How my yes to Jesus led straight to India

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It didn’t make sense.

When the team announced that the date to India had been moved up to late April through early May, I struggled with saying yes.

Being in India — away from social media, away from the hundreds of tasks that needed to be performed, away from email and blogging and radio and publicity — right before a book launch, that’s just not the way things are done.

Not if you want a book to succeed.

Perhaps I should have worried about that, except for this one thing.

I knew that God was leading me there.

So here I sit, one day off the plane. Jet lagged out of my mind. Dirty clothes in the washing machine. Feet swollen from flying twelve planes in ten days. A thousand emails and texts and tasks waiting.

And a book is launching today.

I’m joy-filled, so excited I can barely contain it.

I’ve been living this book and I love what it’s done on the inside of me. I’ve never felt so rested in my faith, or so challenged.

Come with me.

That’s His invitation.

Following where Jesus leads will take us into harder places, but the miracle is the change that takes place as a result.

Following where Jesus leads will show us how to love people that we didn’t before, but the miracle is we tap into God’s heart and break down walls.

Following where Jesus leads will shift our focus from material things to the eternal, because that’s where our real treasure lies.

And sometimes, yes. It will lead us to India or some other place at an “inconvenient” time because God has something to show us that is bigger than a book launch or whatever else it is that we are holding on to tightly.

My yes to India was the best yes I could have given.

Following Jesus isn’t a charmed life, it’s a changed life.

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That’s what happens when we say yes.

We are forever changed.

Tomorrow I’ll share a story with you that I hope rocks your world. It’s the minute I really understood why Jesus led me to India.

And it had nothing to do with me or a book.

It’s a story of just how BIG God really is, and yet how intimately in tune He is with each of us.

For today, I pray that you’ll pick up a copy of Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads.

I hope you’ll read it and that it will completely and beautifully transform your life.

I hope you’ll put a copy in your local library, or church, or leave a copy at a local laundromat, or in a friend’s hand.

I’d love it if you’d start a Bible study (and invite me to Skype in for one of your meetings).

And that you’ll leave a review if you’ve read it and tell others what you think.

I’m so excited to begin this journey with you, friend.

Come with me

That’s His invitation for us.

Let’s say yes, wherever it takes us, whatever God is trying to do in or through us.

Suzie

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Are you ready to win some giveaways and hang out?

I’m hosting a Facebook party tonight at 8 p.m. CT. There’s tons of great prizes.

I hope you’ll join me as we launch this movement of #ComeWithMe together.

Click here to RSVP and invite your friends.

~ Suzie

 

#livefreeThursday: when you really want to say no

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I’m on an adventure this week.

I can’t tell you a lot about it yet, but I promise details will follow when I return.

For now, I want to share with you a different adventure I’ve been on for nearly two years. It’s changed me. It’s shaken my faith — in a good way.

 


Where is Jesus leading you?

Is He asking you to whisper yes?

All day long women will join in this conversation. I hope you’ll check out their stories of whispering yes.

Lord, let us whisper yes in faith, knowing that a whispered yes shouts faith to you!

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Suzie

 

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God reveals the hidden love buried in you

julie lefebure

Julie Lefebure loves people. She is a loving person. Yet God called her to love deeper. To love outside the neat lines of her ordered life. To love like He does.

This is our invitation as well. It won’t look like Julie’s, but it will look exactly like what God desires to do inside of you as he issues the invitation, “Come with me.” ~ Suzie

God reveals the hidden love buried in you

Julie Lefebure

A friend has a heart for the people of India.

My daughter is drawn to the elderly.

Someone else I know has a love for troubled youth.

And me?

Well years ago, in my cushioned, mapped-out life, I was perfectly happy living the life I was living, and loving the people I loved.

God has a way of shaking things up when I get too comfortable. And what He did at that point threw me completely out of my familiar. My pastor and friend founded and ran a local ministry, assisting the formerly incarcerated, the homeless, and others in need.

Good for her, I thought.

She excelled at it. This was something I could never do. I mean, I was busy running a business and loving my family. I had big plans and dreams, and helping “those” people wasn’t one of them.

They were dangerous. They looked bad, and they smelled worse. I felt sorry for the homeless, but if they would just get a job, it would solve their problem.

It’s no wonder God called me and my judgmental attitude to serve and love through that ministry.

I offered up excuses and arguments. My life could be in danger, for goodness’ sake! But, God knows what’s best, so I showed up at the ministry’s door one day, trembling and apprehensive.

It didn’t take long to discover that I wasn’t much different than “those” people.

Their stories busted open my reality. Their struggles rocked my cushioned life. Their faith simplified mine. Their joy permeated my presence. Their love transformed my heart. God used them to change every part of my life, and to flip what I thought I knew upside-down.

One day a week turned into two; two turned into four, and eventually I was given responsibility to supervise the daily operation of that location. God gave me a heart for those often considered “outcasts,” and unburied a hidden love for them deep within me.

As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your gen

I no longer consider them “those” people. They are now my friends.

Oftentimes God calls us out of the familiar to awaken within us what He’s hidden inside us.

And when He calls us to use that hidden love —  and we do — we are the ones who end up being blessed.
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If you’re accustomed to loving only those around you and those like you, God is leading to love deeper and wider and bigger.

May each of us step out in faith, and watch Him do what only He can do.

We might just discover a hidden love we never knew was in us, but He knew it all along.

Julie

 

Julie Lefebure spring 2016

Julie is a simple Iowa gal, who finds joy in a good cup of coffee, un-rushed mornings, and witnessing breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.

She’s a Bible Study Fellowship leader, is on staff at a local church, and is passionate about encouraging others through writing and speaking.

