Look What God Can Do

It was November 2020. Each day the hours of darkness grow while the hours of daylight recede. The house was dark when I sat down in my home office and again when I would shut my computer down for the day. I would make my way to the kitchen around the 5:00 hour to grab an unhealthy, processed, instant food to heat up in the microwave or pizza oven and I would finish the day on my recliner where I would polish off a bottle of wine while staring at another [television] screen to occupy my boredom and exhaust the remaining hours until bedtime. Awakening to a pot of bold caffeinated coffee to do it all over again. Day after day I kept thinking, “This isn’t living”.

The pandemic was doing what any extrovert dreads – isolation, lack of social connectedness, limited variety in activity and repetition. Feeling depression growing ever deeper within me, all I wanted to do was sleep. Sure, I could exercise, but only to, yet, another screen. I could bundle up and get some crisp, fresh, cold November air, but why would I do that? It’s cold, it’s dark.
So what do you do when you feel life draining from you? Out of desire to reverse the dark hole I was finding myself digging day after day, I took a personal assessment and questioned myself, “What do I need right now and where can I find it?”
I need people!
I need physical activity!
I need to stop trying to satisfy the void in my life with wine, unhealthy foods, watching depressing news and binge shopping on Amazon.

My conclusion? Get a second job! So I did. A part-time job in the evenings at Fedex Express!
My husband doubted I could do it because the criteria was having the ability to work in extreme temperatures and lift up to 50 pounds. His doubt was enough for this old farm girl to give it a try and here I am, a little over one year later, in cold, frigid Wisconsin February, with $15,000 less debt, an entirely new circle of friends. Conversely, I feel GREAT, blessed, motivated and proud. I even took off a few pounds. #WINNING!

God is so amazing. He used my discomfort, debt, depression and discouragement and gave me a whole new perspective on life. I can’t tell you how much I now see the world in a whole new way through this experience. First and foremost, I will no longer underestimate how God can use our grim circumstances to plant us right in the middle of somewhere that gives you so much more than you could ever ask or imagine. Secondly, how much we need to appreciate people who do what they do so we can get our products conveniently delivered to our door. Be sure to thank a delivery person!

Another way God amazed me is that He gave me a mission field. I don’t have anything to lose by talking about Jesus at Fedex so as we’re stacking boxes, unloading trucks, loading the big plane or tackling a project together, we get to know one another. I get to hear about their love for video games, pets, kids, cars and music. I learn about some of their dating, family and health challenges and a subject near and dear to my heart, their hurts, habits and hang ups; otherwise known as addictions. I get to pray for them, and I do, daily. My Fedex team has become a very important part of my life and I am seriously dreading the day when God redirects me to somewhere new. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about leaving, but we’re still waiting for Covid to be declared an endemic so I’m actually very happy to spend my evenings with my new found friends.
The moral to my story is this: I know people are out there whose mental health has taken it’s toll be it from isolation, stress, fear, darkness, boredom, debt. I know that what you are dealing with is very serious and it is real and it is hard. Do a self assessment like I did. What do you need right now and where can you find it? Then pray and ask God to guide you into something, some place, some where, that will lift you up, transform your life and bring fresh perspective to how He can use you, grow you and above all restore you. Maybe it is a second job, maybe it’s a new hobby, activity or volunteer opportunity, but a ministry. Our God works in mysterious ways and there is no question that He knows what we need more than we do.

So let me end with this…

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:6-8

When The Human Heart Searches For Help

The heaven’s proclaim the glory of God, the skies display His craftsmanship. Psalm 19:1 NLT

Some days I feel ordinary, other days I feel extraordinary, most days I feel inadequate and unworthy, but today I find peace, acceptance, contentment and gratitude.

Isn’t the human mind a powerful thing?

The bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 that the human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked, who really knows how bad it is?

What does the mind and heart have in common? Desire!

Therefore, I interpret this verse to mean that when we are guided by our feelings we are unstable, insecure, irrational and not able to live up to our full potential. Without the confidence of being in harmony with our creator God, nothing makes sense. It leaves our heart yearning for something that appears to be missing and our minds seek out solutions in an attempt to fill the void and when the “fix” can’t be found or felt, it gets discouraged, resorts to defeat and resolves to helplessness.

