Connecting Relationally With Your Teams

{This video was a 3:3 leadership teaching on 3.26.17}

It can be summarized in one word: TRANSPARENCY

Definition of transparency:

  • Allowing light to pass through so that objects can be distinctly seen.
  • Having thoughts, feelings or motives that are easy to detect
  • Open to public scrutiny

Synonymous with: obvious, evident, unconcealed, clear, apparent, indisputable.

As a nerd of the word, I could geek out because there’s so much biblical gold to mine here….But because the time is ticking let’s look at:

2 Corinthians 2:17 We are; for, unlike most teachers, we are not fraudulent hucksters of God's Message; but with transparent motives, as commissioned by God, in God's presence and in communion with Christ, so we speak.

 

I come to you today with stories and lessons learned from my personal transparent experience over the last year:

Your transparency can help others heal!

Last year as I was in heart recovery after a heartbreaking assault from the man I thought I was going to marry, the thing that helped me the most was for my leader, Pastor Rachel who transparently told me stories of her past heartbreaks and how God met her there and healed her. That was helpful and encouraging and helped me heal! Thank you, Pastor!


Let your teams know the REAL you, not your representative!

This time last year as some of us assembled our cars in the cross = love shape in the parking lot, I had a mega meltdown. Thankfully my dear friend Chandra was there to remind me that I was allowed to be human and process my emotions. She freed me from the deceptive lie that I had to appear to "have it all together" when my spirit was crushed. When you allow others the opportunity to see below the surface (= Intimacy: into-me-you-see) you afford them the ability to minister to your heart, remind you who you are, encourage and strengthen you when you're weak and wounded and relieve yourself of the pressure of pretending and hiding your emotions in the dark place of hurt and despair. God orchestrated the Church to be a family...let people love you through your pain and see you at your lowest. Because just as you care and want to serve others, there are more people than you think that want to love and serve you too! 


Admit when you're wrong

Let's just be real...we're all trying to figure this leadership thing out and the reality is, we're not always going to "get it right." We learn through failing forward, being lovingly convicted by the Holy Spirit and sometimes corrected by our leaders and peers. Don't let failure cripple you. Embrace it as an opportunity for growth and maturity. Humility is the antidote to pride. Simply admit when you're wrong, apologize, ask forgiveness, forgive yourself and KEEP MOVING ON. Don't get hung up on the failure and limit your growth, reach and impact. Understand that by providing an example of humility, you will earn the respect and honor from those you lead. 

Let's Connect! 

Do you have a transparent leadership story to share? Tell us in the comments below! 

When You Don't "FEEL" Like Working

We've all been there...that moment when you just don't "FEEL" like working...especially on a Saturday...or a Monday...

Soul Check! 

Hey, look...I get it...some days it's hard to be excited about #adulting...but I want to challenge you with some thought-provoking, mindset-shifting things to consider about your job, your workplace and your assignment: 

Work is a form of worship

It's not just about serving and worshipping on Sundays...it's a 24/7, 365 mandate!

Honor God through your work, it's is a form of worship! Cursing your work is dishonoring your assignment.

WHATEVER you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. - Colossians 3:23

Operate with excellence and integrity, innovation and creativity! You are an ambassador of Christ! You've been created in the likeness of His image, equipped and empowered with gifts to share. This glorifies your Maker. 


You are the Salt and Light

(Matthew 5:13) Salt purifies and preserves. Let the light of the Lord illuminate the spaces you enter. Even if it seems you're in a "dark" place, when you allow God to shine through you, darkness flees! It is illegal (against natural and spiritual law) for darkness to snuff out light. Don't limit the work Jesus wants to do through you by checking Him at the door. Invite Him into your workplace! Watch the atmosphere transform around you.

Pray over your office, leadership, coworkers, clients and customers. Stand in intercession and pray blessings over those you work with...that's right...even those that are hard to get along with! 

If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!  -Luke 6:32 NLT

Honor your assignment

Thank God for the place of influence you've been entrusted with. You've been chosen, commissioned and commanded by God. For what? To love God and love others. 

I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, IF you have love and unselfish concern for one another. - Jesus (John 13:34-35 AMP)

You are set apart

This may mean you don't participate in the same behaviors as those around you: complaining gossiping, slander, malice, undercutting, or stealing. Don't conform to those around you to fit in. Peer pressure is prevalent in the workplace. Watch your words and check your motives. Learn to embrace your identity in Christ. Arise and take your place. As an appointed one of the Most High God, speak words of life and love; edifying, encouraging and uplifting those around you.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.             -1 Thessalonians 5:11
But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them.                     - 1 Corinthians 14:3

Obedience precedes blessings

Want increase, favor, and promotion? Understand the power of reaping and sowing. Even when it seems hard to understand what's happening around you. The politics and policies may not make sense in the natural. Ask God to reveal what's happening beyond the natural and understand that because you have the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead living and dwelling within you (Romans 8:11), you have the empowerment (authority) to transform the world around you. When you start approaching issues from a Kingdom perspective, expect to see things begin the shift in your favor in the natural. 

