my next book.  It will be released just in time for Valentine’s Day…if you need a gift idea. Wink. (I know, shameless plug)  However, in the writing of it, the Lord and I have been having some weighty conversations about journeying with Him. It has been soul-boosting to revisit the testimonies of how God spoke, how He provided; how He loved me and my family in really hard and scary times, but also in wonderful times. That’s the good stuff.

But here’s the rub. In my note-taking over the years, I have written long, developed ideas and thoughts. I also have one-word entries. There is a partial verse or phrase from a song. A couple of words to describe something I saw: butterfly bush. No explanations. Just the words or phrases.

I’ve written them down to capture the story of what the Lord said or the lesson I learned. I planned to go back to these prompts and write them completely later, fully confident that I would remember the story, based solely on these one or two word phrases.

To my surprise and sorrow,  I can’t remember the revelation they were meant to trigger. It truly broke my heart. I apologized to the Lord when I realized my folly.

As I went to bed that night, I told Him I was so sorry; I felt like I had dropped the ball; I had squandered the revelation somehow. The passage about Samuel not letting “a word of the Lord fall to the ground” swirled around my head. Ohhhhh Lord. Help me carry your words well, I prayed.

I went to sleep and I thanked the Lord for His forgiveness and resolved to do better going forward. When I woke up the next day, my spirit was buzzing. I recalled this whole conversation with the Lord.

He told me my notes were like manna.

That only made me feel worse! “Lord, the manna rotted. Is that what I did?? I let the manna rot? I asked. No, He said. Whew…

The Lord said He fed his children manna in the desert day by day.  In the same way, He fed me manna in the little notes, pictures, phrases, and scriptures. He said I may not be able to remember what they mean now, but He had indeed fed me day by day.

“It was heavenly food to nourish you for that need for that day. ” He said.

Ah, in the same way I don’t remember every dish and every meal, I know I never went hungry. Got it. “So then why did the manna rot?” I asked Him

The Lord said the manna, then and now, was for our daily consumption We were to daily feast on His Heavenly Provision. In the desert, the Israelites couldn’t store it up because when the manna stayed too long on the ground or in their jars it rotted from the corruption of the world.

God explained the same is true today. We can’t store up manna for ourselves for tomorrow and beyond. We have to eat it when it is given to absorb the nutrients of intimacy and revelation. Otherwise, it gets corrupted by the world system of doubt and unbelief.

Heaven is being released in ways that must be received in the moment, day by day.  Trying to put it off or grab extra for later corrupts or contaminates it. This is a heavy thought.

I asked Him, how do we carry Heavenly Provision well?

He said the only way that His manna could be multiplied was through us. We feed on His revelations, kisses, and provision. His heavenly presence comes into us, nourishes us, gives us spiritual energy, and then we turn and release that to others through our love and actions.

In a word, we are what we eat.  So then Jesus, give us this day our daily bread. Selah.

Redeeming the Generations

Chad, a dear friend and spiritual son, texted me some photos the other day. One prompted a mixed-emotion smile. When the second photo came through, I immediately began to cry.  The imagery too confronting, too powerful, and too tender.

He had been asked to make a cross for the Resurrection Sunday Celebration at New Wine Church. Chad explained how he had looked at his lumber options. He considered a beautiful piece of seasoned oak or a lovely piece of planed cedar. But the Lord directed him to a more humble offering. Here is the first photo:

This plank of wood is from my parent’s house and my childhood home. It was a shelf in my mother’s pantry that held all manner of kitchen goods. Mom was ever cooking wonderful meals for her family.  And, like every good Depression-surviving woman, she had to have ample supplies in her pantry.  “Just in case,” she would say.

Chad remarked about the shelf, “Under all the multiple layers of paint, dust, grease, and preservatives there was this beautiful slab of wood. It just took a little work to get there.” Selah.

This is sweet. Special, even. A symbol of my mother’s hard work and wisdom. However. Before it was a pantry, this small space was my bedroom. And before that, this small space housed both of my brothers in a narrow bunk.

In one moment, all kinds of memories blitzed my heart and head. Wonderful meals, cramped spaces, poverty as a child.

For reference, this is the room once the shelves were removed and the house was  “all dolled up” to put on the market.

My heart was in a blender already when Chad’s second photo came through.

I still can’t look at this picture without choking up. (Thanks, Chad.) The transformation is stunning. The metaphor is wrenching. It was the Cross that redeemed all that poverty, brokenness, and lack. God took my parent’s best efforts and worst frailties and shaped their offering into something beyond their wildest dreams.

It’s a prayer every parent can relate to. I can relate to.  Oh God, make us aware of our inheritance to our children, good or bad, and may the Cross transform it all.

God breaks very real generational curses, redeems relationships, and restores fortunes lost or squandered. But wait there is so very much more.

Look at where Chad placed the cross. All greater things are grown out of the cross.

Greater Things is literally grown out of God’s relentless love as well as the love of those who have raised us in the faith. It’s our joy and honor now to continue to multiply all that we have been given.

