Will You Be a Part of the Illuminate Community?

Shine bright together

I attended a conference where we each received a light. The lights dimmed into dark. One light from the stage glowed. Then each attendee’s light began to glow together. The stadium radiated light. The light overcame the dark.

As believers when we put our lights together, the forces of darkness fall.

I’m inviting you to join me in illuminating our own personal worlds in order that we illuminate this dark world.

A friend called me last week. She relayed a conversation about how a friend complained about the problems of the world, one problem specifically. My friend redirected her thoughts by asking this question, “What are you doing to fix this problem?”

You see, we can be quick to complain and turn to discouragement and despair. Or we can pick up our light and shine. If we want to see a change in this world, it starts with us. It starts with our own personal walk with the Lord. He has more to show us of who He is. When we see Him with fresh eyes for the truth of who He is, our own dark fades. Our light shines forth. And we will be as those who shine like stars in the universe (Phil 2:15)

 

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky”

Philippians 2:13-15

Illuminate released last week. If you missed the release post, you can read it here.

I’m absolutely giddy it’s finally available after so many hours turned to days turned to weeks and months.

I’ve worked on many projects, but none quite like this. The intimate time I experienced with the Holy Spirit, I’ll treasure forever. I’m certain He will speak directly to you through each of the 14 days.

And now I would love your help to share it with the world!

If you have purchased illuminate and have been blessed by it, please share it with others. The testimonies you send me about how God spoke to you or your family through illuminate are priceless.

To join an intentional launch team:

If you want to go beyond word of mouth and join together as a community, I have created a way we can do that. Here’s how it will work.

What You Need To Do:

  • Purchase your copy of illuminate
  • email me at illuminateaudiodevo@gmail.com with your purchase receipt
    • in your email tell me a little about yourself including which social media platforms you utilize and your number of followers, your blog address, etc.
  • Send me a request to join the Illuminate Group on Facebook
  • listen to each day of illuminate
  • share on the coordinated social media days I’ll provide

Beginning Monday, April 2nd we will together share through our social media or blog platforms the message of illuminate.

  • I have prepared social media graphics you can use. These will be on the Facebook group page.
  • I will also have writing prompts/questions if you would like to form your own posts related to illuminate and share through your blog or other avenues.
  • You don’t have to have a blog. If you have social media accounts, that is perfect!
  • There will be days we coordinate and all post together. However, you can post as often as you like.
  • We will share together twice a week for 3 weeks.
  • Our gathering place will be the Illuminate Group on Facebook. Like my page and you can be added to the group.

What’s in it for you?

  • A beautiful scripted font pdf printable download of Psalm 18:28-29. These will be emailed to all participants who send me an email to join this team/community. Emails will go out April 24th.
  • Access to illuminate launch team Closed Facebook Group  – it’s a place we can coordinate our efforts and also share with each other what God is speaking to each of us and how we are growing as we journey through illuminate together. (You do NOT have to participate in this if you don’t want to.)
  • 1 person from this group will be randomly selected for a 30 minute one on one mentoring phone call. (If you would like to be in the drawing for this, please include in your email)
  • 20 people from this group will be randomly selected to receive a 50% or 25% rebate on your purchase of illuminate.
    • I’ll draw winners from this group at the end of our 3 week launch on April 24th.

The Very Best Part For You Though?

  • a community of us will draw in a little closer as we each draw in closer to God.
  • we can share our God-sized thoughts/ideas/insights.
  • an accountability of sorts to actually finish a devotion. (Wink)
  • together we can know we are pushing back the dark by sharing illuminate with the world around us.

Questions you may have:

  • I don’t have a large network to share with, but I’d like to be part of this community. Can I still join?
    • Yes, and please do. I think of the fishes and loaves. We have all been given something, whether it seems a lot or little. We take our little and use it for His glory and watch God do the miracle of multiplying. One light shining next to another offers more than the one alone.
  • I can’t promise to share twice a week, but I’d like to be part of the larger community. Is this possible?
    • Yes, simply send a request to join the Facebook group. No need to send an email of your illuminate receipt.
    • You can grab graphics you’d like off the Facebook group and share as the Lord leads. Or you can simply be a part of the conversation.

I hope you join me in this community. I’m excited to get to know some of you better as we allow God to illuminate our hearts with His truth!

