Friday, January 26, 2018

You Are Just Getting Started!

How many of you started the New Year off motivated to change? Were you motivated to set new goals and actually meet them? Were you motivated to create a vision board? What motto did you adopt for 2018? Perhaps it was “New Year, New Me”; “Out with the Old, in with the New”; “No New Friends in 2018”; or “Debt Freedom in 2018”. Maybe you have a list of the top 10 things you will do in 2018. 

I personally did not start the year off with a New Year’s Resolution, a Motto or a Vision Board. Our church had Sunday morning service, so it was my first New Year’s Eve at home, in my bed, in 14 years. On January 1st I woke up and said, “Lord I just want to take this year day-by-day.” It was weird and freeing at the same time. If you read my last blog, you know I am reading Reset by Bob Sorge. While reading this book, taking it day-by-day, the Lord has been speaking to me. The last two days in the book are “Day 19 –Endure” and “Day 20-Grow”. All I could think was, “I am just getting started"!

This message is for the person who completed their 2018 Vision Board in August of 2017 and for the person with the Vision Board still sitting empty in the corner. This is for the person with 10 items already checked off on their New Year’s list and for the person still working on #1. This is for the person whose family activities are planned out for 2018 and for the person taking it day-by-day. YOU ARE JUST GETTING STARTED!

Do not count yourself out of the race because you do not have a list yet, and do not count yourself out of the race because your “list” is not happening as planned. If your New Year’s Motto is “No New Friends in 2018”, change it! Do not miss your blessings. (Just saying J

Press into God no matter where you are. We can do nothing without Him (John 15:5). As you press into God, you will birth vision. Cast down every vain imagination that exalts itself higher than the knowledge of Christ. Take those negative thoughts captive and obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) He will equip you with everything you need! YOU ARE JUST GETTING STARTED!
I have been encouraged by Rebecca Barlow Jordon Prayers for strength found at

Lord, I’m weary. My energy is sagging, and my motivation is lagging. And I am so in need of you. I need your strength and your fresh touch to get back on track again. Your Word says the joy of the Lord is my strength. If that's true, then I need your joy to replace all the bone-tired parts of my mind, body, and soul.

The pressures of life sometimes push me into a corner, rendering me helpless to move forward. A hundred voices call my name, and I feel paralyzed at times to answer, not knowing where to turn. Lord, help me not to quit, to keep running the race faithfully, and to find strength in that safe, secret place of yours, under the shadow of the Almighty.

I need your strength to say no when I'm tempted to surrender to harmful things, or when selfishness clings to my clothes and won't let go. I need your strength to say yes, when cowardice and fear nudge me to deny the convictions of my heart. I need your strength to reach out in love to those both close to me and all around me. When don't I need your strength, God?

You are my rock, and I run to you today, believing that you will lift up my heavy arms, that you will fuel me for the tasks you've given me, and that your joy will completely consume the weakness of my life and make me strong again. I don't want to stay grounded, crippled by limitations and failed attempts. I'm tired of feeble efforts. Lord, I want to mount up with wings like an eagle and not just fly. I want to soar.

Renew my strength, Lord. Fill me with your supernatural power to overcome each obstacle in my path. With my eyes on you, Lord, with you walking beside me, working through me, I can make it. 

Thank you, Lord! In Jesus's name, Amen

Monday, January 8, 2018

RESET 2018

 My church here in Clayton, NC is reading Reset: 20 Ways to a Consistent Prayer Life by Bob Sorge. As I started the book, I prayed one simple prayer: “Lord I know I need a reset. I know I need you. I know I want you. I know that I can do nothing without you. Let this book be a tool to help me make the time for you EVERYDAY!”

On day one I had this conversation with the Holy Spirit: (It went something like this) 
Me: I know how to pray but my prayer life is stronger in some seasons and weaker in others.
HIM: That is not the point of reading this small orange book. Tiffany you make a lot of life altering decisions on your own without really sitting and talking to me.
Me: WHAT??? I’m confused. What decisions have I made without asking you Lord? (Even tho I already knew the answer.)
HIM: It’s not that you did not ask, but you do not always wait for my answer. Do you come to me with the Word in your hand so I can guide you? I will answer you through my Word. When you’re weary, do you come to me? When things seem to be going great, do you make personal time for me?

