Women who had plans for abortions left the conference with changed hearts and a child to nurture. Women who carried the guilt or embarrassment of previous situations of abuse left with freedom. Women who had no hope when they walked into that building left with a future in Christ. At the end of the day, I was in tears just thinking about how much God cares about us and how all it takes is one moment of submission to have your life changed forever.

Jesse

Recently we have been challenging our church body to reach out to our city. Blush came to Columbus and not only ministered to our people but  invited and picked up women all around the city of Columbus.  Blush showed us the needs of not only our church, but the city. They went above and beyond venturing out in the snow storm to give transportation to the women in shelters and rehabs. We were extremely blessed to host the Blush Network and would do it again and again.

Life Church Gahanna

“Through events like the Freedom Found conference, Miles reminds women of what she herself was reminded of by God: His love and grace are sufficient to cover all unrighteousness.” To Read more of the story from Liberty University click here.

Liberty ChampionLiberty UniversityLiberty University - The Liberty Champion

Autumn Miles’ life is evidence of a God who redeems and a Truth that will set people free.

Harmony DustFounder of Treasures and Author of Scars and Stilettos
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To The Person Who Has Bigger Dreams Than The Typical Life

Six months ago I moved from Philadelphia to Dallas. Through this process, I have never needed more faith and I’ve never been happier. Needless to say, it has been crazy, exciting, and terrifying the past six months. Since moving, every hour is jam packed, every day is different, and every week brings a new adventure. I know that I am sitting in the Lord’s will and I feel that I am truly starting to tap into the purpose God has for me.

You see ever since I was a little girl I wanted to do something big with my life. I desired to be married and be a wife but I want something beyond that as well. I want to leave a legacy and want my life to count. I’m not satisfied with what is normal. I have huge dreams and am sold out to God’s calling on my life.

Can you relate? If so keep reading because I want to share a few pieces of advice.

  1. Find Then Follow Your Vision – You may be in a season right now where you are searching for your purpose. Don’t take this season for granted. God has not forgotten you, rather you have been set apart. For a few years, I waited as my dreams and passions developed because I also knew that I wasn’t ready to know how they were going to be mapped out. Everyone has a vision for their life. If you were born into this life, God has a vision for you. The key is you need to seek it. Be active in seeking it. Many ignore the vision or settle. We are called to greatness therefore we need to strive for it.

2 Chronicles 16:9a says, “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”

Devote yourself to seeking the Lords vision for your life. Once your call is revealed follow that dream no matter the circumstances

  1. Be Teachable – It’s almost laughable at how many mistakes I have made. When our team gets together we have conversations like, “Member the time when Katie…” then someone else will say, “Oh my goodness I remember when Katie did…” Even though I have been corrected, made mistakes, and have not always made the right call, I have made it a point to be teachable. We can look back and laugh about some of the crazy stories over the years because I have since learned from them.

REMEMBER: While it is awesome to have huge dreams and a major vision, please know, you do not                   know everything. Eat some humble pie, admit when you are wrong, and seek Godly counsel. I have been           blessed where I am constantly being poured into from people who will shoot straight with me. Because of           that I am able to mentor and pour into others. Unfortunately, you can end up being the biggest drawback           to your dreams. If you make a mistake, don’t let insecurity keep you from pressing on. It’s okay!! In fact,           correction is a GOOD THING because it is through that we learn.

Proverbs 12:1 tells us straight up, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”

  1. Be Expectant –Faith is seriously one of my FAVORITE things to talk about!! It’s a major game changer. It will happen in the Lord’s timing so until then stand bold, stand firm, and do not waver. I have a list of things I am praying for and am expectant about. Think of an expectant mother. She is expectant because she can feel the baby and knows that the baby will eventually be born. Today, be expectant that God will give birth to your prayers!

Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” You need to be expectant by having faith in your prayers! If you aren’t going to expect what you pray about, why pray at all?

My challenge for you today is be hard core about all the desires, passions, and dreams for your life. Seek what the Lord wants, be teachable, and be expectant. Never settle, but rather, be buck wild about it. Doing this will be the best decision you make. I am living proof of it.

-Katie Dewan

Blushgirl1

Don’t Let The Wind Sway You

Yesterday I was in a meeting with my assistant, catching up on life and working through many details, adding to our lists of things-to-do. As we were talking, we both expressed at different times that we felt there were not enough hours in the day for us to meet our commitments without burning out. After our meeting, as I was driving home, I started to think about how the stresses in our lives had become things we were focusing and fixated on. Checking off the to-do lists, meeting commitments and working 27 hours in a 24-hour day seemed to trump time with the Lord.