Would you invite your friends? Invite them to join us here on the blog to receive weekly updates and to be part of a larger movement to illuminate the world by starting in our own hearts. Going back to the foundation of seeing God for who He is by the light of His Word.

We truly shine brighter when we put our lights together!

 

 

 

 

It’s Time To Take Back Ground – Are You With Me?

“What if what we need….is to go back to remembering who God is?”

The weight of that question laid over us like the blankets cocooning us against the howling Lake Michigan wind.

Huddled like teens away at camp, the questions from deep within bounced back and forth between us.

With tenderness we held the holiness of the ponderings leading us to the question we believe was God-breathed.

Who is God? Really? Not the version the world creates. Not who others tell us He is. But who He is as revealed by Him!

We know God. We walk with Him. But He is infinite and we forget. Or worse, we harbor lies deep in our souls that we don’t even know are there. Lies like God isn’t good all the time. Or I have to take care of myself because God might fail me. Or I need to prove myself because I have to earn God’s love.

There are so many lies that bury themselves inside our hearts without us even realizing it. That is until we find ourselves in a situation that requires complete and total trust in God. And we have to go back to remembering who He is.

When we focus there, everything begins to change.

What if the answer to our biggest challenges in life is found by one simple practice or discipline? Actually, I now believe it is.

Lord, You light my lamp;
my God illuminates my darkness.

With You I can attack a barrier,
and with my God I can leap over a wall.

Psalm 18:28-29, HCSB

 

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light.
 With your help I can advance against a troop;
    with my God I can scale a wall.

Psalm 18:28-28, NIV

Friend, it’s time to take a stand. Time to take back ground the enemy has taken from you. No longer will you allow him to bully you. No longer will he use fear tactics, depression, anxiety, or diagnosis. No longer will he use your pain as a weapon against you. No longer will he use your illness against you. No longer will he use your insecurity.

Nope. He’s done. You know why? Because God is bigger.

It’s a simple truth we know but forget to live into. For too long we’ve allowed the devil to speak too loudly. Why do we listen to him? Have we forgotten he’s a liar?

The enemy tells us God’s not good.

God is good.

The enemy tells us God won’t catch us when we fall.

God tells us He will never leave or forsake us.

The enemy tells us to protect our hearts because no one is looking out for us.

God tells us He bottles up our tears.

The enemy tells us no one sees or understands.

God tells us He’s numbered the hairs on our head. And the stars he calls by name. Yeah, He sees alright.

Take that satan, you liar!

God has been showing me for a year it’s time to go on the offense.

Too often we wait to start fighting when the weight of the world feels it may crush us.

So God woke me early one morning, only a few short weeks after I sat huddled like a teenager with my friend at a writer’s retreat. He woke me with His Presence and His Words. His Holy Spirit began to pour out over me, and I experienced a time with Him like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. And now I finally get to share it all with you.

I have a few questions for you:

  • Do you find yourself facing problems, grief, difficult people or situations and feel it will swallow you right up?
  • Do you find yourself walking under the whispers of insecurity, doubt, guilt, shame, or fear? (You aren’t alone)
  • Do you feel distant from God?
  • Do you wonder how others hear from God and you don’t?
  • Do you simply need a heart renewal and revival?
  • Are you hungry for that which sustains?

You are not alone. It’s time to illuminate the darkness.

I have written and created a devotion just for you.

Illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word is available for purchase here.

Here’s a post with all the questions you might have.

Or you can visit here for a video trailer and reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready for a breakthrough & ready to push back the dark? It’s time to illuminate!

 

audio devotional

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!

CLICK THE PICTURE OR HERE TO PURCHASE

What is it?

  • A 14 day, focused devotional experience centered on the character and heart of God.
  • It’s audio. Because life is busy and the stack of books piling up on your nightstand are reminding you of this fact. You commute to work, carpool kids, clean the house, and exercise. All these aspects of life that make it hard to sit down and quietly turn the page now will not hold you back. Listen while you walk and work. Listen while you drive and clean. (Each day arrives with a full pdf transcript as well.)

Who is it for?

  • It’s for the christian who wants to experience God in a more intimate way.
  • It’s for the person who is tired of seeing fears, anxieties, and problems as bigger than our God.
  • It’s for the person who can’t find the time for traditional devotionals.
  • It’s for the person who desperately needs a revival of the heart, a spiritual awakening from slumber, monotony, and staleness.
  • It’s for the person who feels overwhelmed by life, racing to keep up with the pack, and desperate to find a moment of rest and time to breathe again in order to see God clearly at work.
  • It’s for the person who keeps saying, “Once I get here (or do this) then I can rest.” Yet, you find it’s a race with no end.
  • It’s for the person with an insatiable hunger and thirst for the things of God. You can’t get enough of Him. You are ready for more and you know He’s infinitely more than you can fathom. So you have open palms and surrendered arms asking Him to bring more of Him to you.