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities. -Luke 16:10 (NLT)

Be encouraged today. You matter. You make a difference! 

I can't tell you how many times I've had coworkers reach out to me to share their struggles, fears, challenges, and hardships. It's an honor to be a Marketplace Minister. In our day and age, often times pastors aren't available for midday counsel...but YOU are! I assure you, it will bless the heart of our Father and those around you knowing that you are a person of faith, strong and secure, unwavering in trials and approachable for prayer! 

Do you have a testimony to share? Tell me about your Marketplace Ministry experience in the comments below! 

#FridayFaves | Podcasts

In the book, Crash the Chatterbox, Author and Pastor Steven Furtick explains: 

"The voice you listen to will determine the future you experience."

Here are some powerful, encouraging, Jesus-loving pastors, teachers and revivalists in our generation. I listen to podcasts daily as I get ready for the day, as I'm driving, working, hiking or working. These are my top 10 favorite Podcasts that I highly recommend! 

FullSizeRender.jpg

For today's #FridayFaves

I share with you my top 10 Favorite Podcasts

John and Lisa Bevere are like my long-distance Mom and Dad in faith. They may not know me in the natural yet, but our spirits are aligned haha! Together they share such practical wisdom, you're sure to be encouraged in your walk with God. 

Havilah Cunnington is my #SisterinChrist! I just adore her!  #WordGirl #NerdoftheWord I love her raw, real and humorous approach to deliver practical Christian life skills. She's a wife, mother, author, speaker and Director at MoralRevolution.com. You can find her work at HavilahCunnington.com and on TruthtoTable.com

I've been empowered by the Jesus Culture Leadership Podcast for a couple years now. Hosted by Lead Pastor of Jesus Culture, Banning Liebscher and co-host Becky Johnson, they offer fantastic teaching for leadership and life with Kingdom impacting speakers, teachers and authors. 

Pastor Steven Furtick, leader of Elevation Church has been a catalyst for change in my life through powerful, animated and in-depth teaching of the word. He's one of the greatest bible communicators in our generation and I find myself watching live each week as I get ready to serve my local church. 

Brian Houston is my Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church. I consider myself blessed to be under his leadership as I get to be a small part of the BIG vision as a servant leader of Hillsong Phoenix. 

I enjoy listing to the activating, prophetic and apostolic teaching of the leaders of Bethel Redding such as Bill Johnson, Eric Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Danny Silk, Havilah Cunnington, and guests. I love hearing about the heart and vision behind Bethel and their revival culture. 

Jonathan David and Melissa Helser exemplify Christlike leadership and their teaching is astounding. If you're seeking to understand the heart of our Father in deeper ways, I definitely encourage you to listen in to their teaching! 

Damon Thompson travels to various churches, conferences, and gatherings, releasing the spirit of awakening through a prophetic call to renewed hunger for God. He wants to see believers equipped to fulfill their current, immediate destiny of carrying revival.

Kris Vallotton is a brilliant revivalist! "Kris Vallotton is the Senior Associate Leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California and co-founder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM). Kris travels internationally training and equipping people to successfully fulfill their divine purpose. He’s a bestselling author, having written more than a dozen books and training manuals to help prepare believers for life in the kingdom. He has a diverse background in business, counseling, consulting, pastoring and teaching, which gives him unique leadership insights and perspectives. Kris has a passion to use his experience and his prophetic gift to assist world leaders in achieving their goals and accomplishing their mission."

Reverand Jen Tringale is a powerful yet meek voice championing the Church across nations to step up and step into their calling. She's a true gem! 

 

Share YOUR favorite podcasts in the comments below! 

Let's Connect!

The Bachelor{ette}

 

If you read my other blog post about The Crown, you'll know I've really felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to closely filter what I allow as "entertainment" in my life. It's been a process for me, really....and one where I haven't always been obedient.

I didn’t always used to be so “radical” in my views of entertainment...and my motive has NOTHING to do with religious conformity. It’s a personal conviction that I have after being corrected by the Holy Spirit over my addiction to “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” 

Now before you click off and tune me out because you think I’m one of "THOSE Christians" or because you don’t share the same convictions...I urge you to read on.