As I sat and talked with the Holy Spirit, one of my life scriptures came to mind. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” The Lord was telling me I needed discipline in the place of prayer, fasting and reading the Word. Nothing new but a reminder!

Disqualified means to pronounce someone ineligible for an office, activity, or competition because of an offense or infringement.

An offense is an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles.

An Infringement is the action of breaking the terms of a law, agreement, etc.; violation. It is the action of limiting or undermining something.

This type of discipline will keep us from bringing insult to the Gospel. It will keep us from disregarding our standards concerning holiness and righteousness. We should discipline ourselves because people are watching. People are looking for the truth. This type of discipline will help us to repent quickly. It will keep us from walking in continual and habitual sin. This type of discipline will bear fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our everyday lives.

I am hitting reset because I have found myself living life based on how I feel. I am hitting reset because we are in evil times and I want to be hidden in Christ Jesus! I want to be “woke” not the world’s “woke” but I want to be “woke” in Christ Jesus! “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober.” (1 Peter 1:13) I want to find rest for my soul vs. looking for rest in worldly standards. “Truly my soul finds rest in God, my salvation come from Him.” (Ps 62:1) I want the Word of God to be alive and active in my life! I refuse to allow the enemy to choke the Word of the Lord from my mind and heart. “Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” (Luke 8:12) I am hitting reset because now is the time for the Word of the Lord to reign! The world is looking for hope. True hope is found in Christ and His Word given to lead and guide us! “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

Your reset may not come by reading Bob Sorge’s book. But find a biblical tool to guide you. We need to reset our mind on things above and not on things below. We need to reset our gaze on a Holy God who saved us from sin. No matter where you find yourself in life, the Lord is calling you. He desires to fellowship with us. He wants us to find strength in Him. He wants us to create a habit of meeting Him in the secret place. Will you answer His invitation?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20)

Let’s all hit the reset button! Let’s turn our desires towards the Father!

One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek:that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)

If you are interested in doing the book by Bob Sorge check out

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Is Godliness Worth it? We are Created by God for God!

So excited to kick off the High School Home Group with my church family at Garner Christian Fellowship. During this study I will be posting lesson reviews. Enjoy this journey with us!! 

Session 1: Is Godliness Worth it? 

There is no greater compliment that can be given to a Christian than to call him a godly person. He/She might have a great personality, be an excellent singer, be a zealous church worker, be a powerful speaker, be very talented and gifted; but none of these things matter if they are not a godly person. 

It is both the privilege and the duty of every Christian to pursue godliness. Every Christian should train themselves in godliness and should diligently seek to practice godliness in their everyday lives. 

Why is godliness so important? Jesus Christ died for us to walk in Godliness. He gave us salvation through grace so that we could walk in godliness. 

Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

  • What does the Grace of God teach us? 
    • how to say NO to ungodliness 
    • how to say NO to worldly passion 
    • how to have self-control 
    • how to live upright and godly lives in a time when the world can seem more fun than the Christian life. 
    • It gives us hope that living a godly life will not go without reward!!!! We have hope in our savior, Christ Jesus.

From the outside looking in, the world will seem to be more fun and more rewarding than serving Christ. We will begin to believe the lies the enemy has to offer us. Believers can even make excuses about pursuing ungodly passions. Young people can be persuaded by the world and even other Christians to compromise "just a little". 

1 Timothy 4:7-16 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. 
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

  • We should reject lies and pursue truth 
    • have nothing to do with ungodliness
    • Train yourself in the values of Christ 
    • Do not let any look down on you because you are young (Life is a vapor. You may not have the "rest of your life" to serve the Lord. Serve Him NOW) 
    • Devote yourself to the Scripture 
    • Do Not neglect your gifting from the Lord
    • Delight in the Lord 
    • Be mindful of the way you live because you can save yourself and those watching you. 
Ask yourself: What things attract young people to Christianity? What causes young people to bail out on serving Christ? Is the life of an average non-Christian better than a Christian's life?

The truth is the world is attractive. The truth is sin is fun! The truth is this life on earth is temporary and everything in the earth will fade away. The truth is Christianity does not equal a perfect life nor a life without trials and tribulation. The truth is serving Christ and living a godly life is worth it in the end!!!!! 