Why do you need it?

  • Because we all need to be reminded to remember.
  • Because we want to begin a new discipline that is an art. The art and discipline of remembrance- who God is as revealed in His Word.
  • Because you need a perspective shift. A tool to teach you to take your eyes off your problems and place them onto the One Who quiets the wind and the waves.
  • Because writing it changed my life, and I want the same for you.

How does it work?

  1. Click the picture on this post or visit www.renee-robinson.com/shop and select the Illuminate icon.
  2. Add Illuminate to your cart and follow the steps through checkout. Be sure to enter the email you want to receive the devotion to.
  3. After checking out, you will receive an email receipt.
  4. Within one hour of checking out you will receive your Day 1 email. In this email you will receive the audio link as well as the transcript link.
  5. To listen to the audio, simply click where it prompts you and the player will begin playing. Now sit back and let me gently and slowly read to you while soft music plays in the background.
  6. For the next 13 days, you will receive one email a day, slipped quietly into your inbox. Each day is approximately 10 minutes or less.

FAQ:

  • I’m not good with technology. Will this be difficult?
    • This is a simple to use process. You need a credit card and email address. Within approximately an hour of ordering, you will receive the email for Day 1. Each day following, you will receive the next day in your inbox.
  • How do I listen?
    • You can listen through your phone, computer, or ipad. You can listen through speakers or headphones.
  • How long does it take for the Day 1 email to arrive?
    • It arrives within the first hour of purchase. However, it frequently lands in junk, spam, or promotions. Be sure to check there if it doesn’t arrive to your inbox after purchase. Add Renee Robinson to your address book.
  • What if I like reading better than listening?
    • I had you in mind too, my friend! Each day has a full pdf transcript.
  • Can I buy multiple copies as gifts?
    • Yes, and I hope you do! However, you will need to purchase each copy in a separate transaction. Be sure to to enter the email address for the gift recipient. Quickly after purchasing, send a note letting them know what is coming.
  • I didn’t receive my Day 1 email?
    • Please check your spam, junk, and promotions folders. Some email accounts have multiple junk folders. Also be sure to mark the email as not spam/junk and add Renee Robinson to your address list to help route your emails properly.
  • Will I have forever access to this devotion?
    • Yes, it doesn’t expire. It is yours to keep.
  • Why does it come in 14 emails instead of all in one download?
    • Great question! The answer is simply that I want you to walk slowly with God through this journey. The truths and reminders He will reveal need to be sipped on and soaked in. I’m afraid if I gave it to you all at once, you would attempt to devour it. Slowly digest, my friend.
  • Is it a Bible Study?
    • No, it’s a daily devotional. However, every other day offers scripture meditations and prayers. At the end of these days, I’ve offered some questions for you to ponder if you would like to go deeper with God.
  • Can I get a refund if I don’t like it?
    • I’m confident you will love Illuminate. However, in the event you don’t, I’m happy to offer you a full refund within 14 days of purchase. Simply email me at renee@renee-robinson.com.
  • I have questions you didn’t answer.
    • Email me at renee@renee-robinson.com
  • I absolutely LOVE illuminate and want to help you spread the word. Do you offer an affiliate program?
    • At this time I don’t offer an affiliate program. I’m thrilled you want to spread the word. Honestly, the best thing you could do is share with everyone you know. Share on social media, email your friends. Stop by my Instagram or Pinterest pages and grab my graphics and share your heart out!  Use #illuminatedevotion. Thank you and I love you!
  • I’m not a woman. Is this for me too?
    • The majority of my readers are women, and illuminate is certainly targeted to women. However, I’ve had several men tell me they loved it! So there ya go!
    • I’ve also had families tell me using it as a family devotion has blessed their family. While I never envisioned that, the Spirit is moving, and your older children may love it as well!
  • I’m still not ready to order. Can you give me more information?

How to solve impossible problems and situations

“I can’t do it. I’m so frustrated. I’m not good at this.”

“You can do it. Just take a deep breath.”

