Hello friends! Thanks for the grace last week to throw out some spiritual bombs and mess with your faith. To be honest, I'm in-between in my own healing and working it out. I don’t believe God healed me of Lyme Disease to leave me with Pancreatitis. That would be dumb. God is not dumb.
I would rather err on the side of bold faith and high expectation then passivity and hesitant expectation. I'm not worried about asking for the wrong thing. Jesus is always impressed with bold faith. So if you're gonna err...err bold, I say.
Next week I plan to address the "thorn in the flesh." It's definitely worth digging into, so I hope you'll join me.
Today, I'd love to share 3 highlights from my Rescue Mission Tour. I had 16 events in June and traveled through Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. What an incredible time!
1. The Ladies at Faith Refuge, Wichita Falls, Texas. Wow. These ladies weren't my biggest group, but they were definitely my most enthusiastic. The director there, Sherry Phillips, prepped them by playing my songs and videos a couple weeks before I got there. To my surprise, they were singing "I am who the GREAT I AM says I am" at the top of their lungs right along with me. It was akin to a fun, crazy slumber party. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about?
Some of their stories are absolutely heart-breaking. We often think we are so different then someone who is homeless or addicted. But it is truly amazing how quickly life can spiral and leave one in that scenario. Thank goodness for the redeeming power and blood of Jesus. We all need it.
Since I was in town for a couple days, the leaders took me to see The World's Smallest Skyscraper. It was…underwhelming. LOL! I'll let you Google that one!
2. The Double-Scoop Surprise Appointment. As I was traveling I got a text from my friend, Namra, in California. I haven't seen her in ages and wouldn't you know…we were in Texas at the same time. We met halfway in a little town called Vernon. Little did we know God had a divine appointment for us. Namra and I enjoyed catching up. And 2.5 hours later we both went our separate ways. Until...Namra texted me and said, "Can you come back? I want to buy some CDs." So I turned back around (I was a whole 2 minutes away, at the only stop light in town.) I pulled back in front of the diner and got my CDs out. As Namra and I were talking, the lady who owns the diner comes out and says, "Do you sing Christian music?" "Well…yes, yes I do." "I want to buy your CD" she says. I'm like…"Okay."
She pulls out her money and as I'm getting the CD out she starts to weep. She was discouraged, weary, and in need of Christian resources. She had been asking God to send her those things. Enter: two strange ladies talking about Jesus in her coffee shop. The diner folks knew I did Christian music because we were clearly out-of-towners. People always assume I do country music since I’m from Nashville. This inevitably opens the door to remedy their assumption. So by the time we had our first sip of coffee, we were all close friends in the diner. The whole thing felt like an episode of Cheers.
Anyway, I had the opportunity to pour encouragement into her, give her a necklace, and then pray for her. She gave us hugs and we all just enjoyed that special God-moment.
My friend Robyn, calls God, "Jehovah Sneaky." I like that.
You never know when God wants to use you. Keep your eyes open. Be ready.
3. The Blue Chip Extravaganza at Southern Hills Baptist Church Celebrate Recovery. It was my final concert to close out the tour. There are moments when you start to speak and realize it is not you doing the speaking. This was one of those nights. I knew my mouth was moving. I was singing my songs. I shared my story…but it was coming out with more life than normal. It was just a Holy Spirit kind of night. And oh, it was so much fun. When a person wants to surrender a new area of their life at this group, they come up and get a Blue Chip. We ran out of Blue Chips! I can't make that happen. Only Jesus can. And He did.
There were some low moments too. It's not as glamorous of a life as you might think. I could pass on the cockroach in my hotel room and all the times my keycard stopped working. I could forget the broken musical gear that needed a mad-dash repair. I prefer to pass on the large doses of pancreatitis I was experiencing. Ugh.
But you know what? That's life. And God is still good. Numerous times God protected me on the roads. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
We don't all have to go hang out with the homeless, but we do need to find some way to bring the Kingdom of God to our broken world. I hope you get to experience more and more of the adventure God wants for you.
You never know what will happen when you put some shoes on your faith!
Thank you for all your prayers and financial gifts. Even with driving over 3000 miles, staying in lots of hotels, and not asking for honorariums…I somehow managed to break even. How does that even happen?
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