How do people who don’t have a relationship with God or who can’t find happiness in this world manage their emotions? Suicide? Depression? Addiction? Self Destruction? Violence? Sexual pleasure? Change their gender? Counseling? Abuse of others? Attempt to dominate or control other people? Withdraw from social circles? Become argumentative or defensive in conversations? Withhold love?

I am so, so thankful that when my world starts spinning that I remember to run toward the one and only true source of power, strength, stability, truth and acceptance.

What do you do? Or do you need God?

What Does The Cross Mean To You?

black cross on top of mountain

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Luke 9:23-25

A young lady came into my life recently and we were matched up because she wanted to know God better. To be honest, she had a very convincing testimony and if salvation had a checklist I would argue that she could check every box. I was pleased to see that she already knew a lot of scripture so I assumed my role, as her mentor, would be to show her how she could build daily disciplines into her life, hold her accountable to putting what she read into practice and to encourage her in her walk with the Lord. We both agreed that this would be our goal.

I made her a promise that I would not give her any personal advice, but would point her to scripture that would be useful to teaching rebuking, correcting and training in her righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). With that, I encouraged her to ask questions and to be curious about what she was reading and take time to meditate on how she could apply what she was reading into her life.

Shortly after, her questions started rolling in, I responded with verses that would not only teach her, but affirm her as she would wrestle with the truth. She began to realize that her life wasn’t exactly aligned with what God would want for her and began to open up about her struggles with addition, low self-esteem, anxiety, borderline depression and a complete lack of inner peace.

I kept sharing God’s truth and continued to remind her of who she is in Christ; that she is God’s creation, His handiwork, an heir to the throne and a daughter of the King who is deeply loved. She began rebuking me out of her own disbelief that if that is true about God, why doesn’t she feel that way?

Whoa! There it is… she’s seeking a feeling and desiring after some supernatural, magical, confident state of mind. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all else, who can understand it and when I shared this with her, she had to admit that this is true of herself. She is being tossed around endlessly by her feelings and is guilty focusing on how she feels rather than on what she knows to be true in scripture.

Girlfriends, God made us to be feelers, thinkers and have emotions, which (I can speak from first hand experience), can be one of the biggest barriers to having an intimate, authentic and personal relationship with God.

We can’t wish ourselves into heaven anymore than we can earn it.

We need to throw our whole entire heart (life) into knowing God and trust every single one of the promises that are given to us in His word. We have to believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what Jesus did on the cross was enough to cover our sins today, tomorrow and for eternity. Until we do, we will live on an emotional rollercoaster and be tossed around and tormented by our feelings – exactly what is happening to her.

It has been weeks of watching her come to the end of herself in this battle of wills – her will vs. God’s will. Last night she finally made this statement, “I know suffering has a purpose but it hurts when in it… I’d like to view it from God’s perspective.

Oh, the honesty, defeat and vulnerability in those words.

Poor sweet girl (and all of you reading), we DO have God’s perspective and it is found at and in the cross! The cross that performed the greatest, most selfless act in history. The cross, where God’s grace was freely given to us in the form the most sacrificial gift of all time. Not one of us deserve it! It is the most horrific form of suffering, where Jesus was placed on an altar, the altar called the cross, and where his sinless, flawless life was sacrificed and he willingly took all of humanity’s collective sin onto himself paying the ultimate price… death! Satan thought he won, but on the contrary he was never more defeated. Jesus conquered death and he lives!

It is because of this that we surrender our lives to him – our whole selves. He gave everything up for us and held nothing back and when we realize the magnitude of what he did, we willingly, enthusiastically and wholeheartedly give him our lives. When that happens, the Holy Spirit enters us and begins to change us from the inside out. The process takes a lifetime (here on earth), but the assurance of heaven is guaranteed. The changes we begin to see within ourselves are evidence of his transforming work and we not only love ourselves (which covers low self-esteem, doubt and anxiety), but we love others unconditionally.