“Every time I try to solve it, I get it wrong.”

I can relate.

I sat on the edge of my son’s bed, peering over his shoulder at the math lesson on the screen.

He had worked and re-worked the problem only to come up with wrong answer after wrong answer.

I know the feeling. I bet you do too. How often have you faced a situation you have attempted to solve to no avail.  You begin to hear the taunting whispers that you’ll never get it, clothing your soul with fear and frustration.

I looked at the problem facing my son from a different viewpoint. I stood at the top of the hill looking down into the valley. I spotted the cleared trails and paths leading to the place he needed to go.

He stood down in that valley, right in the cluster of tall, tangled weeds. He couldn’t see the path because he was on the same level ground of the path he sought.

“Ok, listen. I see exactly what you need to do. I need you to start by taking a deep breath. Then take a step back. You need a new viewpoint.”

He shot a quick, questioning glance my way.

I watched his shoulders release the clutches of fear and frustration. I heard the held air leave his lungs.

“Ok, now step back. You need a wider view. Ask yourself this question – what is this problem asking me to do? You see, you are jumping to trying to solve, but you are missing the big picture. What is it even asking you to do from a big picture view? What is the logical path to get there?”

When I realized I had his attention, I continued.

“It’s actually easier than you realize. You approached it with a negative attitude, assuming the problem was out to get you and you would never get it right. But if you approach with a different attitude and a broader mindset, you might be surprised to find the answer was right in front of you the entire time.”

I tossed out a question. He answered. I tossed another. He answered. Each question served as the stakes tossed to mark his trail.

He arrived at the answer with no fighting or clawing. It was there in all its simple glory.

The next day a similar problem awaited him. It was the same type of problem, only it was asked with a slight variation. I watched as he began to march into the tangled weeds. It’s the way most familiar to him. He called out to me. I stood by his side.

“Remember, take that wide angle view. Switch lenses. Step back.”

He followed my guidance. I watched him climb out of the choking weeds and make his way to to the top of the hill.

I never said another word. I simply reminded him to choose the right view first.

He solved the problem.

For the next several days, I watched him reminded of the days he took his first tottering steps, unsure of his newfound skill. I remember those steps clearly. With each step, his smile grew. He’d glance back for reassurance. I’d smile back. You can do it, my smile prompted him. I’m right here to catch you when you fall.

Don’t fear the fall. I’ll help you up. Each fall brings you one step closer to your next steady step. I love you. I love you. I love you.

After a few days of my son calling out to me to guide him through these types of math problems, he realized he actually could do it. It took practice. Each one became easier. The answer was always right in front of him. He only needed to look through a wide angle lens rather than a zoom lens.

“Mom, can you come here. I think I need help.”

“I think you’ve got it, buddy.”

He got to work. I watched him take it step by step.

“It’s weird. Sometimes you don’t even need to say anything, but just your presence helps me. I wish I could do all my math problems with you by my side. I feel like I’d get them all right.”

His words hit my soul in the most healing of ways. God’s Presence is my good. His Presence is sometimes the only thing I need.

But as for me, God’s presence is my good.
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
so I can tell about all You do.

Psalm 73:28

When we stand in our impossible problems, we forget God stands high above us, yet right beside us at the same time. He has the wider view.

To solve my impossible situations and problems, I simply need to call out to Him. I need to seek Him. Sometimes He will guide me step by step and show me paths I couldn’t see on my own. But sometimes His Presence is the only thing I truly need. I just need the reminder that He sees me, He loves me, He is for me not against me. He is my everything.

He calmly caresses my back as He whispers, “Daughter, I’m here. I’m your refuge. All you need is me. I’ll guide you. I’ll care for you. When you fall on the path, don’t be afraid of the fall. I’ll be here to lift you up. I’ll wipe the dirt from your knees. I’ll bandage your wounds. Let me care for you, for I’m tender and gentle. Let your tears fall. I collect them in a bottle. I have numbered the very hairs on your head. You are my great treasure. Just seek my Presence, and together we will walk.”

 

 

 

 

8 Simple Ways to Get Life Back on Track

I’m not going to lie. Winter in Nebraska was hard for our family.

The winter seasons of our lives usher in discouragement and doubt, creating a sense of urgency to change everything and quick.

In the never-ending winter, I was tempted to make drastic changes, yet I knew it wasn’t wise.

Instead of making drastic changes that I might regret when the shining sun offers actual warmth, I decided to make slight course corrections.