Roman 5:2-5 through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

Asaph in Ps 73 explains the struggle when we look at the world's "success". In the end he concludes the grass is not greener on the other side. The nonbeliever does not have a real future because we live past this life!!!! The world, however attractive, is far less meaningful compared to a relationship with Christ. 

I love the Message version.
  • Asaph finds himself looking at the world and it seems they have no worries:
I was looking the other way,    looking up to the peopleAt the top,    envying the wicked who have it made,Who have nothing to worry about,    not a care in the whole wide world.

  • He is asking "Is God out to lunch?" Have you ever felt the people living in sin get everything so why play by the rules? Asaph was feeling the same way:  

The wicked get by with everything;    they have it made, piling up riches.I’ve been stupid to play by the rules;    what has it gotten me?

  • But he turns his heart and affections towards the Lord. Something happens when we enters into the presence of the Lord.  In the presence of a Holy God we realize EVERYTHING THE UNGODLY IS CHASING WILL NOT LAST! 

Until I entered the sanctuary of God.    Then I saw the whole picture:The slippery road you’ve put them on,    with a final crash in a ditch of delusions.In the blink of an eye, disaster!

  • Our hope is in a firm foundation! Asaph has an awaken:  

You’re all I want in heaven!    You’re all I want on earth!When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,    God is rock-firm and faithful.Look! Those who left you are falling apart!    Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again.But I’m in the very presence of God    oh, how refreshing it is!I’ve made Lord God my home.    God, I’m telling the world what you do! 
Is godliness a waste of your time? NO!!! We are not called to be good people. We are called to be GODLY people! Our motivation is Christ Jesus. Our desire and reason behind living a godly life is the presence of the Lord. It is refreshing and we will have a home for eternity with him. 

Let's go after godliness! When we go after godliness we will walk in the fear of the Lord. We will have a love for God that provokes us to walk out his commandments. We will have a desire and a longing for the Lord that overrides the ungodly passions and desires of our flesh. When we walk in godliness we watch our friendship and we date on purpose. When we are godly, we use the Word of God as our instruction manual vs seeing it as a legalistic book. When we are godly our character speaks for itself. 

Our "Walk It Out" scripture is Ps 51:10 
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Decisions..... Decisions

Summer is coming to an end and school is starting soon. Real soon for my daughter!!! Like MONDAY!  

We just got back from a great 7-day vacation with family last week. Mary and I returned on Saturday and she left for camp on Sunday. She returned yesterday, and she was suppose to leave for a two-day camp today and tomorrow. I mentioned school starts on Monday right? Not to mention working alongside my husband with our household needs and business ventures.

This week I was feeling very overwhelmed and I started asking myself "Tiffany are you making the right decisions?" I woke up this morning and I just heard the words "acknowledge me in all your ways". Proverbs 3:6 tells us to acknowledge God in all our ways and He will direct our path. 

Have you ever felt like you acknowledged God but it seems like you still made a bad decision? You ask yourself "did God change His mind? Was it just me?" 

The answer is simple but it's one we overlook. Every decision has fruit attached to it. When you truly acknowledge God in ALL your ways, your decisions will bear good fruit. 

FRUIT! When your mind is telling you to doubt the yes from God, stop and acknowledge God again. Does God change His mind? I can say 1 Corinthians 14:33 tells me that God is not the author of confusion but of peace. Do not settle on a decision until you have peace. 

Seek the Father in every decision you have to make. Find delight in seeking His face.We have to make decisions everyday. Every decision you make today will influence your tomorrow. How do we work through the good vs the godly decisions? How do we choose between the permissible vs the beneficial? How do we decide to say yes vs no or no vs yes? The answer is acknowledge, seek and delight in Christ. 

Psalms 1 :1-3 
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Oh no you "dittent"

This morning a friend and awesome man of God Chris Olmstead spoke on Humility. Haha...he did such a great job that I am afraid to start off a sentence with "I".

With launching a business and family, I have made every excuse for not making time to blog. Chris gave us some action ideas like blogging to bless others. 

You can not talk about humility without talking about pride. If we are not intentional about walking in humility, we will walk in pride. Chris laid out five points about "Where Pride Takes Us". If you know me, I have a very loud laugh. With my daughter tapping my leg to be quiet, I was laughing so hard when Chris read bullet point #4, Easily Offended (Oh no you dittent!), from his notes. Have you ever felt like that?