Married to Bill for 23 years, they’ve raised two children who have grown into caring young adults. Julie and Bill are often found on their tandem bicycle, and will be biking across the state of Iowa for their third time on RAGBRAI this summer.

Julie writes at Loving God Loving Others and Live Laugh Linger at www.julielefebure.com.

She is presently writing her first book.

Follow Julie

Twitter: @JulieLefebure
Facebook: Loving God Loving Others
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#livefreeThursday: How big is our God? {{giveaway}}

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My friend, Debbie W. Wilson, graciously is stepping in today to share not just a powerful word, but a giveaway of her new book, How Big is Your God? Isn’t that amazing?

In today’s guest blog post, Debbie shares how little women, in the hands of a great big God, can change the world. ~ Suzie

How Big Is Your God?

If you were God, what type of people would you choose to belong to your family tree? Whose stories would you highlight in scripture?

  • Would you choose—
    • a woman who seduced her father-in-law?
    • a professional prostitute?
    • someone banned because of their treachery against God’s people?

God did.

While we work hard to look like we have it together, Jesus highlights the infamy in His family tree.

I’m convinced He showcased these women for us. Their stories remind us that it doesn’t matter how often we’ve failed, how much we’ve lost, or how small we feel.

Little faith in a big God is enough to change destinies

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My dad, sister, and I buried my mother on Mother’s Day weekend of my senior year in high school. Nothing could have prepared me for the seismic shift my world would take following our loss.

The following year, Daddy married a woman who didn’t want any reminder of my mother around—including my sister and me. I returned from out of town to find my childhood home emptied. She’d even disposed of the monogrammed sheets and satin comforter I’d received from my late grandmother and mother. Soon, even Pepper, my white poodle, was gone.

In a brief year, the foundation of a stable home was swept away. I was powerless to stop the mounting losses.

Maybe that is why I was drawn to the women in Jesus’ family tree.

These women faced crushing problems with no power or resources to overcome them.

But, they had a big God.

Their stories show that security is not determined by the size of our problems or the size of our strength, but by the size of our God.

Working as a counselor, I have learned it’s not uncommon for Christians to become confused when pain touches us. We wonder how our losses could have happened when we’ve tried to honor God with good lives.

Is there something wrong with us—or with God?

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible shows God’s chosen followers suffered slavery, abuse, imprisonment, and even martyrdom while those who spit at God luxuriated in palaces.

The women in Jesus’ genealogy weren’t spared great difficulties and unfairness either.

Yet God was with each one accomplishing His good and perfect will.

Debbie Wilson

 

Have you ever wondered how to practically apply your faith to such challenges as these?
  • littlewomenbiggod-quote25Rejection
  • Temptation
  • Selecting a mate
  • Forgiving yourself
  • Forgiving your enemy
  • Grief and loss

Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary faced failure, loss, betrayal, and a murderous hunt. Their stories spotlight God’s care for ordinary women and show how He uses our weaknesses to reveal His strength and our failures as avenues for His grace. They provide the perfect backdrop for addressing our current issues.

What challenge or suffering has dwarfed your courage or faith? Trials teach us we need a big God. The women in Jesus’ family tree show us we have one in Jesus!

Debbie wants to celebrate the release of Little Women, Big God: It’s not the size of your problem, but the size of your God.

Leave a comment to enter to win a free copy!

debbiewildonAbout Debbie W. Wilson

Debbie Wilson is an ordinary woman who has experienced an extraordinary God. Drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a Christian counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, Debbie speaks and writes to help women discover relevant faith.

She and her husband, Larry, founded Lighthouse Ministries in 1991. They, along with their two grown children and two standard poodles, enjoy calling North Carolina home. Share her journey to refreshing faith at her blog and on Facebook.

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Where we go isn’t as important as who we go with

share 2 go with

I wasn’t eavesdropping. I promise.

They were close to me. The only way I could not hear was to put my fingers in my ears.

“I sure hope she finds Jesus,” one said.

“That’ll get her away from those awful things,” another responded.

Their hearts were in the right place, I was certain. I just wondered if they knew that this was upside down theology.

Let’s not tell hurting people that they have to find Jesus.

[Read more…]

Come With Me retreat – where God moved

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What a weekend!

I have a new book coming out.

It’s more than a book. It’s been a personal journey of walking with Jesus — fresh and new.

Fifty women drove and flew in this weekend to help me launch this book, but so much more than that.

We met to discuss and discover what it means when Jesus says, “Come with me.”

We also zip lined. We rode horses. We sat by the water and dug deep into the Word.  We laughed. We wept. We hiked. We canoed and kayaked. We ate chocolate.

Most of all we talked about the invitation of “Come with me” and how accepting that invitation changes us forever. [Read more…]

#livefreeThursday: I want to be a Christian hoarder {{giveaway}}

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It was time to put our house up for sale.

I watched episodes of HGTV, discovering that potential buyers like to imagine a home as theirs. The experts said to put away personal items.

So Richard and I went through the house and started stacking, sorting, and packing. We put our most treasured items in a closet, but hauled the rest to a storage building and made our first payment. It took months for the house to sell. Every month I wrote a check to the storage company, until finally the house sold. We moved all our essential items to the new house and then went to pick up the items in storage.

I looked at the first box.

Why did I keep that? [Read more…]

10 Scriptures to show how God changes you

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Your relationship with God changes you

Did you know that?

Before the world began, He chose us and all He asks is that we receive that beautiful gift.

Today I want to encourage you through the power of scripture.

I want to remind you of exactly whose you are. [Read more…]