I was a Bachelor/Bachelorette ADDICT! I loved grabbing a glass of wine and watching from the first episode where the contestants exit the limousine and meander up to the "Chosen One" and go to ridiculous extremes to captivate their attention and stand out from the crowd of the 30 others doing the same thing.

  • I was captivated about the idea of two people falling madly in love and finding the one who makes their soul sing...it's a romantic notion.
  • I watched with envy as the girls dressed up like pageant contestants with pristinely  primped hair, false eyelashes, and spray on tans on their perfectly toned beach bodies.
  • I sighed at the romantic dates, helicopter rides, exotic destinations, private concerts and professions of "love."
  • I watched as they all laughed in unison whilst tipping back their fancy glasses of champagne.
  • I got enjoyment out of watching the drama unfold as people acted like complete uncivilized animals, caddy girl fights, macho chauvinistic rivalry, lies, deception, manipulation, and bullying.  

It was escapism for me lusting after an edited version of romance. An experience most of us will never get to experience in real life. The show is created to capture the viewer into the drama and after awhile we begin to develop harsh opinions, judgments, criticisms, as we pick our favorite contestants and begin to despise the unmistakable "villain." It's like an equivalent of a fantasy football league as we watch who gets roses and who gets sent home ugly crying with mascara and boogers streaming down their faces. 

Until Holy Spirit spoke to my heart one night: 

"Heather, why do you watch this garbage when it's so far outside of what you know I created marriage to be? I'm not in this. Why do you consider this 'entertainment?'" 

 

Ouch. Once you hear the Lord speak,  you can't UNhear it...

I realized that I was lusting for a fairytale fantasy. But the reality is, I hold high value for God's intention of marriage. It's my favorite thing to study in the bible and my favorite types of books to read.  He created men and women with different attributes of His character so that together WITH HIM we can experience completion as in the Godhead. This show does not promote a God-orchestrated union, but rather a world view of marriage. 

 

I'm not trying to impose my convictions on you as condemnation but I do have some real questions to present: 

  1. Does this show model Christlike behavior?
  2. Do you feel encouraged to hold out for God's best and allow Him to be the author of your love story?
  3. Is God's intention of marriage held to high regard in this show?
  4. Do you experience feelings of comparison or dissatisfaction with your singleness or in your marriage because of what what this show is portraying?
  5. Is lust, envy, drama, deceit, drunkenness, immorality, and impurity things that a representative of the Most High God should be watching to be entertained?
  6. Is this show desensitizing your spirit to ungodly ways?

These are bold questions, I get it. They were hard for me to ponder as well. But as I draw closer to God, my heart begins to break for what breaks His. And reality is, this show is heartbreaking. 

Let's Connect!

Warring in the Spirit

2016 was a year of being faced with challenges that I embraced as an invitation for growth. Most of it was hard. REALLY hard as I struggled with a broken heart, massive confusion, and the resounding question of "What Now?" It was a year of learning the reality of spiritual warfare in a whole new way. Today I'd like to share with you 4 fantastic elements of Warring in the Spirit: 

 

1. Internal Investigation

When I was in the midst of the battle, feeling entirely disconnected with myself in disharmony and internal dissension I fought hard to overcome any and all areas of myself that may have been sick or out of alignment. It took dedicated and intentional time with the Lord to reveal the roots of hurt and heal my heart. 

Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong- then guide me on the road to eternal life.
— Psalm 139:22-23 MSG

 

Part of that process was participating in Kris Vallotton's eCourse on Bethel.tv, "Spirit Wars." 

One {of the many} things that was highlighted to me is the fact that we're not "bipolar" beings but actually TRIPOLAR {Body, Soul and Spirit}. I put in a ton of work to address each facet of my being to come into a pure, clean place with myself and with God. 

The result = HARMONY. My connection to God has become stronger than ever. I've also become more comfortable being me and embracing how He's made me and see beyond into how He continues to develop and prepare me for the plans He has for me. 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.
— Jeremiah 29:11

2. Observation

I've also learned to see beyond the natural in others as well. My discerner is working now better than ever before. I've always been observant, but now when I see when someone else may be "out of alignment" I ask God to show me if it's a result from a heart posture issue that's become a pattern or if what I see is a one-time, uncharacteristic behavior. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
— Ephesians 6:12 NIV

 

3. Intercession

Learn to pray into what you see in the spirit and intercede in prayer by aligning your heart with Heaven; praying into His will for others. I consider this an honor as I get to "see into" the reality of what's happening instead of coming to a place inaccurate assessment {judgement}. This is the blessing of intercession!

 

We all have a story, a struggle and a soul. What you see is only a piece of the puzzle. Stand. Pray. Believe and SEE God's glory manifest in personal growth and spiritual maturity. 

