Sunday, January 13, 2019

ACE #449: So, What Took So Long?

Several people have asked me, “So, what took so long to get this book out to the public?” If I’m being honest, the answer simply put is, “Life.”

In November 2015, I solicited a request for 12 women to write a reflection about their faith for a specific project that the Lord dropped into my spirit in the wee hours of the morning. I knew all of the women would not respond, but I knew who God led me to for this assignment. It was really an act of obedience. When it came down to it, only six women responded; I was the seventh. Since seven represents the biblical sign of completion, I was fine with that. I took it as a sign from God that a complete work would be done at the end of this project. And, then, life happened.

The first time I tried to compile the stories, the document didn’t save…at all. I had to start over. I was frustrated and took my time getting back to the document. When I started on it for the second time it worked, but it was very time consuming and complicated to copy from one application to another. What I thought would be a simple process wasn’t simple at all. Sometimes I had to retype certain paragraphs because they wouldn’t copy the right way. Then my job got hectic and I couldn’t commit the time because I was exhausted when I got home in the evenings. When the job got unbearable, I had to put all of my energy into getting a new one. That’s when distraction truly set in. Also, I was supposed to be completing my doctoral degree. I couldn’t fathom doing two very different types of writing at the same time.  Research writing and nonfiction writing are very complex all on their own. My brain would have been stretched entirely too far to imagine, especially when I was also having to shift my mind into an editing mode. While I would love to believe that it was all about external factors, it was just as much about the internal struggle within me.

Over the last three years, something has shifted in me. I went from being academic minded to being ministry minded. Not to say a person can’t be both, I just couldn’t do or be both. I’d changed. I’d grown differently. My ambitions for the marketplace shifted into discipleship. God's call on my life is priority. So, I made a choice...a choice most people might not understand. It was an act of obedience to surrender the old me to who God has called me to be in my kingdom assignment. 

I can honestly say that I am on my path to purpose. God knew it all along. It feels real. It feels right. It feels ordained. It’s freeing. It was necessary.

I am grateful for the women who stuck with me all the way until completion. They trusted the Word that God gave me – this book would help women all over the world…because OUR testimonies are worth sharing. We invite you to read our faith stories. We invite you into an intimate part of our lives.

Philippians 1:6 New International Version (NIV)

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Monday, January 7, 2019

ACE #448: “What Do You Have to Say for Yourself?”

What if you knew when your time was going to be up here on this side? What if you had an opportunity to plan what you would say about your living on this side? What would it be?

Can you honestly say you have done all you can to be what God has called you to be? Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good the fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Is this your valedictory as well? The witness of the Apostle Paul is amazing. After being converted, he knew the price it would take to be a true follower of Christ Jesus. He knew he had to reach with, teach and preach the Gospel. He was still all in. He knew his death would not end it, but it would only be the beginning. This is what he had to say for himself.

Friends, following Christ and doing His will is not easy. Like Paul, we are going to experience hardships, tests, heartache and enemies. We may have even started out as enemies to Christ. However, when it is all said and done there will be a crown of righteousness laid up for those who love Him and keep His commands. How’s your fight? How are you finishing? How’s your faith?

“What do have to say for yourself?”

2 Timothy 4:6-8