Don’t miss this.

All of us, and I mean ALL of us, are ALWAYS climbing on the root system of someone before us. Someone else sacrificed and persevered and believed to the point of tears.  Jesus himself believed to the point of blood.

The belief that God will bring beauty from our ashes, joy from our mourning, a double portion for our shame, and freedom from captivity is our unending anthem.  In a word, transformation.

One final kiss. On Resurrection Sunday, the families each brought a flower and adorned the cross. Not that we could ever add to God’s glory — but we celebrate the power and beauty of our Life-giving, Chain-breaking, Death-defying King Jesus.

His Blood Speaks a Better Word

I have this beautiful Jasmine plant outside.  You can imagine my delight when the small white blossoms opened up and filled the air with a heavenly scent.

It has been a frequent topic in my God conversations lately. I thanked the Lord for creating such beautiful expressions in nature. I marveled at Springtime and how the earth just cannot keep itself from declaring new life, life from that which seems dead.

I even shook my head at how this insignificant Jasmine plant was quietly and unassumingly taking over the fence line. With stretched-out tendrils and runners, it spreads its little domain, if you will.

Seriously, we have been talking about the parallels between this little plant and the Kingdom of God— it’s fragrant, relentless, and advancing.

But after looking at it multiple times a day for many days, today when I looked, it caught my breath.

I walked over to it to see what this red leaf was, maybe it blew into the fence from last night’s storm. No. It was very much a part of this thriving creation.

In the moment, the Lord whispered, the Blood is always in the middle of the Beauty.


Holy Week is a pathway. From the Lord’s Supper, to the garden, to the trial, to the outrageous brutality, to the cross, to the tomb.  Pause and reflect but don’t stop in any one of these places. Taste the wine, cry the tears, wince at the nails being driven in, feel the breath leave His body, and flinch as rock grinds on rock as they rolled the tomb closed with His body inside.

But don’t stop there.

Resurrection Sunday is the unspeakable joy as the Blood bursts into glorious song.

“He is not here! He has risen just as He said.”

The Blood is always in the middle of the Beauty. Celebrate the Beauty and remember the Blood.

And we have come to Jesus who established a new covenant
with his blood sprinkled upon the mercy seat;
blood that continues to speak from heaven, “forgiveness,”
a better message than Abel’s blood that cries from the earth, “justice.”
Hebrews 12:24 TPT


How much Love is Enough?

I seem to have a hard time loving. Even after all this time, some conflict or some person slams up against a brick wall inside my heart.  On this wall is a big neon sign that flashes “THAT’S IT! I’m done with you.”

To add insult to injury after the said collision, I then somehow conveniently build a case about why I am justified in my unlovingness.  I will even tiptoe into very dangerous territory about whether someone else is “worthy” of love.

Even after all this time, more than 30 years of being loved unconditionally and extravagantly by Jesus. I am still learning how to love.

I got in a tussle the other night and I was so mad. I was spouting off prayers left and right about how I had been offended and betrayed and how much I wanted God to defend me…

Holy Spirit’s answer stung like alcohol on an open wound.

“My blood is enough for you both.”

This is why I am so desperately aware of my need to celebrate the Resurrection every year.  I need the blood of Jesus to wash me clean.  I need the cross to remind me that it was Love that held Him there. He loved me more than my sin. More than your sin. The blood, the water, and the piercing of His side were not to fulfill some morbid code of punishment.

Instead, the cross demonstrates just how much love is enough to save the world.
To save my world and yours.
To save me.
From me.

Likewise, I need the empty tomb to strengthen my weak love muscles. His love in me is stronger than mine alone will ever be.  And just as the song declares, “If You walked out of the grave, I’m walking too.”

I was crucified with Him, therefore, I am raised to a whole new life with Him.  More is always possible with Him.

When Jesus said for us to love our enemies, (which at any moment might be our spouse, our family, our boss, or our neighbor) He wasn’t being cruel. He was telling us that He opened a door to a whole new level of Love that casts out fear. Love that cancels sin. Love that raises the dead. Love that takes down the brick walls inside our hearts.

So I will keep learning and practicing. I will keep going to His love tank instead of my own. He promised He will have His way in me and one day I will love as He does.

Until then, I will fall on His grace as He demolishes every brick wall that still exists in my heart.

Thank you, Jesus.

We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within,
so that this immeasurable power will be seen as God’s, not ours.
Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed.
At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.
We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us.
We may be knocked down, but not out.
We continually share in the death of Jesus
in our own bodies so that the resurrection life
of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.
We consider living to mean that we are constantly being
handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus
will be revealed through our humanity.
So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you.
2 Corinthians 4



Cold to Hot

God is always leading us forward into freedom. Past the sin, the stuck places, the disappointment, and the heartache of living.


Always forward into hope, into more of Him, into deep change. He does transformative work with this double-edged sword called Spirit and Truth.

