Morning juice (Lent)

The flowers have been given, cards purchased, envelopes sealed and then ripped open. Incredibly cools words spoken and hopefully received from the one speaking the words, therefore nourishing the heart. For some the panic of calling that florist hearing yourself “it doesn’t matter that the only thing you have left is a bloomin’ cactus, put a freakin’ bow on it and send it…oh oh oh…write on the card thinkin of you always”…

hahaha….All the while on the day the world recognizes as Valentines Day, a day to remember love, a day to show love, was also the start of lent. Depending on how you were raised in the faith lent could have several meanings (good or bad). This discussion is not meant to persuade or dissuade anyone. The purpose of this discussion is to help us understand motive of the why.

For most who have said yes to Jesus and beLIeVE the words of Christ on the cross IT IS FINISHED, the motive for the 40 days (lent) prior to tomb blasting is to help remove a particular something in their life that is not desirable, it has been determined for this season that giving this particular “thing” up that their lives would be better. For most it ranges from some type of food, maybe an activity, or could be a drink and then after the 40 days most will pick up the aforementioned and life picks back up. Yes for the limited times I went into a fast the perceived “thing” was eventually picked back up. I’m finding my focus on the ‘thing’ to fast from was a bit off.

Could it be that we are refraining from the incorrect piece? What if we fasted from unbelief? Go with me for just a moment. If we have stated that giving up something will make our lives closer, richer, better with God then why do we pick that certain back up? What is that certain something feeding that we don’t beLIeVE God will and can feed? Ever thought about how Jesus during his 40 days in the desert allowed God to feed him? What was Jesus “giving” up? or was he? Why did Jesus continually not only say no to the enemy in the desert and eventually whip his ass and hand us all victory over death. Why did he constantly go against the tradition, the rules, of the day when approached by the boys in the long robes (teacher of the law, Pharisees, Sadducees etc) Could it be that he was modeling how to beLIeVE the words from our/his father? He knew that the washings of the day, the ceremony, the ritual, the sacrifices, the rote of the doing was not bringing people closer to God but the doing was building up egos, status and hierarchy. (Hebrews 10:8-10; Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-45 Luke 22:25-27 and 1 Peter 5:1-3)

Jesus didn’t believe the system gang. HE fulfilled it! He fasted from unbelief in the desert, he was relentless in attaching to unbelief when verbally assaulted from all walks of life (forgive them father for they know not what they are doing). He refused to not trust that his/our father has us in the clutch of his plan. He had ruthless trust and a willingness to follow even in moments of asking “is there any other way” with blood dripping down his nose. yet to hear himself say to abba “not my will but yours”

“He said He can move mountains. He can move my mountain. He can move your mountain too. I have to beLIeVE”. (Rita Springer)


Mornin’ Juice (trust and obey)

Trust and obey
for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus
but to trust and obey…

Trust and obey…

Words that most of you reading will be familiar with and more than likely have sang a trillion times. The words have stood the test of time has they were penned in 1887 by fella named John H. Sammis. Takes me back to a time riding in the front seat of a Pontiac chieftain listening to my daddy and his daddy (B) belt out the words of the famous hymn.

The two (trust and obey) really do go hand in hand, don’t they? Think about this for a moment. When we trust the source of the message being delivered to us, then we have this tendency to walk forward in belief. Or we can trust the source of the message, but the message God is delivering just may be too big for the god (notice little g) that we have constructed. Therefore, creating unbelief of God, the one who knows the plans laid out for us…plans to prosper…

There is a word in the Greek that is tied to disobedience. Now class, the obedience doesn’t disqualify who we are in HIM when we said to Jesus. We are secure because of who HE is not what we do or don’t do…the purpose of this discussion is to help us realize moments when the spirit of God is wooing us within to take certain steps in our lives. Steps that we either will trust and obey (follow) or we will:

The Greek word is apeítheia

At first glance what does that word remind you of?

Looks like apathy, doesn’t it? …. check out the definition…. unbelief, a stubborn willingness against the divine will of God

The will of God resides in each of us through the holy spirit…. would you take 3 minutes before reading any further and repeat this over to yourself. Go ahead set a timer, repeat to yourself.

The will of God resides in me
The will of God resides in me
The will of God resides in me

Ok you’re back…do you trust?

