We Have This Moment

I took almost a week off social media and the news. I have one more week of ministry break. I took six weeks off from teaching, leading, free clinic, city outreach, mentoring, seeing deep inner healing clients, etc.

Honestly, it has not felt like a true break. People still have needs, want prayer, want advice or counsel, have crisis situations, etc. I had people messaging me on vacation with their crisis prayer needs. I have pondered quite a bit over this break what is the meaning of life? Yes, dear ones, it got real deep the past 5 weeks.

Why are we here? (I dive into the answer in a bit).

I asked God once if my life’s purpose was to simply be the go to person and support for everyone else. It has seemed that way at times. People forget I am a person not a resource, not their therapist, not a 24/7 crisis manager or their on call 24/7 prayer support, nor am I their on call prophet-“Can I get a word?!!”

I understand why pastors quit, suffer moral failure, or end it all. No I am not considering driving my life into the ditch. I do understand somewhat why it happens. Our lives must be rooted in something and someone GREATER!

We live in such a me centered society that unfortunately can revolve around finding someone to worship or meet their needs that is not God. I promise I am not God nor want His job. I need God desperately to survive and thrive. Our me centered culture also seeks out idols and putting people above God.

Our culture can be rooted in lack of tact (just read some of the online comments), or lack of consideration. “You are on break, well what about me?! You need space, what about me?!” Sometimes my heart crashes under the chorus of “me, me, me.” I run into my cave with God and dare not come out until my head stops spinning. It is not selfish to get away from the crowds.

People forget their source must be God not people. Part of the meaning of life is finding out who God is for ourselves and learning to live out of that relationship/depend on God. God must be our primary source.

Living in a World Filled With Bad News:

I returned to social media today to loads of needs, prayer needs, and tragedies. Our world needs a Savior; He has already come. We need Jesus.

I noticed if the tragedy happened to a celebrity in the world or in Christianity, people seem to care more. They cry over people they have never met simply because they were famous. In the past weeks I have seen people rally behind perfect strangers while ignoring the dying unknown person on their city streets. Am I judging? Just observing.

Our culture places a higher value on some lives over others. Jesus did not. From the thief, to the prostitute, to the tax collector, to the beggar on the street, to the leper…Jesus cared and cares about them all.

Part of life as a Christian is learning to love as God loves. Did we learn to love all people, not just famous people, not just athletes or movie stars, not just platform ministers or their children, not just people who benefit us? Did we learn to love the widow, the orphan, the slave, the poor, the outcast, and even our enemies? Did we learn to love? Love (God love-unselfish, sacrificial love) is why we are here.

We were created by love (God), to be loved, then to love.

While in LA, California a few weeks ago I made it close to Skid Row. Tents of people living on the streets. Some probably dying. I wanted to park my car and go inside their camp. I was supposed to be on ministry break. I was told it is unsafe to go there. Skid Row is full of disease, death, and gross poverty. I wondered if when someone’s child dies on Skid Row if churches would hold week long meetings to try to raise them from the dead. Where are the tributes for the dying there?

I hear people in my own city crying out for revival who will not even give a cup of water to a homeless person. Revival is bringing life to dead things. When I see Skid Row, I see a place prime for revival. It is not pretty, nor shiny. There are no celebrities or VIP people there. Yet I see Jesus walking into the pits of society to pull beauty out of the ashes.

Part of the meaning of life is learning to see as God sees. Heaven has a different vantage point than earth. Every life matters to God.

Earth is a temporary assignment that prepares us for an eternal one. It’s so easy to become fixated on what does not matter at all. Jesus said, “I was hungry and you did not feed me.”

I don’t know how long these feet will touch this earth. I do know, I want to stand before God and hear Him say, “Welcome home! Thank you for completing your assignments.”

We will not be floating on clouds in heaven. There are rewards and assignments. How we steward earth determines how we are rewarded in heaven. We don’t earn entrance into heaven, God does reward us for how we lived and loved on earth. This time on earth is the shortest time we will ever live.