Sometimes getting life back on track is merely looking at the small disciplines we’ve relaxed on and intentionally creating a plan to bring them back to life.

I found that over the winter I ever so slightly let go of disciplines and organization methods that have always helped my life feel less chaotic.

An intentional life doesn’t happen by chance. An intentional life is created and cultivated. It is nurtured and pruned. It is assessed and re-worked when needed.

If you find yourself lacking in motivation or energy, or stressed that you never have enough time, or feeling you struggle to bring things to completion well, you may find this post helpful in giving you a gentle nudge to try a few slight changes that may have a significant impact.

Here are a few things I have in place to keep my life running smoothly. When life runs smoothly, I have more time to invest in what matters most.

Clear the clutter

When you are surrounded by “stuff”, it’s actually hard to think clearly.

My boys do their school work on desks in their rooms. Each morning I have them make their beds and create a clean and clear work space so they can stay focused. They claim the mess doesn’t bother them, but I see a difference in the pace and quality of work when they have little around to distract.

I try to maintain a clutter free house as much as possible. When mail enters the house, I stand over the trash can and quickly discard what isn’t needed and file away what is important.

We have specified times of the day where everyone goes through the house putting away anything they’ve taken out that needs to find its home.

I purge drawers and closets once a season.

When I buy a new clothing item, I remove at least one item (if not more) from the closet.

As I go through my closet, I donate anything I haven’t worn in the last year no matter how much I think I love it.

Plan what matters

In our family, dinner matters. Almost every night we sit together as a family for dinner. It’s distraction free time where we all reconnect after long days. We share what is happening in our independent worlds, we discuss topics that matter in the world, and we laugh.

Memories are created around the table. If dinner is important, I need to plan for it. 

Over time, I let go of the planning. We still sat together, but I found myself frantically figuring out dinner too close to time to eat. This only created stress for me.

I bought a large calendar dry erase board to hang in our pantry. I took 30 minutes over the weekend and planned out 3 weeks of menus, writing them on the dry erase board.

This one tiny shift offered me breathing room every single afternoon when I wrapped up school with the kids. It gave my brain space and actual physical minutes. I used that time in the late afternoons to sit on the couch and read or do absolutely nothing at all. I found the boys would join me with a book or conversation.

I loved planning more than a week at a time. It means I don’t have to think about it each weekend. I no longer hear “what’s for dinner?” Pretty much loving that.

Schedule time for exercise

I don’t love to exercise at all; yet, I realize I’m happier and healthier when I get plenty of intense exercise.

At the same time I planned my dinner menus, I wrote in actual times I would go to the gym. And I actually stuck to it!

When we exercise, our bodies release happy hormones and decrease our stress hormones. The hardest step for me in exercising is the first step. The one that actually gets me out the door.

Something about writing out my intentions held me accountable to them. The very fact I exercised and cooked healthy meals at home brought me more joy than I realized it would. When mama is happy, well, everyone else seems to be as well.

Take a social media break

Another slight course correction I made was getting off of social media. It’s amazing how much time a quick scroll here and there takes up in a day. Or how much of my brain space it occupies. I reclaimed physical minutes and hours to my day.

Because of this redeemed time and mental clarity, I was able to become much more intentional with my boys. I felt no need to rush away from time sitting with them. I listened more clearly and noticed things I’ve been missing.

Remove one habit that takes up time yet offers little benefit

For some this might be watching tv. Some reports say the average adult watches 5 hours of tv a day. Imagine gaining even just one hour a day, but five can be life changing. It could give you the time to pursue that new business or hobby you’ve been dreaming about.

For some this could be removing social media apps from your phone.

For some it’s playing games on your phone or computer.

Use a timer for daily duties

One of my boys began taking longer to do tasks that shouldn’t have taken so long. I realized he needed defined boundaries and limits to function productively. He needed a goal to work towards and visuals to guide him.

We scheduled out his daily tasks, placing them in prioritized order and setting time limits on each one. I instructed him to set the timer for each task based on the time we determined was appropriate. When the buzzer beeped, he was to stop the task and move to the next. We scheduled in time at the end of the day to go back and tie up any loose ends. Turns out he hasn’t needed that extra scheduled time because working with a goal and action plan moved him forward to completion. He gained hours of his life back each day by this one slight change.

This proved invaluable to his time management skills. It also solved his tendency to procrastinate. It eliminated his stress. It freed him.

