The (Real Life) Hunger Games


As the last installment of Mockingjay Part 2 is released upon us, I’m wondering……

How many of us are in our own Hunger Games?

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

Right now, this moment, we are living the Real Life Hunger Games.

Have you ever felt like Katniss Everdeen fighting for your own survival?

The Hunger Games (film)

The Hunger Games (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You are doing everything you can to stay on your feet, keep moving, and avoid contact with the enemy. Everything in your soul longs for easier days gone by, to not be caught in this deadly, seemingly hopeless, situation. Even in those “better days”, it was hard enough just to put food on the table and sustain a reasonable existence. But now in some sick, Job-like twist of fate, you’ve found yourself in the fight of your life.

Priorities change when all your energy is focused on getting out of this situation alive. Basic necessities to feed and nourish yourself seem impossible to find.  Not to mention, there are others out there tracking you down, attacking you, and trying to snuff you out.  And for what? For their own survival. They are playing the Game too.

But remember, “we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies”…..our real enemy is the ruler of this world, the Capitol leader himself…..Satan. He rules this self-made Panem and throws every trick in the book at you. Fire walls blazing, hidden traps set, pitting tribute against tribute…… he knows his game and loves to see the fear flicker in your eyes. You can’t see a way out.

But wait, don’t lose heart. There are some differences between your Real Life Hunger Game and our fictionalized heroine’s struggle.

Far above the deadly arena and outside the reach of the evil Capitol, you have One interceding on your behalf. You have an Advocate pleading for you at the right hand of the Father. He knows exactly what you are going through. He knows every singed and scorched hair on your head. He feels every dehydrated, unwept tear.

And let’s not forget the Comforter. When you are disoriented and confused and so weak with lack of food, water and rest and all you can do is moan, “The Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26

There is hope.

You will survive.

How? You ask……

Because you have been given everything you need to fight this battle. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” 2 Cor 10:4








The Word

Clothe yourself with these. Arm yourself with these. Nourish yourself with these. And live.

Oh yes…there are little surprises along the way. There are sponsors that are praying for you, sending those silver parachute-packages with never-too-late, Heaven-sent miracles just when you need them. Your sponsors are cheering for you, backing you up, and rooting for you to win, though you may not always be aware of their presence.

My dear precious sister, I don’t know when this Game will end for you. I don’t know if you’ll be delivered through it or delivered out of it. But one thing I believe. Yes, this one thing I know. Just as sure as I believe that Jesus fulfilled the promise of His first coming, just as sure as the Truth of the resurrection rings loudly in my spirit, I believe a trumpet will sound.

Except this real, final trumpet will not announce a rule-change or a death trap by the Evil Announcer. No, this last trumpet will sound as the Father leans over to the Anointed One and say “Son, it’s Time”.

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The invisible arena of this earth will be broken and Christ will call us out of these temporal Hunger Games into everlasting joy, peace and love. What was completed on the cross, as the Savior said “It is finished” will be brought full circle. Yes, this will be our final chapter, the ending of our story here…….

Yet, the beginning of our Eternal Story.

So, my sisters…. be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Fight the good fight. And, don’t give up.


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I Know You

Dear Beloved,

I see you.

Yes, I see your prayers, your effort, and your good intentions. I see your desires and how you are waiting for things to take shape. I see your disappointments and your failures. I see every act of kindness, every act of service, and even when you hold your tongue. And yes, I also see every impatient word, every selfish motive, and every unholy thought. I see each act of wood, hay, or stubble, and I see every act of gold, silver, and precious stone.  I see you.

I know you.

I know your joys and what makes your heart soar. I know your dreams- the ones that have come to pass, the ones that are blooming, and even the ones that are a whisper in your heart. I know because when I knit you together I planted them there. I know your insecurities too. I know that you may look put together on the outside, but that little girl on the inside is unsure about everything. Yes, I know you.


I love you.

Hear me…..I love you. My Beloved, you must understand much I love you…no wait…I adore you! I love your strengths and skills. I love the way you’ve grown over the years. I even love the goofs you’ve made with a pure heart. Those are often the most precious to me. But, don’t ever think for a second that any mistake could make me love you less. My love will never change. I love you.

So, while you may sometimes wonder where I am, or if anything will ever change, or if any of it does any good……just remember:

I see you. I know you. I love you.