My encouragement is don’t waste your life on what does not matter in the long run. Life is but a whisper. You could be here today and gone tomorrow. Forgive, love, get to know God, and live a presence driven life. Let the chorus of “me, me, me” fade into the background. May the song be, “God reduce me to love. Help me to learn how to love.”

I am still learning to abide in love. It’s a journey. God promises to meet us every step of the way. I don’t have all the answers. I hope to keep abiding in the One who does.

Warmly,

Erin

Need Joy? Seek Jesus.

Jesus had more JOY than His companions

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You above Your companions with the oil of joy,~Hebrews 1:9.

God is not stuffy, stoic, nor boring. God knows how to celebrate and have a good time. Pleasure was God’s idea; sin perverted pleasure and a religious/Pharisee spirit tries to dampen any fun with God. God is fun. There is more pleasure and enjoyment in God than anything He created.

I used to examine people who got so excited about God in wonder…until I got to know God for myself. Knowing God elevated my joy quotient significantly. Knowing God has been the greatest joy of my life. Words do not adequately express the beauty, majesty, and mystery of God.

What if I don’t feel joy?

Joy is not a feeling based on what is happening. It is an overflow of abiding in the One who is joy. Jesus stated plainly that abiding in Him brings forth abounding fruit. That is why we can go through a challenging season and still have joy. Paul wrote many celebratory letters from prison. God is good even when life is not going the way we desire. Focusing on who God is, takes the focus off our momentary sorrows.

Paradise is not just a place. It is a person. God is pure JOY. In His presence as the Psalmist proclaimed is the fullness of joy.

You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand,~Psalm 16:11.

Including part of my devotion this morning. My hopes are that joy bubbles up out of your spirit! God loves you and being with God bring joy.

Devotion Excerpt:

“Go back as far as you can in prerecorded history, back to the dawn of the universe, and there you’ll find joy. The Creation is characterized by celebration (Job 38:6-7; Proverbs 8:22-31). Turning to the time of the New Testament, Christ is characterized by joy (John 8:29; 15:11). In the parable of the lost son, heaven in the present is characterized by joy, feasting, music, and dancing (Luke 15:11-32). Finally, looking forward to the future, John shows us a picture of heaven (Revelation 19:6-9). It will be a feast, where the people shout, “Let us celebrate, let us rejoice, let us give him the glory!” (verse 7).

The story of faith begins and ends in joy. And in between, there is joy. Joy permeated Paul’s life, even in the place you would have least expected it—in prison (see the book of Philippians). For more than twenty centuries, Christians have been exhibiting joy. There have been sad, even morose, Christians, to be sure. But the ones who have inspired us have been marked by joy…

Anyone who gets in touch with God gets in touch with joy. All true joy is derivative. It doesn’t originate from the world. It doesn’t originate from us. It originates from him. And when we get close to him, it rubs off,”~from the Marked by Joy devotion on YouVersion

Are you enjoying God? Enjoying life with God?

Painting: Jesus is joy by Yungsong Kim

Love,

Erin Lamb

The Parable of the Diamonds

Parable of the uncut diamond and the stranger.

There was man who prayed and prayed for blessings. He was defeated and poor. He cried out to God to bless him each day.

God heard his cry and began to send people to bless the man. He was suspicious of their kindness and refused help. He did not trust love, especially from someone he did not know.

One day God sent a stranger along the man’s path with a box, and inside was a bag of uncut diamonds. It was worth 77 million dollars.

The stranger approached the man during his lunch time meal. “Is your name John?” The man grumbled, “Yes!” He was frustrated because he could not see all the times/ways God tried to bless him.

The stranger asked to sit with him. John was already irritated and wanted nothing to do with the stranger. He was busy. His lunch break was only a half hour. He had people to see, things to do.

The stranger sensed John’s hesitation. “John, I know you are a busy man. I don’t want to take up much of your time. God sent me here to you to deliver this box.” John replied, “Can you just leave the box and GO! I am busy. I have work to do. I work 3 jobs just to pay my bills.”