Matthew 14:22-32 says, “22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. 23 After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. Later that night, He was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.27 But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.’28 ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’29 ‘Come,’ He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’31 

Here we see that Peter asks to walk to Jesus on the water and yet, after walking towards him he begins to sink. Why did Peter begin to sink? Peter was so fixated on Jesus at first that he was able to walk towards Jesus on the water. Then, the Bible says that, “When he saw the wind, he was afraid and began to sink.”

Sometimes I feel like Peter in the midst of the craziness of life.

I have every intention each day to wake up and be completely fixated on the Lord but sometimes my to-do lists become distractions and my focus is transferred to something else other than Jesus. When Peter lost focus of Jesus he began to sink. Peter started doubting and lost faith. Sometimes in life, we get so focused on the things around us that we don’t even realize we are sinking and sometimes we forget that Jesus can help us through everything and that we need to have faith so we can focus on Him for guidance.

Matthew 14: 30-31 goes on to say, “30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’31 Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ He said, ‘why did you doubt?32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.”

Immediately after Peter began sinking Jesus reached out his hand and saved him. Whenever Jesus finds us sinking, He will reach out to us. It is our decision if we reach back. If I go about my crazy days and focus on the distractions I will sink. Spending time with Jesus and placing my faith in Him should be the number one priority of each day. Something I love about our Savior is that if ever there is a time we are sinking, He will reach out and save us.

One of my favorite worship songs, Hold Onto Me, by Elevation Church Worship says:

“Hold on to me, I am weak without you. I can’t breathe without you. But I can make it through when you hold onto me. When my life is broken. Still your arms are open. Your love can make me new.”

Despite the stresses in our lives, holding onto Jesus and focusing on Him before anything else will help us get through our to-do lists and busy schedules. We can’t do anything on our own but we can do everything with Jesus.

Where in your life have to chosen to direct your attention? Is it constantly on Jesus or are you distracted with other things? Maybe it’s time to reach back to Jesus and place your faith in Him so He can save you from sinking. Our Savior will always have open arms and will always accept you back. Continue holding onto to Jesus and remember that He should forever be your number one focus.

-Abigail Trent

hiking22

Each Punch, Each Stride, Each Step

So, I’ve been solidly single for ten years.

Oh, sure, I’ve dated a few guys and been on a few dates here and there, but I am still solidly single. Such a prolonged single season has really rocked my faith in God and my sense of worth so that I’ve had to practice self-control.

Self-control is one of those concepts that I know is a fruit of the Spirit:  love, joy, peace, patience, etc., etc. and SELF-CONTROL.  But, I always thought of self-control as being more of a theory than a practical virtue to be practiced and maintained until I needed self-control in my singleness desperately.  At some point in my late 20s, I realized my thoughts were being controlled by fear and disbelief instead of faith.  My sense of worth was crippled because I thought I was less than because I wasn’t married, so that negative thought pattern determined my belief about myself.  Here’s the thing:  God doesn’t say that everyone is going to be married at 21, so it takes self-control to not surrender to disbelief, doubting that God has a plan during the period of waiting.  And He does have a plan.

Self-control is mandatory if we are going to live lives that are pleasing to our God.  Paul said in I Corinthians 9:24-27 that everyone who competes in athletic and spiritual competitions exercises SELF-CONTROL in ALL THINGS.  The athletes he referenced were Greeks who trained their mind and bodyfor ten months to concentrate on winning their unique competition.  He compares our individual, God-given destiny to running a race or boxing with aim, so that each punch, each stride, each step of your life is focused at a the target of God’s purpose.  Paul disciplined his body so that he would not be disqualified because he relented to immorality, sensuality, anger, jealousy, strife, etc.   I’ve almost been prey to letting the same “deeds of the flesh” disqualify ME from my God-ordained destiny, until I realized that “it was for freedom that Christ set us free” so I didn’t have to clothe myself daily in my old sins, habits, and thought patterns – I was and am free because of Jesus.

Sexual sin, lust, and negativity may be what our culture permits and even encourages in singleness, but we cannot live effective lives for the glory of God if we let our bodily passions and minds run the show.

Keep your mind strong in the power of GodPractice self-control. He has set a race before you that only you, in whatever relational season of life, can run with boldness and courage.

 

QUITE YOUR SOUL — Worship Song:  “No Longer Slaves” by Jonathan and Melissa Helser.

“I’m no longer a slave to fear – I am a child of God.”

BE ENCOURAGED — Read these Scriptures:

I Corinthians 9:24-27–“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.  Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.  They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

Galtians 5:1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

DIG DEEPER — Life Evaluating Questions: 

  1. Evaluate your mind. Do you control your thoughts or do they control you?  What thought patterns have you allowed to dictate your worth?
  2. Identify areas in your life over which you need to control yourself. Pray over these weaknesses, allowing God to strengthen you in His power and truth
  3. Pray over yourself and for your God-given, unique purpose. What does God want YOU to accomplish with your talents and gifts for the kingdom of God, regardless of your relationship season?

 

-Heather Carey

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