With All My Heart,

Abba Father


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I am so surprised at how easily and over the silliest things I can turn into a grumbling complainer spewing discontent and criticizing everything around me that doesn’t go my way. I feel so “burdened” with having to be at work early or the can opener isn’t working right or the dryer is giving me fits. Heaven forbid…..I get behind a slow driver who can’t drive in the rain! Some days, it seems like the least little thing can bump me and nothing good spills out.

I feel so persecuted (insert whiney tone)…….But then, I am set straight by a day like today……

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

I hear just a drop of the true suffering going on in the world. Suffering for bearing the name of Christ. True persecution for bringing Light into darkness and Hope into hopeless situations.

holding a glowing earth globe in his hands

I am shaken loose of my self-induced delusion that I have it so tough. I realize that my present “troubles” are nothing compared to the life-threatening, dyer situations of many around me and of those around the world.

God, help me to be thankful in every circumstance. Help me to lift up believers, both near and far. Help me to care for the Body of Christ rather than just looking our for myself. Amen


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Love Where you Live

Would you rather be working somewhere else? Would you rather be living somewhere else? Are you wishing your ministry was not this and more like that?

Are you praying “God, Anything. But. This!”

I know how you feel. Yes, Sister, I know. Sometimes life just doesn’t turn out the way you had planned.

Rewind, with me, back to 2008.

Everything was going as planned. I had my children. I was staying home doing the mom thing because I had quit work when I was pregnant. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was WAY harder than I ever thought it would be. Yes, there were many, many days it was all I could do to survive. But it was what I always dreamed I would do.Everything was going great.

And then it wasn’t.

The week the triplets turned 1 year old, my husband lost his job. We had one 3 year old and three 1 year old babies. Say what?? For over a year, he applied for 90+ jobs. Try as he may, he was not able to land a one of them! We managed to survive. It was actually a huge blessing for both of us to be home with all those babies, but that’s another story for another day.

With little other options in 2009, my boss welcomed me back to my old position at work.  In fact, she carved out a space for me so that I could work. So, I packed my lunch and headed off to school while my husband took over the mini-van, the diapers, and the sippy cups.

I went kicking and screaming the whole way. I was so mad and hurt and disappointed and frustrated…….and mad. Did I say I was mad?

Fast forward to about 2012.  I’m doing my job, we are surviving, hubby is a great daddy. On the outside, I’m doing pretty good with my job. I do really like what I do, and I feel I’m pretty good at it. On the inside though, I’m whining and still stamping my foot when I pray to God. I wish I were doing something different….smh! Not only do I wish I were at home with the kids, but I still had other dreams I wished I were doing….dreams of music and ministry…doing ‘big things’ for God. But those dreams were not happening. I was doing my day job beause that’s what my family needed me to do.

I realized it’s very likely that my circumstances were not going to change any time soon. But, the one thing I could change was my attitude about my circumstances. I decided I was going to be more thankful to God for where I was than to resent Him for where I was not. I decided to see my job as the ministry in which God had placed me for this season of life rather than pining away for the life I wish I had. I was going to recognize the HUGE blessings I had right before me

It didn’t happen immediately. It didn’t happen overnight. But slowly, ever so slowly, I began to appreciate the opportunities in my life. I began to thank Him for the blessings and provision He had given us. I began to enjoy this work where I was placed.

I had finally become content. I had finally learned to “love where I live”. Being content in and of itself is a gift because it brings peace.IMAG1189

Surprisingly, in the middle of my contentment, another unexpected turn. The opportunity to lead in ministry at my church became available to me. I wasn’t looking for it. I wasn’t trying to make it happen. I never thought I’d get to do something like this ever again. But it did, and I am so very, very thankful!

Learning to be content doesn’t mean you give up on dreams or desires. Contentment doesn’t mean you stop longing and praying. It doesn’t mean you give up. But contentment does mean choosing gratitude for your circumstances and trust in God’s Sovereignty for this season in life. While in the waiting and in the thanking and in the trusting, God, in His goodness, will often fulfill some of those other desires in the process in ways you wouldn’t have ever imagined!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understand. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” Prov 3:5-6

Love Where You Live,


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Silver and Gold

**One of the biggest blessings I receive from WoW gatherings like this weekend’s ReNew Retreat is meeting and getting to know precious sister’s in Christ! But not just me…watching all of you make friends and making new connections is such a joy to watch!! You are my Silver and Gold**


“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.  A circle’s round it has no end, that’s how long I want to be your friend.”

Life is not about the stuff you accumulate or how much money you make. It’s not about your achievements or the letters behind your name.  It’s not about what you drive or your net worth.