The stranger honored the wishes and left the box. He walked away; John dismissed the box. He ate his lunch murmuring and complaining. “Why would God interrupt my lunch for this?! He knows I only have 30 minutes of peace.”

John’s attitude stunk like the garbage in the bin behind him. He never thought of the interruption as a potential blessing. He never saw the stranger as a gift. He saw him as a nuisance.

John opened the box before returning to his shift. “Rocks! God gave me a bag of rocks. Is this a joke?!!!” John was angry. He shoved the bag in his case and went back to work.

Years passed and John continued to pray and murmur against God.

God sent the stranger back to John. “It’s you again,” John exclaimed with roughness. “Yes, I am here for the bag I gave you. If you have no use for them, we have someone else who wants them.” “Sure take these stupid rocks.” John went into his room and pulled the bag out, brushed off the dust, and threw them at the stranger. “Thank you John. This bag of uncut diamonds worth 77 million dollars is going to help someone else.”

John stood there stunned and ashamed. For years he lived in poverty while millions of dollars sat in his bottom drawer collecting dust.

The stranger said to John, “For years God has been sending people to help you and you refused help. You were curt with me and so busy that you missed provision. I was sent to give you instructions on what you had been given and you dismissed me. Therefore, you forfeited your blessing. The lady several streets over has a great need and God told me she would listen and use these diamonds for good. John, God loves you. The lesson is to not dismiss something because you do not understand. Seek God for wisdom. Every interruption or person who wants to help you is not the devil. I hope you are you blessed. These diamonds were a gift to me from my father and I asked God for someone to give them to. I have more than enough. God sent me first to you. He chose you and you relinquished your blessing. Mary, the woman who will receive part of my inheritance will never have to work again. Good day John and God bless you.”

As the stranger walked away, John wept. He was so busy trying to make it by himself that he missed God.

It’s so easy to look with the eyes of the flesh and miss God. God works through people. God does set up divine interruptions. It is possible to miss what God is doing because we are so busy judging by what our natural eyes see. Wisdom pulls us deeper to say, “God give me your eyes and help me to walk in the Spirit of God not my flesh. God show me what you are doing? Is this you God?”

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out-Prov 25:2.

I asked God to be a benefactor and partner with Him to bless the world. I cannot tell you how many people have forfeited what God wanted to give them through me because they did not recognize nor value the packaging. One minister I had thousands to offer them, they behaved so poorly and were so full of pride, “I don’t need any help.” I gave their gift to someone else. Treat people with respect, honor, dignity because it’s the right thing to do. Also understand you may be entertaining a person on assignment from heaven to bless you. Some have entertained angels unaware.

Keep your eyes open in 2020 for the blessings of God. It may not come in the way you expect.

Happy New Year! New Decade! New ERA!!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thank you for following this blog and your support throughout the year. You are appreciated. ❤️

For those of you who support Operation God is Love, the homeless outreach/missions/human trafficking efforts, I thank you too! It’s been a year of dozens of people being fed spiritually and naturally. People gave their hearts and lives to Jesus. Your support helped to feed hundreds of people, provide Christmas gifts to those who may have been forgotten on the streets, and more! I thank you!!

I included a few photos below of some of the gifts we gave out this month to our friends on the street.

Thank your for supporting Lamb Enterprises LLC and it’s divisions. 💕

Your support of the books, clothing/merchandise, and Empowered & Free stores are helping to rescue women and children from human trafficking. So I thank you!

I am wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Love is why we are here. God is love. His love goes into the darkest places and fills them with light! You and I may not be able to do everything, we can do something.

During this holiday season, my prayer is that you and I shine His light bright. May we love people deeper, forgive freely, bless people around us, and help someone in need.

I hope and pray you enjoy the season. The BEST is yet to come.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Founder & CEO of Lamb Enterprises LLC and Operation God is Love

Author of I Thought I Knew What Love Was, Confident & Free, and Overcoming Church & Abuse

Websites:

Empowered-Free.com, EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com, and OperationGodisLove.org

Thriving in Finances (Wisdom Series)

Tips on how to stop living paycheck to paycheck! And increasing tithes and offerings is not on my list.