Schedule in what you feel is missing

Is your prayer life lacking? Set an alarm for a specified time each day. When the alarm sounds, stop and pray. For each person this will look slightly different. For some it’s stopping right where you are and praying a 30 second prayer. For others, it’s going to a quiet room and kneeling for 5, 10, or 20 minutes. The point is simply to go a step beyond where you currently are in your prayer life.

Do you need to spend more time reading your Bible? Set your alarm to wake you 10 minutes earlier. Don’t hit snooze. Get out of bed, leave your phone where it is, pick up your Bible and read. This one habit will change your life forever. Guaranteed.

Do you want to spend more time with your kids? Write it on your calendar. Set an alarm to remind you. You will be surprised what a 10 minute game or 5 minutes reading aloud will do.

If it’s important to you, schedule it in. We tend to do the things we write out. Sometimes it only takes the slightest correction, a small sacrifice of time.

Reward yourself

At the end of the week, reward yourself for creating a new discipline that helped your life either run more smoothly or offered more richness or joy to your days because you did the things which matter most to you.

I’m longing for spring. Yet I find that God grows me most in my winter seasons. When the season of life draws us in more than we prefer, we have an opportunity to turn our gaze back to Him. At the same time, when we find those small, subtle shifts which make life flow a little more smoothly, the pain of the season lessens its intensity.

If you would like to read more posts like this one on breaking bad habits and creating a disciplined life, check these out:

Do You Want God’s Best This Year?

Three Ways To Begin Loving God More, and It Won’t Happen Overnight

 

Very soon, I’ll be releasing illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word. For the person who wants to grow in their discipline of spending time with God each day, this is a great step towards that. It’s 14 days of audio devotions centered around God’s character, prayerfully crafted to bless your soul.

 

If you believe this, it could change your life

I can’t think of a time I’ve felt compelled to drop everything and write. Immediately. Right now. Because it is that important.

I’m also aware that I broke numerous grammar rules, which I always find funny about how I write considering I’m a rule follower. I digress.

When God shows me something, I feel this urgency to share it with the world. It’s why I write so transparently. I’m not a private person by nature, but I also feel that God’s goodness and what He speaks needs to be as generously given as anything else we might share.

I wrote illuminate for a couple of reasons. First, the Spirit of God moved with power in me to write. Not writing wasn’t an option. Second, I’m convinced that many people don’t experience breakthrough because they have believed lies about God. Believers have believed lies about God. Often we don’t even recognize the lies we harbor in our hearts. They are whispered to us from the pit of hell, yet they are spoken from one clothed as an angel of light. (2 Cor 11:14)

Unlike anything else I’ve ever written, I can boldly and confidently say I believe illuminate can change your life. Not because of the words I’ve shared, but because it will draw you into His Word where the truth will be revealed to you. It will expose areas where you’ve believed the lies against God’s character.

The first lie ever told was about who God was. When sin entered the world through the serpent, it came as a lie. “Did God really say….” (Gen 3:1)

That lie was intended to make us believe God isn’t good, that He is withholding from us, that He doesn’t have our best interest in mind. And if those things are true then that means God doesn’t really love us. Not like He says He does anyway.

It’s time to pierce the darkness. It’s time as believers we rise up and with our entire being push back the darkness. It’s time we stop reading the news in fear and wringing our hands desperate for what laws we can enact that will change the world.

You see the world won’t change when we allow darkness to prevail. We’ve been given the authority to stomp out dark.

He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a lightning flash.  Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will ever harm you.  However, don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Luke 10:18-20

Our first step in lighting up the dark is to take control over our minds and what we’ve believed. This is why I’ve written illuminate. The world tries to define God. We create our own ideas based on our experiences. When we accumulate enough of these ideas, we find we move through life with a distorted version of God. What isn’t Truth is a lie.

Since I’ve written illuminate, God has been shining His light on the lies I’m harboring. I didn’t even know they existed. They’ve been buried deep. But the dark can’t shy away from the light. As I’ve prayed each day I’ve studied through illuminate, I’ve asked God to illuminate. I’ve asked Him to show me who He is in light of His Word. I don’t want to see the world’s version of Him. I don’t want to see what someone else believes about Him. I don’t want to have to rely on others to explain Him to me.

He has given us a Helper, the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we boldly come before Him and ask Him to reveal truth to us.