You see we have these moments throughout our day in our homes, at work, in our schools, and in our universities to agree and trust which means to be certain, to believe in the directions God desires for us to move. Yet our trust can waiver when the message, the steps God is desiring to take are out of how we “think” life should roll. So, in those moments we can choose whether or not to be certain that in doing so we are following through with the divine will of God within us which is to trust, or will we choose to live in a stubborn unwillingness against the divine will of God (apeítheia).

Good gracious does that not take on bit more depth. Flipa dippa gang. Is this saying what I think we are saying? When we choose to not follow to not trust God in that particular moment are we choosing to be our own god? Are we agreeing with the spirit of me vs the God of the ONE within? I mean really, am I that stubborn…unwilling really…. don’t we typically say our yes is on the table…didn’t we say we trust God with our lives, but not this moment. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t let me the only one who wrestles and is wrestling with this.

Aren’t his purposes for his creation (us) trustworthy? Sure, I can say yes in a room full of other bible carrying folks on a Sunday or whatever your day of worship is, but what about when I’m face to face with the “situation” …the person…the obstacle…maybe it’s something that felt as ridiculous as marching around a wall 7 times and watching it come down (Joshua 6).

Just wonder what was going on with John Sammis on the day in 1887 when the words trust and obey for there’s no other way. What was his “wall…?”

What is ours?…what is yours? What is that “situation” in your life today where you can drop the stubborn unwillingness in following the divine will and begin to believe, to be sure of his divine will and trust?


Morning’ Juice (rest)

Rest…an interesting word, or is it a place? hmmm, yes a word and yes a place we can enter as we see the following

Heb 4:3 NLT 3 For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said, “In my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest,'”even though this rest has been ready since he made the world.

Wowzie whoa…let’s recall the narrative. The writers of Hebrews are chatting it up with folks who are learning the truth of how to beLIeVE. Their old way (the law) was constructed of many do’s and don’ts. The do’s and don’ts were set in such a way that was designed to show the only WAY would be through faith. Faith and trust in Jesus. Yet the ol’ boys and girls the writers are referring to in the verse above are not familiar with Jesus, as this was hundreds upon hundreds of years before Christ. But they are familiar with God as they follow him by day and night with Moses. God is leading them to the promise land, a place f rest….not necessarily sitting on a couch eating bon bon rest, but one of security, in that God is for em’, a rest assured that God desires the very best for em’ . But as we know their travels were filled with tons of adversity, some obstacles, yet didn’t God deliver them through the turmoil? YES….but as we read last week the potential conflict with the giants was just too much for the majority and as we just read.

‘they will never enter my rest”

Did they just get tired?….what was the source of their unbelief? hmmm…

Depending on the translation in your hand, the word as we are using today for this discussion shows up over 300 times. The place that has the most sightings of this word in the new side of the beLIeVING book (new testatment/bible) is, yep you guessed it, Hebrews. No other letter is even close. And catch this gang, 15 total times when you read through the letter you will see the reference to rest and 10, yes 10 are in the chapter we are reviewing today (chpt 4).

Rest, a place God has for all of us who beLIeVE….

Tuesday (feb 6) folks gathered to discuss and man on man did we ever! What does rest look like for us? here are just a few:

  • vegging on the couch
  • no more striving
  • mental rest
  • peace

but to get there (place of rest) don’t we have to scrape away the “things”…the giants in our lives that look just too dog gone big for God.

what are the giants in our lives that “appear” to be in the way of the rest only God can provide? Think of your day to day in your home, at work in school and universities. Where or who are the relationships in our lives that feel a bit off, thus bringing in the giant of unbelief which can result in mental unrest? Do we feel like we are striving to keep everything together, and boy o boy peace well that is long gone in the moment?

The clarity of how to enter God’s rest sometimes seems vague or “pie in the sky” doesn’t it?…..yet it is a place we can experience today. How? Trust and walk through the don’t want to’s of your day. Believe and Walk through the I can’t and replace with HE will. and gang on the other side is the inner peace of Gods rest. He is in jesUS. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will have this nice ribbon and box package that is all peaches and cream. The rest comes in releasing the results, releasing our demands, releasing unspoken expectations and accepting that all things are for HIS good. Don’t know about you, but that takes all of the HIMwithin (holy spirit) power to achieve. exactly why HE emptied the tomb…he left that hole to fill our hole….