We do not love money, yet being broke is not cute and stressful. Having more than enough can provide for future generations or invest in making the world a better place.

1. Look at where your money goes each month. Go to the bank and grab a statement or export one to Excel. Look at what you spend money on and dial back what is not needed. Do you need Starbucks every day? It’s $4.99 for your morning fix. Or can you cut that and brew coffee at home? Do you need mega cable? I cancelled cable years ago. Do you need to eat out at restaurants every day? I take my lunch most of the time and have a grocery budget. Yes I said the b word-BUDGET! Yes there are times to splurge. Most of the times there is a target. I also shop weekly so items do not spoil. I went through a phase where I ate the same thing every day to build up savings.

2. Set financial goals. Do you want a vacation? To pay off debt? Pay your house off early? Without a plan, you fail. Without vision the people perish. I set a plan to pay off my car early. I did, even with loss of major income. I set a plan to pay off my house early. I am working towards that plan. I set a goal to have more than 1 stream of income. I now do.

3. What can you do outside your 9-5 to earn money? God gives us the power to gain wealth. There are companies like Fivver, Upwork, etc that hire freelancers. What do you do to solve problems? Find a way to capitalize on it. If you don’t know how to start a business, SCORE can help. And SCORE is FREE for the most part. There are free resources everywhere.

4. SAVE instead of spend. Say you have an extra bonus from work, how about saving some of it instead of heading to the mall. My family has made fun of me because I am not a big spender. I like to travel, yet I still price shop. Can I get this cheaper somewhere else? Can I bargain? Girl has mad bargaining skills. I have not paid anywhere near sticker price for a car, and God has blessed me with favor in this area. Yet I have not ever asked my family for money. I bet they like that…Set up a savings plan. Say what? Yes, even if it’s 10 dollars a week. That’s $40 a month, thats $480 a year. Build at least a $1,000 emergency fund.

5. Stop overgiving. I repeat, stop over giving. It is possible to over give!! It is possible to use your emergency fund to get someone else out of crisis and you end up in a ditch. If I cannot afford to not be repayed, I don’t let people borrow from me. I also assess what I can do and what God wants me to do. I had a family member in crisis a few years ago who was quite angry I would not help them. Well, I am glad I did not. Why? My finances were hit later on and never would have seen that money again.

6. Don’t be lazy or expect money to fall from the sky. If the job offers overtime and you need extra cash, pick up a shift or two.

7. Ask God for wisdom with money. This one is big for me. God loves to provide wisdom. Wisdom is pivotal for thriving in life.

8. Think about future generations even if you do not have kids. I would love to help future generations thrive. Living only for self is not meaningful.

9. Treat money like something you are stewarding for God. The same with a business or ministry. It is for Him. It’s a resource. God is the Source.

10. Don’t steal. Don’t steal your company’s time by not doing your job. Why? One it’s wrong, two the thief pays back 7 times what is stolen. Sow stealing, reap being broke. Do your job with excellence. Show up, do it well.

11. Stop complaining/murmuring and using your words in a negative fashion. “I am always broke.” Stop cursing yourself. Speak life. I had a financial hit last year and I kept saying, “God shall provide all my needs according to His riches in glory. Those who give to the poor lend to the Lord. God is faithful to His word. My bank accounts will not go to zero.” Not one account went to zero.

12. Ask God for ideas, witty inventions, concepts, and answers to the world’s problems. If you’re a problem solver, you can build a business.

You can give tithes and name seed all day and still be broke. Without a plan, you fail. Why? Because there is no vision to funnel wealth into. I have met people who are the biggest givers at church and they are BROKE! Wisdom, the Bible says, get wisdom. Money is a resource. God is the Source. Lord knows He has come through for me in incredible ways when I was hard pressed. He is the Source. He also gives us wisdom, talents, skills, creative ideas, and insight to go create/generate wealth.

Last key, the Bible speaks highly of those who remember the poor. Please don’t forget to invest in those who truly cannot do for themselves at the time. God will repay you! Hope something here was a blessing.