4. Celebration

I honestly can't count how many times I've seen the fruit of the spirit flourish in myself and others when I've obediently prayed into situations that seemed challenging and bleak. I've watched countless people grow past their limitations, set free from strongholds, delivered from unhealthy mindsets, repent from unwise behavior patterns, and GROW into a beautiful place of peace, harmony, strength, confidence and purpose. I've watched hardened hearts become soft. I've watched leaders rise. I've been blessed to be a witness!

  • Learn to see beyond the natural
  • Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit
  • Lean into intercessory prayer
  • Don't focus on the problem, pray into the solution.
  • Don't talk about it, pray about it.  
  • Watch with excitement and expectation to see how God comes through! 

Welcome HOME!

Today marks a special day for me. Not necessarily because it's Valentine's Day...but because it's a day of remembrance and celebration! 

This day last year I was in Alabama meeting incredible people whom I just adore! At the time, I thought they were to be my future family. God had other plans. 

February 14, 2016 was a Sunday and the FIRST Sunday I had missed in my home church since I found it back in June of 2016. I was tagged in this Instagram photo and it proved to be so significant and symbolic.

For years I had been relentlessly searching for a church "HOME"...I must have attended nearly 20 church services around The Valley of the Sun yet never felt like I found the sense of home and family.

You know, the place where you feel called to step in and serve, connect with others in authentic, transparent relationship...the place where the presence of God is vibrantly alive and active among loving congregants.  

And believe me....I tried....and tried. 
  • I tried making myself available to volunteer and serve, only to be met with complicated "red tape"  requirements like attending classes and interviews to become a "member."
  • I tried participating in different women's bible study groups which felt more like a therapy session to few rather than a sword-sharpening, community-building, God-glorifying group of Warrior Women of The Way. 
  • I tried to get outside of myself, silence my personal preferences and opinions and genuinely asked God to literally SHOW ME His presence at work in the hearts and lives of hundreds gathered in a room in worship where hands were glued to their sides and their faces appearing bored and expressionless. 
  • I tried to sit through "sermons" which were more like seminars of motivational speeches and theatrics but was void of the real, raw, activating truth that radically transformed lives and evangelically brought people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus.

The first time I stepped foot on my church grounds, I felt the overwhelming joy that radiated from the Welcome Team volunteers from the parking lot to the platform. It was abnormally easy to connect with and meet people. My first day I met who I now consider my "Mentor Pastor." My very first day, she gave me a personal invitation to come a little early the next week and step in and start serving. 

From that moment on, I was "HOME!"

I immediately started volunteering and gained instant friendships. I had a place. I was putting my hands to work in any way that was needed...by giving high-fives at the door, taking out trash, setting out refreshments, sweeping after events, scraping plates from our honored guests, even cleaning up toilet water from an overflowing toilet! Serving became my greatest JOY! This was MY home, I was invested in it and I wanted to take care of it and every guest that walked through the doors!

It was a day of great anticipation as I had been getting vivid vision that God was about to do something monumentally amazing...He was about to bring an increase of blessing, a new level of influence in our city and a great charge to carry out His original plans for His church. 

 Sweet 16: On this day my local church became the 16th location of a global church movement!

It was an overwhelmingly joyous day to celebrate with my church family from afar! 

The past year has been incredible in infinite, unfathomable ways. I've watched with eyes wide open the hand of God working through loving, dedicated, surrendered, sacrificial servants. I've watched young leaders arise. I've watched the countless hours of intentional planning and preparation of events unfold all to "set the table" for people to experience a radical encounter with a living God that relentlessly loves them. I've watched relationships being transformed, witnessed countless miracles, engaged in fervent prayer, and sat under activating, unapologetic preaching of the truth. I've been stretched and grown in amazing {and sometimes humbling, uncomfortable} ways. 

 

{Ah, okay...I'll find a pause to this...because as you can tell, I can literally write a book about my love for the Lord and what He's doing in, through, and around my local church!}

So I leave you with this, dear reader.....

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. -Matthew 7:7

Let me affirm that it is within God's WILL that you align yourself with a beautiful network of community called The Church. You ARE the church and your presence is requested. This is your invitation. There's a special place just for you, with your unique talents and traits that are welcomed, honored and celebrated. There are people He wants you to connect with, to be poured into and pour out onto. You matter. You are valuable. So, I invite you to get off the sidelines and get in the game. There's a seat with YOUR name on it. Reserved. If you don't have it, find it. Let Him lead you there....a place to call "home" on earth before you're sent to be HOME in Heaven! 

Let's Connect! 

 

 

 

Behind These Eyes

BEHIND THESE EYES........


