What I like to read and see

Things that SPEAK to me

What a weekend we have had! We are continuing our series, Get Back, a series on regaining your spiritual momentum, with an amazing guest speaker Christine Caine. Christine not only preached at all of our weekend experiences, she also preached at our first ever Elevation Ladies Night for the lady leaders of our church on Friday night.
Her message on Friday night was so inspiring, it fit in so perfectly with our series about momentum. She shared about how often times we feel a calling on our lives to accomplish something for the Lord but because of things in our life, whether it be our past, a hurt, or our sin, we cannot move forward until we allow the Lord to deal with our heart. The women of our church ate it up. And I must say, we have never had a more beautiful crowd.
Then this weekend she delivered a message that was so crucial to the life of our church. Picking right up where our series left us last week in the life of the prophet, Elisha, Christine challenged us to embrace our place in the body of Christ.
She said when we embrace our place we are irreplaceable!

My favorite part of the message was how she said, God puts you in a place and expects you to stay there until He comes to move you on. What if Elisha had not been plowing the field when Elijah came to call him (1 Kings 19:15-20)? What if David had not been in the fields tending sheep when God called him? She said God is not going to come looking for you if you are not in the last place He told you to be. He will simply use someone else.

Before God can do a work through me, He must do a work in me. He calls those who are obedient and faithful to even the smallest tasks.

My prayer today is that I would embrace my place. My place as a mom, my place as a leader, my place as a pastor's wife.

Maybe you don't want to be at your job (even a ministry job) anymore? Maybe you don't want to be single anymore? Maybe you don't want to be married anymore? Maybe you don't want to be childless anymore?

And what God is calling out to you is to Embrace YOUR Place. Be faithful where He has called you until He moves you on to another stage. Allow Him to do a work in you and stop thinking about what you want Him to do through you.

If you would like to listen to some of Christine's messages, you can go here to visit her resource page.
You can also catch her message from this weekend in our archive next Monday.

The Taste of Peace

by Lysa TerKeurst

A year and a half ago I set out on what I thought would be a three-month fast from sugar to lose weight. Here I am 18 months later and I'm still fasting from sugar. And I can honestly tell you, I never thought this would be possible for me.

As a matter of fact, at the beginning I mourned over giving up sugar for three months. Big, crocodile tears dripped from my eyeballs on many a day during the early part of this journey. We're talking the ugly cry. I was breaking up with a life-long love affair with sugar. And excuse the pun, but it's hard to break up with something when it is being really sweet to you.

In all honesty, sugar wasn't sweet to me. It was sweet to my taste buds but it was not sweet when it made my energy level skyrocket and then crash. It was not sweet to my attitude, which went south every time I hit a sugar low. It was not sweet to my complexion or to the ever-increasing size of my hiney.

Most of all it was not sweet to the battle that raged in my brain.

Before my sugar fast, I constantly bounced between feeling deprived and guilty. All. The. Time. I was either feeling deprived because I was trying to watch what I ate or feeling guilty because I'd slipped back into the "eat whatever I want" phase. Deprived. Guilty. Deprived. Guilty. I couldn't stop this incessant bouncing until I stopped the sugar.

After fasting from sugar for a month, my cravings started to release their awful grip on me. The sting of sacrifice started to not sting quite as much. Slowly, I made a crucial switch in my brain. I switched from feeling deprived to feeling empowered.

Don't read over that too quickly. I'm convinced making that one switch in my brain changed everything for me. I can now look at my kid-friendly pantry laden with treats galore and not sigh. I can walk by the bakery counter at Starbucks and say "No thank you." I can go to a party without having a pity party because everyone else is living it up sugar-style.

Instead of being sad that I can't have something, I'm thrilled to be courageous enough to say "no." Shifting from feeling deprived to empowered is the most crucial change I've made on this journey. And it's what made me decide to keep going past the three-month mark.

So, am I still fasting from sugar to lose weight? No. I lost my excess weight and reached a healthy place a year ago. Now my goals have nothing to do with a number on the scale. My goal is peace.


And I can assure you, no treat in this world tastes as good as this peace feels.