While people are planning their trips to the gym, how about a savings plan. 🙂

Warmly,

Erin

You Are Not Alone in the Fire

Sunday Encouragement: You Are Not Alone in the Fire (Prayer of Refreshing at the End).

Yesterday a candle set fire in my kitchen. No real harm, I contained it. No property damage. A little smokey in the house, yet thankful I heard it the second it caught fire. There was a flash and whoosh sound.

Fire consumes. Fire spreads quickly. Fire is intense. The heat from the flames can range from 750F to 1,300F. Have you ever felt like life seated you in the middle of a fire? Life was going along great then flash, whoosh, you went from zero to 1,000. If you look around things are being consumed and quite possibly it may seem that you cannot contain it. You see flames, yet if you walk with Jesus, do you recognize He is with you even until the ends of the earth and right in the fire with you?

Unlike mere human beings, God does not abandon us in the darkest of night or the fiercest of fires. God stands with us and for us. God is Emmanuel; God with us. The covenant God makes with His word and His heart is unlike any human covenant. Marriage covenants on earth end, they do not exist in heaven. Yet God’s covenant with humanity is eternal. Humans may run, forsake, hide, say-“That’s not my problem,” but God. I tell my friends and mentees, insert but God. But God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above ALL we could ask or imagine. But God will make even your enemies to be at peace with you when your ways please Him. But God is still the same God who raises the dead, opens blind eyes, causes the lame to walk, and that resurrection power did not end on calvary. But God is the same God who parted the Red Sea, called manna from heaven, and quail from the sea.

If God be for you (us) who stands a chance against you (us)? What is meant for evil, God can turn it around for good. God is still making ways where there seems to be no way. God is still providing streams in the desert. Like David I proclaim, “I look to the hills where my help comes from. My help comes from the Maker of the heavens and the earth.” There is no one more capable than God.

My encouragement, and I understand it can be a challenge…Don’t stare at the flames. Look into the eyes of Jesus. One of my frequent prayers in fire trials is, “God help me to see what you see. Give me the vantage point of heaven. I need help.”

Even though we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us. Let that sink in deep this morning. God is with you! The most powerful being in the Universe is with you; He commands the angelic armies. No one can stop God. One word from God and everything shifts and changes.

I speak life over you today! The dry dead bones can live. Your body can be healed. Your family can be saved. You can find ample employment. You can overcome. You can live and NOT die to declare the works of the Lord. The Spirit of an Overcomer resides in Jesus and you have full access to Him. You can come out of the fire not even smelling like smoke. Don’t you die in the fire. Don’t give up when it looks bleak. There is another man in the fire with you. He is MIGHTY to SAVE!

I have never been trapped in a fire. I do know what it’s like to be trapped in a car under water. I understand facing death if no miracle occurred. I understand 911 not showing up for me. But God showed up!! God keeps showing up with love in His eyes and power in His hands. He is a mountain moving, dragon slaying, closing the mouths of lions, pulling people off death’s door kind of God.

Today, celebrate that you are not alone. He is the come to the rescue kind of God. He is the loving you when you are down to nothing or on top of the mountain kind of God. He is the forgiving and merciful God. He is full of justice! He sets the wrong things right. He provides in the wilderness. God never fails. I repeat, “God never fails!”

Abba, I ask that anyone who reads this receives a fresh touch of the anointing of an overcomer. Break off any spirits of hopelessness, self pity, depression, and despair. The devil is a liar. Break off the power of every lie that they can not make it or overcome. Holy Spirit breathe a fresh wind of refreshing over them today. No situation is too hard for you God. Nothing is impossible for you Papa. It can be done. I bind every spirit of loneliness and fear. I invite the Spirit of adoption to overwhelm each person, they are not orphans or outcasts. They are not alone. The Lord of Hosts is with them. Saturate each person with your truth today God. Believing your truth sets us free! Breaker anointing fall on every reader. Set the captives free. In the powerful name of Jesus!

