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Undercover at Oprah’s Tour

Undercover at Oprah’s Tour

“We come from the stars. . . . How amazing is that?” These were Oprah’s opening words at The Life You Want Weekend 2014 Tour.

Undercover at Oprah’s Tour

I know, because I was there. Oprah Winfrey’s The Life You Want Weekend Tour is drawing women like crazy, and I wanted to see what women are feasting on. What is Oprah feeding them? I figured I’d return to the office with fresh passion for why I do what I do.

I got that . . . and more.

As I slipped into my seat just minutes before the tour started with my pen and notebook, I asked God for compassion, wisdom, and discernment.

Those prayers quickly turned toward marriages and families as Elizabeth Gilbert encouraged women to go on a quest (even if it meant divorcing their husbands, as she did, in order to “find themselves”).

I prayed for Rob Bell, who, according to TIME magazine, “is at the forefront of a rethinking of Christianity in America.” I prayed big, that Rob would share the Gospel without even being able to help himself, but . . . alas. There was not one mention of sin or of our need for a Savior.

I prayed for speakers Oprah and Mark Nepo and Iyanla Vanzant. You might assume I left discouraged, disheartened, and thoroughly defeated, but just the opposite is true.

I left praying prayers of thankfulness.

Praying Prayers of Thankfulness

I left praying prayers of thankfulness that I know the name of the “unnamed spirit” Mark Nepo addressed in his group meditation:

“Oh endless Creator, Force of Life, Seat of the Unconscious, Dharma, Otman, Rah, Kal, Dahr, Center of our Love, Christ-light, Yaweh, Allah, Mother of the Universe . . . Oh nameless spirit that is not done with us . . .”

I left praying prayers of thankfulness that I am not the “master of my fate, the captain of my soul,” (the mantra Oprah imbibed as a young girl), but I know the One who is.

I left praying prayers of thankfulness that I don’t have to figure out why I’m here by catching the “whispers” the Universe sends my way—I already know why I’m here through the reliable, unchanging Word of God.

Mostly, I left praying prayers of thankfulness that God would reveal Himself to me. I left freshly aware that the best the world has to offer is utterly empty in comparison to the riches found in Christ.

Now I’m praying that Oprah Tour attendees will rub shoulders with Spirit-filled Christians and breathe in deep the fragrance of Jesus Christ, slain for sinners, raised to defeat sin and death and secure for His children everlasting life with Him.

You may not have attended one of Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend Tours, but in your own life—as you see what the world has to offer—what prayers of thanksgiving can you offer as you consider all that is yours in Christ?

Undercover at Oprah’s Tour” was originally posted on TrueWoman.com.

Why Does God Want My Money?

 

Why Does God Want My Money?

God wants your money. But not for the reasons you think.

He’s not poor.

He’s not a mooch.

He’s not looking to take, take, take from you.

He’s not anti-money, and He doesn’t think the poor are more holy than the middle class.

Before I tell you why God wants your money, I need to back up.

Something is terribly, terribly wrong with the subject line of this post. Read it again. Did you catch it?

Nope, I didn’t misspell any words or use incorrect punctuation. I did make a wrong assumption, though.

As much as it feels like my money, God teaches that the money in my purse, the money in my bank account, that paycheck I just received . . . is actually His money. Here are just a couple places we learn this from God’s Word:

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Ps. 24:1, emphasis added).

If that’s not clear enough, how about this one from Haggai 2:8:

“The silver is mine and the gold is mine,” declares the LORD Almighty.

(I know you don’t buy things with silver or gold, but this passage is talking about currency. Substitute “silver” and “gold” with “dollars” and “cents.”)

Before we go any further, we need to ask God to reset our minds so we realize it’s not our money; it’s His money.

We don’t own the money stuffed away in our top dresser drawer; God has entrusted us with delivering His money to those who need it most.

Picture it like this: You buy a sweet gift for your friend’s birthday. Since she just moved across the country, you wrap it up and give it to the FedEx guy to deliver to her. But instead of delivering the package, he takes it home and breaks open the present for himself!

Obviously, this guy doesn’t understand his job. He’s just the delivery guy!