• Is a girl with a sin-soaked history and a woman with a divinely blessed future.
• Is a woman who at the time the photo was taken was in love, ready, willing and excited to offer her heart to a man she believed God had chosen her to align with.

• Is a woman whose heart was massively assaulted, whose character was misrepresented and fell under spirits of intimidation and manipulation by one she was committed to offering her future to.
• Is this perplexing sense of sadness shown in her eyes despite how happy she felt at the time....and it's actually quite eerie to look at now, months later...
• Is a girl that felt insecure to smile because it was pointed out that her teeth weren't perfect.

• Is a girl that is wearing an extra layer of concealer to hide the blemishes that were spoken of on numerous occasions.

• Is a woman that prayed incessantly for God to show her what to do in the midst of great pain and confusion.

• Is a courageous woman who obeyed when God showed her that her heart was not safe in his hands and that she needed to put it into His ☝🏼️hands to heal it.

BEHIND THESE EYES.......


• Is a woman who claims VICTORY over victimhood and thanks God for His sovereign protection and healing! 
• Is a woman who's unafraid to transparently tell her story #ForHisGlory!
• Who has been called a Warrior leading the way for Gods daughters to discover and embrace their true identity in Christ!

• Is a woman that knows who she is in Christ!

 Is a beloved daughter of the most high God who is protected and directed by the Holy Spirit!

• Is joy!
• Is a girl that was enjoying a beautiful day road tripping and having a blast with her girlfriend jamming out to Wilson Phillips! 
• Is a woman who is committed to His plans even when she doesn't understand them. She is unafraid, unashamed, unapologetic, unshakable, unstoppable, unbound, unstuck, uncommon, unlimited, undaunted, and undone by God's love, grace, mercy, and kindness. (@propelwomen
#NewRoadsNewRivers #behold#TellTheWorld #ForSuchATimeAsThis#Sweeter16

Watch our little Wilson Phillips Jam Sesh! "Hold On" 

 

I hope this blesses you today by activating the truth of who you are and WHOSE you are! You're more than a conqueror, Sis! And don't let anyone convince you otherwise! 

Let's Connect! 

The Crown

The Crown

 

MV5BNjU2NzA5MzgyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDAwOTUxMDI@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_.jpg

I saw the trailer for the new Netflix series, The Crown and was immediately intrigued.

But to be honest, I was hesitant, as I am with most television.

Over the past couple years, as I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve really felt convicted to filter and evaluate what I accept as entertainment.

Now before you click off, please understand, this comes from MY personal convictions and is not due to religious conformity or overemphasis on sin...quite the opposite actually. It's because of a deep awareness of what it means to be a representative of the Kingdom of God and the importance of "guarding ones heart" (Proverbs 4:23)

 I hardly watch TV at all, and if I do, I usually stream “Dancing with the Stars”, “Chef’s Table” or my all-time favorite, “I Love Lucy” on my AppleTV.

I began watching The Crown and was immediately captivated and convicted in many ways. It’s enlightened me in ways I wasn't expecting. Beyond the fact that I got to see into and understand the monarchy, it drew me in to greater understanding of my royal status being a Daughter of the Most High God.

You’re not meant to be normal. You’re royal!
— Lisa Bevere

One of the most soul capturing moments in the entire 1st season was Episode 2: Hyde Park Corner when Grandmother Queen Mary writes a thrilling letter to young Elizabeth just after her father's death as an introduction to the responsibilities of the crown: 

“I have seen three great monarchies brought down from their failure to separate their personal indulgences from duty… While you mourn your father, you must also mourn someone else: Elizabeth Mountbatten, for she has now been replaced by another person, Elizabeth Regina. The two Elizabeths will frequently be in conflict with one another. The fact is, the crown must win — must always win,” writes Queen Mary to her granddaughter.

{Whoa! This is SO biblical!}

1. We are NEW Creations:

It’s a charge for us all to understand that once we accept Jesus as Savior AND Lord, we are given a new identity (2 Corinthians 5:17).

2. We are of ROYAL descent: 

Scripture tells us in Romans 8:17 that we are coheirs with Christ and that we are seated in Heavenly places (Ephesians 1:20 & 2:6). 

3. We must LEAD first with KINGDOM values

We are held responsible for representing Christ and are to lead “above reproach” (1 Timothy 3:2). That means we must take careful measures in order to protect our Father's name, revere the blood shed for our sake and operate in the grace given to us with honor. 

Invitation: In what ways could you adjust so that you are positively representing the Kingdom of God? What consequences might there be for others if you misrepresent the identity of Jesus?

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  -Galatians 2:20

Let's Connect!