Today I am going to ask this young lady if she wants to accept the greatest gift of life that God gave to her, because now I can see that she may know scripture intellectually, but not personally. I pray I get to witness the birth of a new believer who comes to know her Father in heaven on Mother’s Day 2020.

Is today that day for you too? Are you done being tossed around by your feelings and emotions and are you ready to accept the greatest gift of all – eternal life through faith in what Jesus did on the cross for you?

I hope so. My greatest pain comes from watching this young lady, and many like her, struggle. Especially because I know that on the other side of this decision is peace that surpasses all understanding, joy that is not contingent to circumstances and love that abounds beyond my ability to describe it.

“Lord, thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for MY sins; not just the sins of the world, but for ME! Father please forgive me of all my sins – I admit that I can’t save myself; I need a savior. I surrender my life to you, Lord, and I ask that you fill me with your Holy Spirit. That you will guide me everyday for the rest of my life and I thank you for giving me assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ. In Jesus Name I pray – Amen!”

If you prayed this prayer, Congratulations! Email me at liveoutlougblog@gmail.com and I will share some ideas on how you can take your new found faith and grow it, mature it.

For you and all who have already surrendered your life, we will see you in heaven, sisters in Christ!




Find Joy Out There

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 NIV

Do you feel like you are hanging out there and there is no safe place to set your feet? The headlines are inundated with grim headlines and dire outlooks. I have to admit that I have run the gam-it of emotions over the past several weeks, but the past 3 days that has changed. What changed? According to the world, it’s going to get worse before it gets better… much worse.

The bible tells us otherwise and since the entire bible points to the hope that we have for eternal life in Christ, I am not going to attempt to make that case here, but what I can tell you is that I have been reading in 1 Corinthians and 13:13 says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 

I have decided that I need to show love. Posting positive messages in social media, buying the order for the car behind me at the drive-thru, randomly texting, emailing or actually picking up the phone and calling people as I think about them. Not surprisingly, it’s easy to catch people these days and they actually have time to talk. The absolute best thing that I started doing is mailing out 3-5 handwritten cards per day to the girlfriends in my life whom I truly miss in this season of social distancing; women I want to encourage and let them know that I am thinking about them and I care about them with my whole heart.

Here is what happened. My heart filled with joy! God is right! Showing love to others and being “others focused” completely transforms your attitude, emotions and  whole disposition. Instead of waking up each morning in a place of discouragement, I awaken with thoughts about whose lives I can make a difference for today. I pray in praise, not in fear, and I thank God for all the blessings I am seeing and how alive I am feeling in the arms of his protection and under the promises of His hope.

So girlfriends, if you are discouraged today, I want to encourage you to find ways to be a blessing to others. Spread faith, hope and love. Let the greatest emotion that you have today be love. 

Share your creative love sending ideas here so we can extend our love to one another and have a toolbox of more ways we can love even bigger and better together!




God’s Got Your Back

Got Your Back

Today’s Devotion: Deuteronomy 10

I remember a song we used to sing in Sunday School class when I was a young girl. It went like this, “King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s, Glory! Halleluiah.”

Verse 17 reminded me of that song, “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”

Sometimes I read the bible and I’m looking for something that is tangible and applicable; where I can close the book and walk away with a verse or a thought that I can immediately apply to face life. Other times, like today, God seems to stop me in my tracks and provides me with one big, broad reminder and truth – He is God.

That’s what Deuteronomy 10 speaks to me; He is God of everything. Especially over those little gods like ice cream, i phones, money, jobs, hobbies, collections, children, husbands, etc… He is also the Lord over all the lords in our world like presidents, pastors, princes and kings, teachers or any other authority figure we may esteem to be our leaders. Verse 17 reminds me that He is a great God; mighty and awesome. That in itself is great, mighty and awesome.

Just for perspective today… meditate on that. “King of all kings and Lord of all lords.” When we take a pause and recognize just how magnificent He is we don’t need to worry, fear, be anxious, doubt, be depressed, care what others think, limit ourselves, cower, avoid, withdraw or retaliate.  God is the “Big Man”, He’s got your back.