I have taken pride in being no push over. I also have taken pride in not being one that is easily offended. Well, I am quick to roll my neck and eyes with the feeling of, "Oh no you dittent!" 

The bottom line is I am easily offended. It may not always show up in my interactions with people, but it is internally there in my heart. What do you do when you get offended? I may talk to my husband or call up a friend and vent. Most of the time, I spend the next hours... honestly week....crying and throwing a grown up tantrum. I call it prayer but let's keep it real, it's a rant to God and not listening for His response. 

I know.. I know... you might not throw tantrums but I do. Help me Lord! I've never seen my tantrums as pride, until today. My tantrums reflects another point from Chris's list. Point #1...."Self-preservation" (Must.....Protect....Self). 

What should we do when we go into self-preservation mode? Self- preservation will cause you to go into "Oh no you dittent" mode. Well Lisa Jacobson from Club 31 Women: A Passion for husband, home and family wrote a 3-Step Meltdown Strategy in her weekly email, "What I do in the middle of a meltdown". These 3-Steps are from Lisa Jacobson's email: 
A 3-Step Meltdown Strategy:
1. Take your thoughts captive
Rather than getting caught up in "continuous loop thinking" (That hurt my feelings, that hurt my feelings, that hurt my feelings...and so on), you take hold of those thoughts and stop them in their tracks. And every time they start sneaking back, you refuse to let them get back in.
...Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ... (II Corinthians 10:5)
2. Focus on what is right and true
Next, now that you've stopped the destructive loop thinking, you determine to look on those things which are right. Those things which are true. Those things which are lovely. You direct your thoughts on Christ and all the good that He has for you.
Finally, brothers (and sisters!), whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
3. Choose thankfulness
Not always easy. Especially when you're in the middle of a meltdown. But rack your brain to come up with at least one thing that you can be thankful for in that moment. Then see if you can come up with another after that.
If you're really, really struggling, give thanks for something else that has nothing to do with the situation at hand. For example, I'm upset with my husband, but I can be grateful for the flowers on our back patio. And eventually, hope I can remember some nice things about my husband....even if he did deeply hurt my feelings. *ahem...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Let's work on taking Lisa's encouragement! When Pride rises its' ugly head in our hearts through offense and leads to a meltdown, let's take the negative thoughts captive; let's turn our minds to things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praise worthy; let's choose to be thankful at all times.

When we choose to turn our hearts towards humility our "Oh no you dittent" will turn into grace and forgiveness. 

Thank you Chris and Lisa for prompting my heart search today! 

**Side note: Chris is not just a great speaker, but he is a great builder too 😉

Notes from: 
  1. Chris Olmstead Sunday, July 16th, 2017 message "Humility: The act of lowering oneself to elevate others" 
  2. Lisa Jacobson A Note from Lisa Jacobson: Your weekly word of encouragement, inspiration, & practical wisdom; "What I do in the middle of a meltdown". Emailed July 14, 2017.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March Already!

It's March! How has your year been going so far? Just wanted to check in and encourage everyone who is feeling the "March Madness". I am not talking about basketball but I am talking about the "wait it's March already" feeling. Yes, it's March already but no need to panic :)!
Last night I was printing off some paper work for our taxes. I used an old flash drive I had sitting by the computer. I decided to review the documents on the flash drive under the folder "Leadership". I found a document titled "I Dream". It had a list of dreams and here are the first 12 items off that list:

1- I dream of a house full of prayer
2- I dream of having a son
3- I dream of working with teens across the nation teaching and doing workshops on purity
4- I dream of discipleship groups in my home
5- I dream of ELEOS reaching youth in the Garner area and making a difference through the arts
6- I dream of vacations with my family free of ministry duties
7- I dream of having a home with a basement for gatherings and fellowship
8- I dream of cozy walks in the park with Joshua
9- I dream of raising Mary to love God with all her heart, mind and soul.
10 - I dream of sitting and just listening to the rain drops
11- I dream of starting TSW Events and Things and owning a full scale event venue
12- I dream of getting pregnant this year

The list had a total of 30 items on it. I assume this was a leadership assignment but I honestly do not remember making the list. It was saved to the flash drive in January 2012.