Do you desire to have a safe place to rest? need to hear yourself chat through your “giants”? Let us know and we will be glad to help slay some giants with ya in the name of Jesus the one who paid it ALL.

We will gather February 12 6:30 pm at 1723 claire ct to open up chapter 5. first few minutes is spent catching up with each other, then 7:00 pm we dive in.

love em up!


Morning juice (belief/unrest)

He loves me
He loves me not

He loves me
He loves me not

Petals of flowers lay around the feet of the soul who is just unsure and is searching for any type of confirmation that the one she loves loves her back. The “man, does he?” thoughts stem from uncertainty, a moment of unbelief.

As we have been traveling through Hebrews the message is loud and clear in regards to unbelief. Like our friend pulling petals off the flowers, there is no rest, our souls are in constant flux, no peace. The writers are sending constant reminders in chapter 3 as they reference back to Psalm 95. The hearts were hardened thus God would not allow them to enter HIS rest. So what is the source of unbelief?

Tuesday we batted this around in the sanctuary of our living room and we shared.

  • unbelief is an unwillingness to trust, yet we as a people state “God is faithful”
  • Yes God is faithful, based on?
    • how we think the circumstances or outcomes should look?
    • no, one replied, he is faithful to himself, to his character, faithful to his nature of love
  • others discussed the man chatting with Jesus even asking for Jesus to help him in his unbelief

Back to the psalmist who is reminding us of the unrest the wanderers of the desert felt when after a band of folks went into to have a sneak preview of the land God promised them – A land promised if only they would beLIeVE….most know this recap – the band of wanderers go in, see a people that are giants, ah for the vegans out there, the veggies and fruits plentiful and huge, a couple of the ol boys even bring back some evidence. Back at camp after 40 days of scouting, researching, seeing, tasting, experiencing this sacred land, the discussion begins much like ours…”well what do you think?”…..the wanderers default to their murmuring of the desert, their victim mentality comes frothing to the top: “no way we can do this”…their unbelief smothering and hardening their hearts to the truth of who God is and trusting his nature to inhabit the place of rest he has and is promising.

But wait! There are two fellas (Joshua and Caleb) that are looking at each other and press against the temptation to go along with the crowd. Joshua and Caleb pipe in and declare with full beLIeVING energy, “NO WAY. This land is promised to us….we are beLIeVING. Let’s go…”

No need to pull petals off a flower to determine if they trust the love from the father.

These guys are sure of the plan God breathed out for them. Yet we know the rest of the story, don’t we? A generation of people who saw and experienced miracle after miracle overruled and decided to stay. That unbelief, that defying the restful place of God resulted in a generation of folks dying off….with the exception of the 2….they entered and received what God said was waiting on them…REST.

Where and who does your rest come from?

If you are having trouble answering that question, or if you have been wandering in your own desert and desire to enter into the rest God provides through Jesus, but are just not quite sure, we will help you put the flower down and help each other in our unbelief


Mornin Juice (encourage)

Have you ever wondered what God’s voice sounds like? Does his voice change depending on the situation or pattern of life you are soaring through? Is his voice boisterous and booming? I mean heck, if we were on the bank of the river watching John the Baptizer immerse Jesus and upon his coming up out of the water hear. This is my son with whom i am well pleased! What is the voice you use when reading? hahaha Isn’t this fun. or or or let’s go back a bit further and the conversations God had with Moses and the up-teen times He (God) would send Moses back to pharaoh to state “let my people go”…What voice do you use with God when Moses just keeps on whining about not being equipped to lead this rabble bunch of brick makers?

It’s not a far jump for us to reflect our own biases and tendencies in some of the situations we see God leading. Yet if God through blowing words through the writers of the beLIeVING book (bible) is asking for us  to think of ways to encourage one another

Heb 10:25 NLT 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

by the way meeting in homes, coffee shops, ball game bleachers, wherever you are there he is too…counts…wait till you read the next one.

1Th 5:9-11 CSB 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.