A friend sent me a teaching last night. I began to listen as I drifted off to sleep. I awoke this morning praying for breakthroughs. I sat with the Lord during my quiet time (the time before anyone else wakes- God, me, and coffee). I sensed Him showing me something.

I went into the next phase of my day and remembered the video my friend sent. I started listening and all I could think was – YES, YES, YES.

The speaker is using the science of the brain to show us how what we believe, particularly the lies we believe, change our lives. He shows how our health is impacted. Depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc. He shows us how fears take root in our lives when we open up a room for lies.

But if we don’t know the truth, we can’t identify a lie.

I had lunch with a friend this week. She shared with me an example many of us may have heard before, but it’s worth me sharing again. When agents that track down money counterfeiters study money, they don’t study the fake versions. They study and study and study the authentic version. They study so closely the real money that when they spot a fake, they can immediately call the lie. There are too many fake versions to waste time on studying the look-a likes.

This world is full of lies. In order to identify the lies, we have to study the real thing. We have to immerse ourselves in God.

The fastest way to learn a foreign language is to immerse ourselves in it. I believe the same is true with our belief of God. Full immersion is the fastest way toward true change. What is full immersion? It’s surrounding ourselves with His Word. It’s what we read and listen to. We post scripture everywhere. It become the language we speak.

God is nothing like the picture the world paints. That is the counterfeit version. We have to study who He really is, in light of His Word, to know what is true and what is false.

I’m sharing this video because it really revealed to me the power of what we believe. I encourage you to take the time to watch this. In particular I urge anyone who suffers from any type of ailment to watch this. The power of our minds is greater than we realize. I think it’s another lie we’ve believed, that our minds don’t control what happens in our bodies.

 

 

My prayer for this generation and the ones to come is that we would know the Truth because the Truth sets us free. John 8:32

I have created a tool to help our souls forget not all His benefits. Illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word releases soon. You can find more information here including a video trailer. Illuminate is for us all. Women, men, and parents who desire to remember who the Lord is. It’s to encourage us to create the discipline of keeping our eyes fixed on who God is. Practicing the art of remembrance.

In our home, we’ve used this as a time of family devotion. Gathering in the family room and listening together. Continuing the conversation throughout the week.

It’s 14 days that I believe will change your life. It’s changed mine because it’s gotten me into His Word to seek out His character as revealed by Him.

 

What Role Do We Play After We Pray?

 

To listen to the audio version of today’s post, click this link.

 So they broke camp to cross the Jordan River. The priests who carried the ark of the promise went ahead of the people. (The Jordan overflows all its banks during the harvest season.) When the priests who were carrying the ark came to the edge of the Jordan River and set foot in the water, the water stopped flowing from upstream. The water rose up like a dam as far away as the city of Adam near Zarethan. The water flowing down toward the Sea of the Plains (the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. Then the people crossed from the east side of the Jordan River directly opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the Lord’s promise stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan River on dry ground.

Joshua 3:14-17

Trusting in God means we lay our requests at his feet before moving. Then we get up and take the next step, then the next, then the next. We take those steps no matter the obstacle we see in front of us. No matter the terrifying terrain ahead. We move expecting that as we move with God, God will move before us.

Each time our family has relocated to a new state, we’ve learned to trust God in a deeper way. We’ve learned that He is completely faithful. Each move God has showered us with rich relationships. Of course He would. God is relational. He created us to be first in relationship with Him, second with others. His desire is to be glorified in and through our relationships with His people.

Because of this, one of our top prayer requests since moving a year ago revolved around friendships.

I think sometimes we pray for situations then we simply sit back not realizing we might need to take an active role. Over time we see nothing happening and we become frustrated or disillusioned. We believe the lie that God doesn’t hear us.

We desire the miracle, yet we don’t always fully trust the Miracle Maker.

One of our greatest privileges as parents is to cultivate a wonder for the God of miracles in the hearts of our children. If my children develop an attitude of God as a far off God in the sky who may or may not listen when we speak, that will be a tragedy.

I delight with each opportunity to point the hearts of my children to their Creator. To teach them to watch and wait with excited expectation just how He will respond. And He will respond.

Sometimes to see God’s answers requires active participation. God created humans, not robots and puppets.

God invites us into His great big story. We have a choice in how we will play our role.

At some point a few months into new life in Nebraska, a friend invited me to a meeting about a homeschool group for teens wanting to serve the community. I showed up late to the meeting and quietly slipped into a seat in the back of the room.