Did you know that you and I are like that FedEx employee? We don’t own the money stuffed away in our top dresser drawer; God has entrusted us with delivering His money to those who need it most.

Now that we’ve cleared that important misunderstanding up, let’s get back to the original question:

Why does God want my (ahem, His!) money?

First, though, I’d love to hear from you. Is this news that the money in your purse actually belongs to God? Or have you already been thinking and living like it’s His?

Why Does God Want My Money?” was originally posted on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com

Excuse Me? How We’ve Gotten the Motivation for Purity All Wrong

Excuse Me? How We’ve Gotten the Motivation for Purity All Wrong

There’s a “truth” I hear tossed around Christian circles that makes my stomach churn. It goes something like this: Marriage is the ultimate reward for living a life of purity right now.

Come again? Marriage is a great gift, but it is not the ultimate reward. It can be hard to believe, but God really is the ultimate reward; not a guy, not a relationship, not marriage. More

Will I Ever Be Loved Like Peeta Loves Katniss?

 

Will I Ever Be Loved Like Peeta Loves Katniss?

Whether you caught The Hunger Games opening weekend, or whether you have no idea who Peeta and Katniss are, I’m guessing you can relate to this girl’s bottom-line question: “I finished The Hunger Games series, and I am so envying Katniss. I mean, I know they are just fictional characters, but seriously. Peeta loves her so much and so unconditionally. This guy is so perfect. I know I have God and all, but is there gonna be a guy that really loves me that much?” More

My Ugly Glasses And Your Hunt For Beauty

 

My ugly glasses and your hunt for beauty

 

 

In second grade, I got the most hideous glasses. They covered half my face and were about as thick as two Krispy Kreme donuts. I longed to lose them, but I was blind as a bat without them . . .

Catch a glimpse of these glasses—and hear more about my hunt for beauty—in this short video.

My Ugly Glasses And Your Hunt For Beauty” was originally posted on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com.

How Close Do You Want To Get . . . Really?

You should’ve seen it. This Sunday, the church gymnasium was transformed into the bustling city of Jerusalem around A.D. 30. After I’d joined the tribe of Ephraim and received a bag of denarii (Roman money), I sat down cross-legged in the temple, right in front of the veil leading to the Holy of Holies (where I never would have been allowed in real life).

That’s when little Sarah came over and squeezed herself onto my lap. Then, when the shofar blew signaling it was time to move on to the next station, Sarah slipped her little hand into mine as we walked a few steps to the synagogue. She sat in my lap again as we learned to sing the Shema in Hebrew and stayed close all morning as we went from booth to booth.

And then, while we were at the potter’s shop, I heard a shout, “It’s Jesus!” If I hadn’t already been told that the Sunday school teacher Chris was playing the part, I wouldn’t have recognized him with that wig of long, curly, dark hair. He slowly wove his way through the crowd of 400 people, hugging the children as he went.

Sarah pulled me forward, not content to watch from behind a wall of people. I let her pull me so far, and then I slowed, not wanting the adults to wonder why I was crowding Jesus and not letting others have their turn. But Sarah wouldn’t let up. I stopped, she strained. She pulled, I resisted. Finally, she dropped my hand and went around the mountain in the middle of the room so she could get to Jesus.

Sarah wasn’t the only child who did this. Instinctively, all the children wanted to get as close as they could to Jesus. Maybe that’s why Jesus told His perturbed disciples so many years ago,

“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Luke 18:16–17).

As I saw the difference between me and Sarah, I couldn’t help but wonder how close I would’ve tried to get to Jesus if I’d been alive when He walked this earth. Would I have been willing and desperate enough to cry out loudly with Bartimaeus, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”—even when everyone around me was telling me to just be quiet? Or would I have been more like Nicodemus who came to Jesus under the cover of night so no one would see?

More importantly, how desperate am I today to get as close as possible to Jesus? Am I content to hang back and observe Him along with the grown-ups, or am I pressing forward with the children to stare up in wonder at Him?

I’m afraid I know the answer, and oh, how I long for that to change. So thank you, Sarah. You have no idea what you taught me this week. I want to be like you when I grow up.

PS: What do you think it looks like to want to get close to Jesus today?

How Close Do You Want To Get . . . Really?” was originally posted on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com.