Jimney crickets are we seeing this gang. No matter whether we are asleep or awake, we may live together with him…therefore do what?…..encourage which is to console, to exhort, give support, blow confidence in each other, WOW WOW WOW…that’s God’s character for us.

sure some of the conversations and reading throughout the beLIeVING book may see “tough” but what is the motive of our abba daddy?

yes to encourage, to push along, to grow, to flow the love of HIM wherever we go!

Winter months can be tough gang, if this has found you in a time of needing encouragement, let us know and we will be honored to gather around a table and think of ways to encourage


Morning Juice January 16 (new year desires)

ah yea….here we are half way through the first month of the the new year, 2018. Anyone out there set goals, or make the statement “ I’m gonna do it this year ?“

How are you doin?

In this season of life, I’m not one to set new year resolutions, however i am one that will adjust certain areas of my life that seem outta kilter as the days, weeks, months and year fly by. For example, I have an area around my belly that is referred to as “flub a dub” or “rub a dub”, yep, it’s the keeper of the various sweets and other yummies that roll across the taste buds. As the calendar turns to a new year and the age on this body starts to stack up with the metabolism that once helped keep the flub a dub in check are now losing the battle. Adjustments are required. No, I didn’t quit eating them altogether, silly goose. I started with portion control, yes, smaller portions of those yummies and maybe a few more hits on the elliptical will solve the ever increasing size of the area around my belly button. hmmmmm…more adjustments needed…ok ok ok…it totally has to be worth the calorie added to portion control and even more minutes on the elliptical. yes, this will be it. Now gang yes my flub a dub is still present, yet today I believe it is a bit smaller (not sure why deb is laughing over there ) ….

So what is going on with my desires, my longings? You see the battle? I have a desire for the belly from my 20’s , yet the longing and desire of the sweet is winning the day.

what is the sweet feeding? Heck it’s just dang good, not gonna over think this one hahaha….

But have you ever thought why we have the start overs? you know that conversation we have with ourselves when that certain area in our live just isn’t like we want it to be? There is that same longing desire for something to be better in your life. I mean we even read in the bible (which by the way i’m referring to as my beLIeVING book (isn’t that fun!?!!).

Psa 37:4 NLT 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

So if that certain something that we have pulled up around our boot straps and said by ding dangy, its on this time, we have put our big girl panties on and we are swinging for the fences. Isn’t that a desire from our heart? maybe just maybe couldn’t we ask ourselves “why do i stop the very activity that I have deemed will make me feel better, isn’t that a heart desire? I must say looking back at the verse we have a hint of the help in the beginning of the verse we just read. (take a peek) however, before we dive into that piece, let’s ponder the desire you have?

Who created that particular longing or, as we are discussing, desire?

Yea i agree God, our creator has blown A desire within us only he can quench. Thus, as the psalmist wrote, take delight. Take delight? …and our heart’s desire….our hearts longing will be given….Wait, did you notice where the desire is flowing from?

its a request from our heart? What is the desire of our/my heart? It’s HIM…he is the sweet, He is before the yummies. He is in the do over. Yet how do we teach each other to first- TAKE delight in HIM. I love how the psalmist states to take it, maybe your translation simply states Delight, it’s a choice, it’s an action of delighting in HIM as he delights in us. Ah, I wonder if that’s it for some. We forget that he delights in us, takes joy in us, is slap hap silly bonkers in love with us. So could that be it?

Isa 62:4 NLT 4 Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the LORD delights in you and will claim you as his

booooooo yyaaaaaaa are you seeing this? the Lord delights in you. He desires, yes, you….he claimed us through jesUS. He wasn’t going to be without us so he lives in US. i mean really and truly that is more satisfying than the dove dark chocolate i just devoured and it lasts longer too…What if in those areas of our lives we desire to see better, we recall that we are equipped with HIM. We are his dwelling place, so when i’m about to grab the bag of yummy, or about to respond to life in a manner that i no longer desire, what if i remember he is within me?

maybe, just maybe the number of wrappers will start to be less when i take delight in him first….something for my little bald head….ooops wait something for my heart to consider, yes that’s the origin of the desire.

love yall, have a fabulous week!


morning’ juice 8 days

a week ago or even 8 days ago, where were you ? Maybe, just maybe somewhere celebrating the birth of Christ!
(December 25 to January 2)

Now we are screaming into a New Year 2018. The calendar for Mary and Joseph was a bit different compared to how our Gregorian calendar is set. For us, the end of one year and ushering in the new year brings about a feeling of starting over, a new beginning, fresh start, a sense of ahhhh, ok come on let’s do this people.