Verses to Ponder:

Daniel 3:25-27 Amplified Bible (AMP)

He answered, “Look! I see four men untied, walking around in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt! And the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the blazing furnace and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, servants of the Most High God, come out [of there]! Come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire. The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s counselors gathered around them and saw that in regard to these men the fire had no effect on their bodies—their hair was not singed, their clothes were not scorched or damaged, even the smell of smoke was not on them.

You can come out of the fire and not even smell like smoke!! 🔥🔥🔥 And when you overcome with Jesus, it takes you into a promoted level of authority. We have authority in His name. Those who stand in His authority in adversity find a greater level of understanding of who they are in Him and who God is through them. In Jesus we can stand VICTORIOUS!

Photo: Pinterest (Fourth Man in the Fire)

You are greatly loved!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.Com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Happy Thanksgiving!

From my heart ❤️ to yours, “Happy Thanksgiving!” I hope in the hustle and bustle of every day life that gratitude is a regular occurrence and not just on special occasions.

I give thanks for you. Thank you for reading this blog and being a part of the journey to know God intimately. Thank YOU!

I recognize there are plenty of things we can find wrong on a given day, yet if we look hard enough, I think we can find at least three things to give thanks for daily. Do you have your three? I can give you some things I am thankful for today. I would love to hear your gratitude list.

  • God. God is my best friend. God says nothing can separate us from His great love. Knowing God, getting to know God, is the greatest joy of my life. P. S God LOVES you and longs to be your friend.
  • I am not homeless. Yesterday on the way to work I saw people begging in the cold for food. It was cold, windy, and unpleasant. Some people have no home to go to today and no hot meal prepared for them. If we are not homeless, that is a blessing.
  • Clean water and food to eat. I spent time in South America and Asia on mission. I also minister to the homeless here in America. I have seen people eating out of the trash, starving to death, and drinking polluted water. If we have clean water and food, that is a mega blessing.
  • A few amazing friends and some family. There are lonely people all over this planet who do not have great friends or loving family. I thank God for what I do have. It is not the quantity, it is the quality that matters. My mum used to say, “Erin, if you have one person who genuinely loves you and you can trust, you are richer than most.”
  • Health. I am healthy. If you are sick today, praying total healing over you! If you are healthy, that is cause for thanks.
  • Ability to work and have income. I thank God I can work and have income. I thank God for the businesses and ability to share resources. I am blessed to be a blessing and benefactor for those who cannot help themselves. If you have income, that is a blessing.
  • Freedom of faith. In my country I can share about Jesus without the severe consequences of those in Nations with less freedom. If you can worship without persecution, that is a blessing.

This list is not exhaustive. It is simply a snap shot of what I am giving thanks for today. What is on your list? Feel free to borrow some of mine. As you look around today, may there be blessings highlighted everywhere. You are so greatly loved and appreciated!

Have a wonderful holiday! Praying you are overwhelmed by the goodness, love, hope, beauty, joy, and wonder of God today. Oh how He loves you.

Oh…and don’t forget to swing by Empowered-Free.com and EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com tomorrow for the Black Friday sales. Save 45% off all inventory. Part of the proceeds will go towards the mission to South Africa next year and efforts to end human trafficking.

Black Friday is the best time to grab one of the books, audio teachings, devotionals, or check out our t-shirts, girls t-shirts, or other merch! Confident & Free the book and Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse the book both have 5 star ratings with readers. A greater freedom and confidence awaits you!!

Help us change the world! Use the code: BlackFriday

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

See the Upgrade, Instead of an Obstacle

Parable of the Boulder

There was a man who wanted to climb a mountain yet there was a boulder in his way. A man who came along and told him if he pushed the boulder up the mountain, he would give him ten fifty pounds bags of gold. He stated that many attempted to get the boulder up the mountain yet not one succeeded.

The man accepted the challenge and began to push the boulder up the mountain. He could only go so far without resting. The boulder was heavy and others just seemed to try to take the easy way around. They were playing in freedom while he kept pushing. It was hot, it was not easy. Some days it seemed he took a few steps forward and was pushed back.

He was tempted to give up at times because he could easily make money more easily. Why stick with the task at hand?