With this sword, two things are happening at the same time. On one side, the truth of God sets us free from lesser lovers and worldly appetites. He reveals truth and lies lose their power. We are cut free from bondage.  On the other side, Holy Spirit comforts our spirit as we mourn our weakness and look for the courage to be changed. The Spirit cuts the cords of our complacency and apathy and we receive strength to be truly loved.

But to be clear, it is a deep cut into our current way of thinking. Spirit and Truth do not show up without us being painfully aware that Someone greater is on the scene. We are compelled forward.

It’s a complex thought I know, but so necessary for the days we live in. A friend and I were talking about  Matthew  24: 12 which warns the “love of others will grow cold.”  Look at the CEV version.

“Evil will spread and cause many people to stop loving others.”

Listen. If that doesn’t stop you in your tracks, I don’t know what will. Evil, from the enemy, will increase so much that people will stop acting like they know God.

How can this be? Remember Jesus’s command: Love God, others, and ourselves.  Romans says we OVERCOME evil with good.

We overcome the evil that comes against our own hearts, our families, our tribe, our city, and our nations.  I must press you today. Are you allowing the double-edged sword of spirit and truth to do its work in your life so that we can overcome the evil we all face?

Two verses come to mind that combat growing cold.

“Fan into flame the gift of God” from 2 Timothy 1:6.
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10: 24

Jesus is calling us to a deeper more vibrant way of life. We are invited to be so alive with His love that it heals us as we go and impact others.  And. It pushes back the evil of our day.

I recall the words of a Jenny Owens song. “I don’t want to be a flame, I want to be a raging fire.”

Push forward. Blaze bright. Overcome darkness.


How Majestic You Are!

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas
Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8

Why Believe?

If you remember, my word for the year is Unleashing Miracles. Audacious, I know. But isn’t He? Audacious, awe-inspiring, surprising, outrageous. That’s our God.

And today as we head into Roar: Freedom in the Kingdom, as we head into another run around the sun, as we head into more living, I encourage you to not lose hope.

This week alone, I have personally experienced the fruition of prayers that were against all odds. I have personally rejoiced with my friends who kept on believing, and who were surprised by the goodness of God. Together we agreed that our faith was strengthened.

He is always working for good. He is always setting people free. He is always healing. He is always comforting the brokenhearted. So I say again, do lose hope.

Our belief in the miraculous God is a superpower that the world needs.

Help My Unbelief

The word stopped me dead in my tracks.  A friend was coaching us about decisions that needed to be made and he remarked, “it was presumptive of me to think God would take care of” the situation the way I had planned. He went on to give us much-needed wisdom and insight. But that word nagged me.


What does presumptive mean?  It describes something that is expected to happen or become true.

I went back to the Lord and vented: “I am only doing what I think You said. Yes, it sounds crazy, but it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. And if that makes me presumptive, then FINE! But I would rather be presumptive and believe YOU, than never attempt anything because I couldn’t even get out of the gate.”

Whew. Snort. Okay then.

Once I calmed down, I realized my wise friend was trying to broaden our scope and options. However, years after the conversation, the word still comes up in my mind like a full-blown assault.

It goes like this. I will hear a faint whisper from the Lord about some action to take, or an invitation to some dream He wants me to pursue. As I rally up my faith to hit the first Domino, I hear a sneer from the enemy, “you are so presumptive.”  Translation: You really expect God to come through? You really think He WILL do that for you? This is a stupid idea. It will never happen. You are crazy for thinking you heard God. 

Does this happen to you too? God invites us into more and our own unbelieving thoughts, or the enemy of God, tries to kill the dream before we even take the first step.

Sounds like the garden. Did God really say?

Well. As a matter of fact. YES — GOD DID SAY!

Now, after years of practicing trust and surrender, when I hear that word fire in my mind, it has become a bright flare, like a beacon of evidence.  Ahhh.  It MUST be God if there is this much opposition right off the bat.

I am calling us as believers to rise up in Faith and Boldness.  It’s not God who is weak, but our faith. We must rise up to activate His promises and goodness over our lives and our families and communities.

I want to bless you with one word: Storehouses.  There are storehouses of treasures in heaven. God is waiting for someone earthbound to pull them down. On Earth, as it is in Heaven. I remember Shawn Boltz saying God gave him a vision of a room with body parts with names on them. Creative miracles that God wanted to do on earth through our faith.

Just recently the Lord has been expanding that idea to me that there are storehouses of His goodness that He wants to release on earth and He wants to know who will do the faith journey to be a part of it.

Storehouses of relational healing, financial favor, healing and miracles, generational restoration. I don’t know about you. but I don’t want to miss out on heaven here because I would not believe God to Be God to me.

For the faint of heart (that’s all of us at some point), it’s not about just getting what we think we want. It is our transformation in the process, and being so close with this Beautiful God that we move to what He wants for us.

We bank our whole lives on the belief that God is working for our good. Presumptive. Yes, please.

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears,
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Mark 9:23-25