Not sure Mary and Joseph had this same sense of fresh start as we do in regard to a calendar, but their lives over the past months certainly carried every emotion God has ever blown into our being. They definitely were in the midst of a new start, with the new life in the form of a baby front and center. For those following the law, the customs of the day in Judaism, that meant 8 days after the birth of Immanuel (God with jesUS), they would take off to the temple.

Luk 2:21-24 NLT 21 Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived. 22 Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. 23 The law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the LORD.” 24 So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord–“either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Is that not amazing! I wonder if Mary and Joseph were kinda giggling under their breath knowing that their son was the lamb of God, the one born pure, is dedicated back to God through a purification sacrifice. So they, along with other mama and daddy’s who had given birth to little boys and girls 8 days prior were descending on the temple to follow the requirements.

why 8 days? I mean hello, could we cut ‘em a little slack here? Uh she did just have a child in a freaking barn. Been on the move for quite some time, could this have been ok to do, say on the 18th day?

why 8? well we could say the ol’ God said…but gang, God says a ton and we decide whether or not to beLIeVE and follow, don’t we? Man, I wonder if Mary and Joseph ever even questioned, wrestled, the decision to go?

As they traipse into town and to the temple. A man named…
Luk 2:28-30 NLT 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. 30 I have seen your salvation,

so why 8 days?

it’s a sign of resurrection, regeneration.

dare we say reborn, new life,

let this 8th day be your fresh start…

Own 2018 through your identity in who God says you are in beLIeVING Jesus Christ. HIM power is all we need to immerse ourselves in the moment given to each of us each day. What if every 8 days we reminded ourselves and each other of our salvation through Christ. That our new life and eternal life is NOW.

45 times during the year that we have a fresh start, a regeneration, this sense of new beginning. Wonder, just wonder how this would flow through us into our homes, at work, in our schools and universities.?

let me know….Jan 10…


week 4 Mornin’ Juice (God with jesUS)

“The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.”
‭‭John‬ ‭20:30-31‬ ‭NLT‬‬

read those words again…go ahead…

These are written by John. A disciple, a follower of Christ and as he describes in his letter, beloved. Prior to Emmanuel he was a devout follower of the Jewish customs, yes the very way of life that points to our need God with jesUS.

how, why

by the power of his name. Look back again end of the verse. Yea there it is. Power! power by His name, not mine. But the baby? Power from the infant? Uh The same one that we sing about thats in swaddling clothes, away in a manger?

Power? really? How? when?

power: Holy Spirit resurrection, tomb blastin’ life giving to the baby in Mary’s womb
how: beLIeVE God with jesUS (Emmanuel) is now God IN jesUS(Holy Spirit)life giving, life changing


week 3 mornin’ juice (Bethlehem)

6421 miles

245 marathons

12 hours to fly direct if flying at 500 mph

that’s the distance from Murfreesboro, TN to Bethlehem, the city of David, the town where Jesus Christ was born. 6421 miles, that’s a bunch of steps.

Micah 5:2“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.”

approximately 700 years prior to:

Luke 2:4-5, 7, 15“And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was obviously pregnant by this time. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn. When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’”

John 7:42“For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.”

Holy smolies we continue to be reminded of what’s to come approximately 700 years prior to Mary and Joseph walking the final steps from Galilee. Steps taken to conform to the mandate of Caesar Augustus to have everyone be counted. A mandate from an earthly king, marching in the entrance of the heavenly King. Steps being taken by a woman carrying the one who when born would be the start of our being able to be reborn. Wonder how many breaks she had to take so she could catch her breath. Breath that may have been in short supply due to the anticipation of the birth, shortness of breath in the walking any distance while 9 months pregnant walking with her man. Longing for a place to rest, they were stepping toward destiny in the town of Bethlehem.

Joseph slowly, patiently guiding his soon to be bride through the streets of a town that carried his family lineage. Would the inhabitants of the city of David notice? Would they notice the baby bump? Where was Mary waiting for her man, when he returned from each knock of the door to hear NO ROOM….Joseph, did you ever doubt in this moment? Dude, you must have been driven by the remembrance of the conversations you had with the angel who assured you to take Mary as your bride. The conversations (prayers) with God to affirm that yes, indeed you would help HIM father HIS son . And now to find a place for your creator to be born.

