Time in the Word

I find I often struggle with choosing a “medium” for receiving His word. I’m a little ADD as I flip flop between ways to receive. I want you to know, if you’re like me.. that is ok!

A few things I find helpful are listening to the Bible app- youversion– it’s free, and the quality is that of a good audio book, and has many different translations! And you can’t beat free.

I also found a helpful way was to mark up my actual physical Bible. Sometimes that is harder because you have to really work at setting aside the time. 

A tool I’ve loved is ordering bible friendly highlighters (they don’t bleed through because they’re gel wax)… and making a chart for what they mean. Here’s one option, above.

Then there’s always reading and journaling, which I also do.

I find that being open and honest with God on the days I’m struggling is better than reading or spending time out of duty or obligation.

It’s so important to understand that quality, not quantity- is what is most important to really be transformed by. So take even one verse out of Paul’s letters- and just read, reread, highlight- then sit and meditate on it. Own it. Ask God to apply it. 

That’s always better than trying to read ten chapters a day and just breezing through. 

And this way you’ll find a joy to receive it- and a desire for a more… !

I pray each of you finds a reigniting of the fire within them for his love letter to us, today.

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A Honeybee

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Last night as I lay down I spoke to God about my deepest pains and sadnesses.

He and I had such a beautiful connection as I shared the things that hurt even though I know how HE sees me.

I struggle with the role of a feminist and a Spirit-filled, Christ-following woman.

I must confess being a female isn’t easy in our culture, and I would argue especially in ministry. Please don’t misread this as a complaint. I am more than thankful for all that God has given me. My own church family loves me and I love them. Honestly I’m at a place in my life where I cannot imagine being more content!

However I feel a burden to speak out not only against the mistreatment, misrepresentation, and sexualization of women in our day- but also to the women who shout and also abuse or mistreat, in the name of feminism.

If we as females really embody parts of God’s character- the female, nurturing, gentle, beautiful, meek portions of who He is- how does screaming our cause represent Him? Simple- it doesn’t. 

As I lay there that night, simply being held and listened to by my Father, I kept trying to see through / around this image a giant golden, furry bee resting on a golden beeswax candle. Finally I stopped telling him my list of hurts, and asked, “Dad, what is with that big golden bee I see?”

This bee was beautiful. Her fur was golden and shiny. She just rested on that candle. Made from her own efforts.

God said, “Brittany, that bee is you. The candlemaker knows exactly what that honeybee contributed to the wax within the candle, but once the candle is done, her work is indistinguishable from that of her fellow worker bees. She isn’t recognized for her efforts, yet she’s also not concerned with it. She is diligent and humble, and works as a team to achieve the honeycomb’s goals. Even if other titles than “bee” are imposed upon her, she knows that she is a bee, her caretaker knows she is a bee, and that is all that matters.”

I was stunned. What a loving response to my pain. I couldn’t even respond other than to tell him I would do likewise. I grabbed my journal and wrote it down.

But I think this is poignant for us as women, all of us, especially those who bear the marks of His Holy Spirit- we shouldn’t be concerned with titles, but to operate in graceful truth.

We can make a stand for what is right yet also represent His Spirit. A woman who is found in her identity in God isn’t so concerned with her rights anymore. Sure, women should be paid the same and treated as co-heirs… and often we are. I also know often we are not. 

But maybe the argument isn’t to fight. Doesn’t that make it worse? I see the rage of women screeching for their rights across our country and it only seems to add to the chaos of our day.

What if there was a way in the POWER of the Holy Spirit, a soft, loving voice- to make a change in our world… that affects the entire world around us?

John 13:35 (NIV), “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

“That bee is you. The candlemaker knows exactly what that honeybee contributed to the wax within the candle, but once the candle is done, her work is indistinguishable from that of her fellow worker bees. She isn’t recognized for her efforts, yet she’s also not concerned with it. She is diligent and humble, and works as a team to achieve the honeycomb’s goals. Even if other titles than “bee” are imposed upon her, she knows that she is a bee, her caretaker knows she is a bee, and that is all that matters.”

Even when you’re tired, bring your best

Worship leader: Even when you’re tired, bring your best.

Find a friend who is a spiritual help for you- someone you can talk to about anything. Someone to confide in and who can also push you.

This will help fight burn out, and also hold you accountable to bring your A-game.

Because doesn’t God and His bride deserve a level of professionalism?

I write this because I’ve also been learning this.

It’s easy to feel like you know it all when you lead “Forever Reign” so many times you forget to stop and hear the lyrics.

It’s easy to be complacent when you have done this song and dance before.

Refresh your heart.

Psalm 19:7- The law of the Lord is perfect,  refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

Psalm 23:1-3- The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Take time to hone your craft.

Take lessons, warm up your voice, play scales on your piano or guitar.

Memorize your songs.

For me… I listened to other worship leaders like Meredith Andrews and Hillsong teams who say they write theirs on cards.

Mine’s a little worn on the front, but here’s my method to the madness:

Worship leader- the one from belly of Hell would try and steal your joy as a Christian and a leader of praises to God’s people. He will do whatever it takes to get you tired, complacent, or stir-crazy and unhappy.

So stand up and fight, with the power of Holy Spirit within you! It takes guys and courage… But educate yourself… Never stop learning and never stop trusting.

I John 4:4- You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

God of Grace & Glory

This is an honest blog. The readers who don’t know me probably don’t need this tidbit– but for those who do: I never want to come across as though I don’t mess up, or admit that I do.

As a leader, one of the worst things you can do is do everything yourself. You place undue stress on yourself, entering high-risk for burnout; and in the process you take joy from others that could’ve done the task. Plus you’re not practicing Biblical discipleship.

Sometimes hardships cause you to re-evaluate and also bring you to a place of desperation for God to guide you.
I’m learning this in my life now. And you know what? When you assume the best in people and assign them a task- it creates buy-in from those very workers. Their confidence flies through the roof, and it ends up saving you (me) time in the long-term.

Because an army is better than one! We’re all workers in the church.

The opening hymn spoke to my heart (again) today in our Blended service:

“God of Grace and God of Glory” (Sung to the Tune of “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah”.)

God of grace and God of glory,
On Thy people pour Thy power.
Crown Thine ancient church’s story,
Bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
For the facing of this hour,
For the facing of this hour.

Set our feet on lofty places,
Gird our lives that they may be,
Armored with all Christ-like graces,
In the fight to set men free.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
That we fail not man nor Thee,
That we fail not man nor Thee.

There are dark days… but armored with The Holy Spirit’s power, and hand in hand with our brothers and sisters … We can accomplish much!