After many days and months of pushing the boulder up the mountain, he arrived. the man he had met at the bottom was there as promised with the bags of gold. He grinned with delight over the man making it to the top of the mountain. He asked the man to follow him even further up the mountain. Though fatigued, he climbed. The man asked him, “Why do you think I invited to you push the boulder up the mountain?” The gentleman pondered it for a moment and responded, “I do not know, maybe you needed it and there was no one to help you.” The man laughed. “No, I don’t need the boulder at all. This was not for me, it was for you.” The gentleman looked back at him puzzled, “How could this be for me?” The man replied, “Come look.” He took the man to an area where he could see his reflection. His muscles were fully developed and he had gained incredible strength.

“In the climb, you learned patience. You learned to persevere when it was challenging. You learned the easiest path was not the best path. You learned to focus, if you did not, you could be crushed by the boulder. You learned your own inner strength. You learned lessons some will never learn. The climb was never about me. It was about you. Every challenge has both an OPPORTUNITY and an UPGRADE attached to it. Some only live on the flat plains, they never rise to their highest level of potential. They take the easiest route and never learn who they can be. Some wait for someone else to push the boulder up the mountain and then try to glean from their success. You chose to take the path less traveled. You chose a path that would require strength. You chose faith to believe I would reward you for bringing the boulder up the mountain. Not only will I provide you with the bags of gold, but I am also including 10 times the reward in diamonds.”

Sometimes what looks easy is not the best path. Getting to where we want to go and be will take actual work, focus, planning, and perseverance. The race is given to the one who endures until the end. SO keep your eyes on the prize and keep going. If you need to rest, rest, then get back to what leads to your promise.

Praying for you!! You can do this with God’s help.

Oh…and this Friday, please check out our Black Friday sales on empowered-free.com/shop (books, teachings, audio) and empoweredandfreemerch.com (tshirts, bags, phone cases, etc)! All books and audio are 45% off.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com/Shop

EmpoweredandFreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Boulder image: Google images

Unraveling Teachings on Headship & Women in Ministry

Image: Ezer Rising

Since there has been controversy on my author page and other parts of media about women in ministry, I hope to put together teachings on the women in the Bible who were teachers, prophets, evangelists, taught men, shepherding, friends of Jesus, world changers, and commended by Paul for their ministry.

I also hope to cover how Jesus treated women; He even sent Mary to go tell others He had risen in a culture that did not highly value the testimony of a woman. If God wanted the women to be silent, Jesus would not have appeared to a woman and told her to be His witness. God would also not have appointed female prophets, which He did. Prophets speak forth the word of God, teach, mentor, and exercise authority. I will touch on Deborah who was a prophet and judge over ALL of Israel. She exercised authority over men.

I think part of the issue is many people do not hear about women in churches, unless it’s Mother’s Day or talking about Mary mother of Jesus. We need to know all of the Bible, the culture, the context, and most importantly the heart of God.

I also hope to break down what Ezer Kenegdo means. It is the Hebrew word God used for creating woman. It is poorly translated as helper or help meet. Our English language does not do Hebrew justice. Ezer is a word God uses to describe Himself and there is no weakness and inferiority in God.

Eve was created as a warrior, one with divine instinct and she represents a part of God Adam does not. Together as partners they would have dominion on the earth (See Genesis 1:26-28). Before the fall of humanity represents God intentions. Both of them were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

I also hope to touch on the poorly taught doctrine of male headship and female submission. God did not create a hierarchy ladder. He created a triangle. Man+woman would function as equal partners ruling and reigning together both moving towards God.

God also instructed ALL believers (male and female) to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). The greatest among you will be your servant (Matthew 23:11), said Jesus. When it is taught the wife must just do what her husband wants, he’s the head (boss), it creates potential for competition. He must be the smartest and most spiritual. In some cases the husband is not or his wife is far more skilled in an area. Or he’s not listening to God and she is. If he has zero accountability, he can lead his family into a ditch. I see clients with husbands who have brought porn in the home, are abusive, the husband is controlling, absolutely destroyed their finances, not responsible, will not listen to anyone’s counsel, and they are stuck being yelled at to submit.