Have you ever come across a "lost" list of dreams? Maybe your list was titled "Vision for 20__or even 19__". Maybe your list was titled "Things to Do". As I read my list I was encouraged to see the things I have accomplished and I noticed things I still have not accomplished. There are things on the list I am no longer involved in and things that I just stopped dreaming for.

I strongly believe the scripture says the Holy Spirit will bring ALL THINGS back to our remembrance. (John 14:26) You may have forgotten the things the Lord has spoken but the Holy Spirit is our advocate. The Holy Spirit will remind us what the Lord has placed inside of us. This list was my reminder!!!!

I printed off the list and I have decided to contend this time. In the Bible, Timothy was a young man and Paul, his mentor, was reminding him not to forget the things the Lord had spoken to him. Like Paul said to Timothy, I say to you (and me):

"Do not neglect your gift , which was given to you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save yourself and your hearers." 1 Tim 4:14-16

It does not matter if you received a word by the laying on of hands or if you received a word on your knees in your secret place, do not neglect your gifting. I am not sure how my dream list was created but as I read the list my heart began to long for those forgotten desires. I felt the need to fall on my knees and repent for allowing myself to be distracted. I felt the weight of my selfishness because I had been withdrawn and fearful. I felt the joy in my heart and I was overwhelmed with thanksgiving for the things God has and is doing on the list. I was encouraged to share with you in this post!

God is up to something! YES it's March already and God's timing is perfect! Be diligent in your gifting and in the Word of God. Remember it profits us nothing to get our dreams (gain the world) but lose our soul. (Mark 8:36; Matthew 16:26).

I cannot wait to see you walking out your calling in Christ Jesus!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Focus on Purpose

We are 9 days into 2017! It snowed here in North Carolina and I've been snowed in for three days now (well iced in). It's been a great time! I am encouraged and I want to encourage you.

I keep hearing the Lord say "FOCUS"! Saturday, I was getting out my boots to go outside and came across this note from Joshua, my hubby💖, in the shoe box.

When I saw the scripture Jeremiah 1:5, I just had to look it up. Jeremiah 1:5 reads"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."

I believe the Lord allowed me to come across this note from my last birthday to encourage me now. I took time to pray into the scripture. Today I woke up for prayer and the Holy Spirit led me to look at my email. I had an email from Heather Lindsey's Pinky Promise subscription titled "Tough Year?" As I read this email I was in tears. I came to the paragraph that read:
"I'm completely convinced that there's a PATH for each and every one of you (Jeremiah 1:5). Your story may not look like my story because it's YOUR story, but, along that path of saying YES to Jesus - you will find the life that He has prepared for you. This doesn't mean that tests stop. Actually, they will probably increase. But, it simply means that you get to lean on and depend on the Lord for every breath. I can assure you, with tears in my eyes - God is faithful." -Heather Lindsey 
After reading that email, I knew the Lord was speaking to me. He is speaking to all us in little/BIG ways. Last year was a tough year but I can say that God is faithful! I can say that no matter how we are feeling right now, He knew us before we were formed in our mother's womb. He knows every single hair on our heads. (Luke 12:7, Matthew 10:30) He has a purpose for our lives. The enemy's job is to get us to focus on everything else except the purpose and plans of  God.

I heard someone say when the clock hit midnight on December 31st our issues, our battles, our insecurities, our hurts, our fears, and our trials did not just stop. The people who did not like you in 2016 are the same people who do not like you right now. Seriously, think about it! It's not about it being 2017 and setting New Year Resolutions. We have to RE-FOCUS because it is the will of the Lord. The battles and trials may not have stopped. There will always be people who do not like you or do not like what you are doing. No matter what is going on, you have to FOCUS on your purpose and on eternity. The Lord wants us to focus on Him and His will. We have to make a decision no one and nothing will keep us from our purpose in Christ Jesus.

Refocus on your purpose! Romans 8:28 NKJV "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."

Refocus on the will of the Lord!  Ephesians 2:10 NKJV "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

Refocus your mind! Colossians 3:2 NKJV "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth."

Refocus your eyes so you can know where you are going! Proverb 4:25-27 NKJV "Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of you feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil."

Refocus your motives! Provebs 16:3 NKJV "Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established."

Refocus your heart! Psalm 73:26 NKJV "My flesh and my heart may fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Do not go another day looking at what could and should have happened. Look forward and focus on your Purpose.