I listened with interest but quickly discovered the dates wouldn’t work with our other homeschool group commitments.

I knew God had me at that meeting for a reason.

A woman sat in that meeting with her three boys. They looked about the same ages as my boys, who were not with me at the time. They seemed to be respectful and kind boys. I noticed they actually listened during the meeting rather than distract themselves in the world of phones. I wanted to meet this family.

As the meeting drew to a close, I wrote my phone number on a slip of paper and stalked the woman to her car.

She might have thought I was crazy, but the way I looked at the situation is like this – I’ve been praying for friends for my boys and here might be some. Now is my opportunity to actively participate with God.

I caught up with this woman in the parking lot, told her we had just moved to Nebraska, were fairly new to homeschooling, and we’d love to have their family over.

Then she and I actually followed up with each other. We invited them over. They came. Then another outing and another. Fast forward many months and this family, and these boys, have become friendships we absolutely treasure.

This is what I want my boys to see. God is a God of abundance. He does nothing on a small scale. Everything He does is miraculous and other-worldly. We can expect with 100% confidence that when we ask according to His will, He will respond with a resounding YES.

Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.”

1 John 5:14-15

When we asked for rich friendships, we already knew God said yes. The exciting part is waiting and watching as His yes after yes unfolds.

The day I met my new friend, I came home elated. Not because I knew I had a new friend (though this was exciting to be sure) but because I had just tasted the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”

Psalm 27:13

Nothing lights my fire like seeing God at work. Nothing.

When my faith fire dwindles, all I need to do is blow on that flickering flame with my whispered request. He answers by setting that fire ablaze all over again. Those sparks spread to my family.

I view my primary role as mom to be teaching my children to know God truly. Not the version the world has created, but the actual One True God. The only God. Yahweh.

The way to know Him is through His Word. First and foremost. The Word is first a story of who God is. Once we meet Him there, it’s easy to see Him everywhere in our world.

And so on a Friday night, a year into moving across the country, Steve and I sat on the sofas of our family room. I curled with a book listening with contented peace to the loud ruckus in the basement as 6 boys played ping pong, basketball, wrestled, ate pizza and brownies, and ended their night with a movie.

I marveled at the graciousness of God.

When God, with supernatural speed, brought us a buyer on our North Carolina home, He blessed us with a home in Nebraska with a basement of our dreams that we knew exactly what to do with. That basement and this home would be a place to invite people in as often as they would say yes. To fill it with love and laughter, gifts from our Father. To have a home to graciously and generously show the love of the Father.

The key in parenting is connecting the dots of God for our kids until they learn to do this on their own. Actively participating with God is drawing it out for them until they learn to connect their own dots.

“Boys, remember how we prayed and have continued to pray for friends? Well, think back to how we met this family to begin with. We prayed, but then we had to take a step. We had to place ourselves in places where we’d want to meet friends. And then when we noticed people the Lord was divinely bringing our way, we had to step again.”

I explained to the boys that the day I followed my friend to her car, I could have simply left the meeting that day, never crossing paths with her again. I wouldn’t know what I had missed. It makes me never want to miss an opportunity the Lord puts in front of me.

He answered my prayers for friends by nudging me to the meeting, bringing our families together, but it took a step only I could take to bring it to fruition. How cool is God?

This is what I desire my kids know. God is real. He is alive and active. He inclines His ear toward us. He desires to pour out His blessings.

If only the whole world knew the God He really is. I can’t change the world, but I can influence the very ones He has placed in my life. For as long as I have breath, I will proclaim His goodness.

“Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits–“

Psalm 103:2

I have created a tool to help our souls forget not all His benefits. Illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word releases soon. You can find more information here including a video trailer. Illuminate is for us all. Women, men, and parents who desire to remember who the Lord is. It’s to encourage us to create the discipline of keeping our eyes fixed on who God is. Practicing the art of remembrance.

In our home, we’ve used this as a time of family devotion. Gathering in the family room and listening together. Continuing the conversation throughout the week.

It’s 14 days that I believe will change your life. It’s changed mine because it’s gotten me into His Word to seek out His character as revealed by Him.

“Renee Robinson has used her gifts to bring us one – a 14 day primer for anyone desiring to go deeper as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Unwrap it and be blessed.”

–Tara McClary Reeves, speaker and author of Is Your Dad a Pirate and Point Me to Jesus.