Life is about Silver and Gold. It’s about friends, old and new. Those precious relationships mined out of life’s ins and outs. The people we meet that make our lives richer.

I’ve been keenly aware of the silver and gold in my own life this summer: A day at the pool,  sending that selfie from a dressing room ‘does this dress work?’, catching up on the phone, stopping by the office for a quick hug, planning a meet-up on Facebook, attending a difficult life changing event, inviting some over for a party, staying over for dinner, sharing revelations, and studying Truth. All of it precious. All of them Silver and Gold.

We can’t make it without friends. We need that wide circle of friends to cheer for us and have fun. We need that tight circle of confidants to tell us, “Girl, you’d better put that down!” We need that one kindred spirit to whisper those secrets of the heart. We need to nourish these relationships because we draw so much nourishment from them.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17

I love it that I get sharpened by my Silver and Gold. Keeps me humble. Gets me loved. Lets me grow. Makes me More than I am.

Who are your Silver and Gold? Don’t let them tarnish. Polish them as often as possible. In turn, they will polish you, sharpen you. And, you will never be left empty.


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We Belong to Each Other


In a few weeks women in ministry from many different churches and denominations will gather to encourage each other….to be together as One Body….

Originally posted on Women of the Way:

Now more than ever, I’m convinced we must be more about building the Kingdom of God than our own denominations (If you know my story, you know that I am a Heinz 57 mutt of denominations…, I am not against denominations). I do believe building His Kingdom happens better when we are unified.

Roman 12:3-5 “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”

Sometimes, we get in our church box where it’s comfortable and familiar, and we might have the tendency to…

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The Bread of Life

Do you know what it’s like to be starving all the time?

I bet you are starving right now, and you don’t even know it!

I’m not talking about physical food- we usually have plenty of that. I’m talking about spiritual food.

Most of us walk around day in and day out starving spiritually. Oh, you may go to church once or twice a week or month, hear a sermon, or read an exert from a devotional, but the rest of the time you are not feeding your spirit adequately. And when you do feed your spirit, its with junk food….tv, movies, social media, etc etc etc….Not everybody, but a lot of us!

Have you ever eaten a diet of not real food like french fries, hamburgers, and processed food? And then changed your diet to healthy protein, fruits and veggies? And then you went back to the fake food? What happened? You ate stuff- you put stuff in your body….but it didn’t nourish you! You weren’t satisfied. So you went back to the real food (hopefully).

That’s what it’s like when we read the Bible- The Bread of Life.

Photo credit Julie Anna Johnson, WoW2013

Photo credit Julie Anna Johnson, WoW2013

I love the Bible!! I remember when I began to read my Bible as an adult, and the verses jumped out at me. The words became life to me.  Still, I’ve struggled often with reading my Bible regularly. When I did read it, I could feel the truth seeping into my spirit like a gentle rain soaking dry ground. Sadly, I would let too much time pass before I was starving again.

Sometimes, I would study the Bible for a certain topic, to teach a class, or prepare a talk. It would feel so good to study like buttering warm bread straight from the oven, the words would melt in my mouth. But life was so busy, I would usually study when I needed the Bible for a specific purpose. Still, the nourishment was not often enough. (During this time, I’m specifically talking about when I was caring for young children. If you are in a season of caring for small children, read when you can and give yourself some grace. He understands.)

In the past couple of years, I’m trying to get more regular with my spiritual diet (because the kids are older) and with the help of websites and apps, I would have a bible reading plan on my desktop at work. When I had a minute, I would read a passage or two. Sometimes I would even try to read and re-read the same passage all day. The nourishment trickled in like bite-sized gummi bear vitamins:)

Last fall for my 40th birthday, my husband bought me a new, leather-bound Bible. I haven’t had a new Bible in several years, and it was just what I wanted. I have to tell you since I’ve had my new Bible, it has felt so good to turn the pages and read the words straight from the crisp, thin, silver-edged pages. Again when I read the words, it’s like truth seeping into my spirit. I feel satiated and satisfied when I read it.

Hear me….. listening to sermons and doing studies from our favorite authors and getting devotional doses of the Word..all of that is Awesome!! I’m not knocking any of it. All of those “meals” are excellent ways to get nourished. We need a variety to keep from getting in a rut. Oh! but feasting on the simple, yet satisfying Word of God! There’s nothing better!!

When was the last time you had a good meal? When was the last time you feasted on the Bread of Life?

Oh, sweet friend…..Taste……. and see that the Lord is good!


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