Bethlehem I mean really. this little town. Joseph when did the “oh yea” light come? Or Did the connection occur from prophets words from 700 years to this moment, as you kept knocking, kept asking, kept stepping until the stable, the trough, was the place where lives would be forever changed. Mary did you ever consider or wonder if Bethlehem would hear your screams as the God in you became the God with jesUS (Immanuel)?

Thank you Lord
there is no distance too vast, no time too long for you to step through in Jesus Christ

praying everyone to beLIeVE He will be the only source for peace on earth!


More Than Silver and Gold

Deb here…

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since our last gathering, and if I’m real and transparent, I have gone through a myriad of emotions…relief, sadness, grief, and confusion. Refuge has, and will continue to be a vital part of our DNA. Whether there is a corporate gathering or not will never change that. Seven years ago, God breathed a vision into Mike and me for the brokenhearted, the bound, and the ones who needed fresh sight of their identity and standing in Christ Jesus. We walked into the unknown not knowing exactly where God was taking us, but knowing that where He was going was good, and we wanted to be right alongside Him.

We have continued to try to stay in step with where the Spirit is leading, and for that reason, it was time to turn the page and go where again, we don’t know where.

There have been many reasons that the page needed turning, but I wanted to share one with you that most will be able to resonate with at some level. Jesus uses music to speak to deep places within me, and a few weeks before we settled into where we knew God was leading, I heard a song that sang over me truth and revelation to the state of my own heart.

In You I Live by Housefires

Silver and Gold
Could never come close
I’d trade it all for You
Silver and Gold
Could never come close
I’d trade it all for you
Cause You’re my everything.
All I ever need is You, is You

We all have things in our lives that represent silver and gold. To some it might actually be money or status, to others it may be a relationship held a little too close, while for others it might be a career or the hopes of the house and the Land Rover or a social standing. Silver and gold, in whatever form, were never meant to be hoarded, exalted, or idolized.

As I sit here writing, Bing Crosby was singing “Do You Hear what I Hear?”, and how fitting that part of the chorus sings, “Let us bring HIM silver and gold.” Exactly, Jesus. Exactly.

So as I’m listening to the song by Housefires, God gently showed me part of the “why” that Refuge needed to turn the page. Mike and I have loved this long season of leading people at the Refuge. We have seen people find their identity, break free of shame, overcome strongholds, and own their faith like never before. This season is one we will never regret, and even though the change was a challenge, to say the least, we would do it all over again if God led us to it.

So, that silver and gold piece…when Mike and I took the faith leap to step out and do something drastically different than any organized Body of Christ that we had ever seen or been a part of, our hearts were completely pure in motive. We just wanted to see the hurting and captive set free by the Power of Jesus that lives in all who say yes to Him. Somewhere down the line we got duped by the enemy. We allowed people’s questions of “So, how many do you have coming?” to begin to cloud God’s vision of the reason we began Refuge. We live in a performance based society. If you perform and people like it, you succeed. If you don’t perform, you’re a failure. That became our silver and gold. People and participation. I can’t tell you how many times we claimed the “take the thought captive and make it obey Christ” verse over ourselves and asked why we couldn’t get past it? Honestly, the battle in our minds was absolutely exhausting, (Can anyone relate?) and we knew that we needed to begin praying as to what needed to look different.

So the words “Silver and gold could never come close, I’d trade it all for You” became the song Jesus sang over me and I in turn sang it back to Him. Although there were many other factors that fed into God leading us to end our Sunday evening gatherings, we felt it was time for us to get out of our own way and begin to disassemble anything that was trying to build a higher place than Jesus in our lives. He deserves so much more. He deserves it all.

This decision was excruciating to make, but sometimes the hardest decisions have to made to put Jesus back on His rightful place on the throne of our hearts. I love the Body of Christ. I’m for the Body of Christ. Our hearts have always been to see in our community, followers of Jesus, lovers of Jesus to link arms for a united influence for the Kingdom. We will continue to be a part of the Body. It will just look different, and that’s okay. Jesus is King of our home and we will follow Him and His plan for our lives relentlessly.