Strategically Small

As we continue in this season of rest and reflection, let us contemplate the life and work of Jesus.

Jesus was a masterful leader. He was intentional. Purposeful.

When we think of his influence, and how his message continues to grow thousands of years and billions of followers later, we are in awe because he did not do the successful, popular or inspiring things. He did not seek fame. He did not lord his power over others or try to establish an empire on earth. He did not have social media or the benefits of technology.

Jesus was true to his teachings, even when it was difficult for his audience to hear:

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37).

“Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead” (Matt. 8:22).

“Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).

Simply put, Jesus did not go big. On the contrary, oftentimes when he had a large crowd or performed a miracle, he drew away for times of rest.

In those sacred moments, Jesus taught his disciples the truths about the kingdom of God, and informed them of the purpose to which they were called.

Continue reading at Outreach Magazine.

Remember Our Story

As we enter the beautiful season of Advent and remembering, I wanted to share a couple of pieces that I have written this year about the good news and miracle work that only Jesus can accomplish. We begin with this piece about God’s great redemption story!

Who doesn’t love a great story? From the time we are children, we learn of villains and heroes, evil witches and helpless princesses. We learn about good and evil in this world. In the end, we anticipate and eagerly await the victory. We all want good to win.

As we think about our common humanity in a world that is becoming increasingly more polarized, it is important that we remember the most important story. It begins, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). The story that starts in a garden culminates with the promise of the protagonist’s return, and the realization of a new heaven and a new earth. “Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen” (Rev. 22:20–21).

Continue reading at Outreach Magazine.

OVERCOME

Scripture Reading: Revelations 3:7-13

For the past several years, I have entered the year with a single word and scripture where I focus, set my intentions or goals for the year. Sometimes those goals are professionally related (finish a project, write the book), and at other times, it’s more personal (rest, read, or relax more). Most of the time, God surprises me with new and unexpected things. For example, in 2016, my word was “Greatness.” God spoke clearly and vividly through a dream as I entered that year. There is much more to this story, but the short of it is: when I got to the end of the year, I was dreaming bigger. One thing that I have always wanted to do was visit the continent of Africa. By the spring of 2017, I was in discussions about visiting the continent, not once, but twice that year! (I can’t wait to go back!) This year was a lot different than the previous ones. December 2018 found me wrapping up the “A Sojourner’s Truth” book tour, and I was tired. Then I hosted friends and family, including a lot of sick kids…which made us sick, for much of the Christmas holiday. So, I did not enter this year rested, reflective, or intentional. The year just came, and I just was. I had this nagging feeling (lie) that I was behind. But I entered into the year with the purpose to celebrate anyway, because I was turning 40 years old, after all. We did practice the discipline of celebration. I did get some days away to pray, rest, and be present, quiet, and still with the Lord. During that time of reflection, this is the word that kept coming to mind. This word was the continuous call that God gave to the seven churches in the province of Asia (Revelations 3:7-13). There are eternal rewards for those who overcome. So, I decided to move forward this year with an “in spite of…” and “…but God” attitude. God is with me.

It is hard to believe that we are almost half way through the year! Have you thought about any words, messages, prompting, goals, or dreams that God has given you this year. What have you done with them?

Take some time to reflect on God’s word and purpose for you this week. What do you need to remember? Where do you need to write down, commit to, or adjust?

God is faithful to do exactly what he said. God is with you. Therefore, you will overcome.    

Blessings, Natasha