If the husband thinks he’s the last say, he may forgo listening to his wife and feel resentful if her relationship with God is stronger or she’s more skilled than he is in an area. She may be viewed as a subordinate, not a partner. Both parties are called to mutual love, mutual respect, and mutual submission (a willingness to yield to what honors God). It can create problems when the wife treats her husband like he’s her God. God was clear. You shall have no other gods beside me and there is one mediator between God and man-Jesus. We have one high priest, Jesus. If the husband says to do something that is wrong, the wife is not supposed to do that and vice versa.

The role of both parties is to love one another and love is not about lording over others. Marital love is not a boss employee relationship. It’s two partners laying their life down for the benefit of each other. Jesus told the disciples not to be like the people in the world who seek to dominate and lord over others. He told them to take on the position of a servant.

“…Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles have absolute power and lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them[tyrannizing them]. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,“~Jesus Matthew 20:25-26.

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom. The way “headship” is sometimes taught is the husband is a god substitute in the home, the boss, the dictator, the final authority, and it’s not biblical. The husband is called to model Jesus in his sacrificial love, unselfishness, empowering his family, purity, etc…God did not create a boss and subordinate relationship, nor establish a system for husbands to have zero accountability. The husband is not a god substitute.

Whether you agree or disagree, I hope to unpack the word of God, the words of Jesus, creation, the Greek and Hebrew. Let’s unpack what God did say.

God willing after the holidays we will dive into the controversy. I think its great to study for ourselves and know what authors of the Bible meant. I also think it’s even better to know God, the character of God and the heart of God. The Pharisees knew the Torah and the law. They could quote it, beat people up with it, but they did not have personal relationship with God. We need both. The Holy Spirit is the best teacher.

Resources:

Ezer Kenegdo

https://godswordtowomen.org/ezerkenegdo.htm

Headship and Paul’s Letters

https://margmowczko.com/kephale-and-male-headship-in-pauls-letters/

It’s A Woman, Not All Women (Paul’s Letters)

https://margmowczko.com/a-woman-not-all-women-1-timothy-212/

Women in Ministry, Pastoral Roles, Submission

https://margmowczko.com/paul-gender-roles-in-marriage-ministry/

I will be doing Facebook lives on these topics. I think as a woman, it’s important I know what God did say. I think for men it’s important to know what God did say. There are so many women being forced into silence that God is calling to SPEAK! There are husbands who are not receiving the full benefit of having a partner because she is seen as a subordinante to be led by the nose.

I hope you join me in the new year for the series! You can follow video posts by going to Facebook.com/erinlambauthor. You can grab copies of the books I have written or audio teachings by going to empowered-free.com!

Lastly, we will not be SILENT!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

When Pastors Abuse

I wish Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse was not a book I needed to write. Why? I wish “church” was always a place of love, safety, and God’s goodness. I wish the organized “church” looked and loved just like Jesus.

Jesus is perfect theology and God is love. There is no abuse in love. There is no manipulation or dominance in love. There is no control in love. There is nothing perverse, sexually inappropriate, or lustful in love.

I use quotes for the “church” because truly God’s church is not a weekend service or organization, it is a body of people yielded to God. Jesus stated His followers would be known by their agape love (pure, sacrificial, and unselfish love). Abuse is not love and not of God. God will separate His true church from what is false.

Part of what I do is called deep inner healing. It’s not SOZO for those who are in the charismatic church. It’s inviting God into memories throughout a person’s life to interject truth, expose lies, deal with pain, and negative emotions. I do not interject memories. We deal with what God reveals to a person that needs to be healed.

Over the years I have heard the worst of the worst of stories; stories that make Steven King movies appear tame. I deal with people who have been severely damaged and abused to the point of dissociation (they fracture into multiple personalities). I hate to admit that some of the perpetrators claimed to be Christians. Some were pastors or deacons. Some had high levels of influence. They used their status and influence to exploit, manipulate, abuse, or molest others.

Some churches have encouraged hiding the sins of the pastors or the “church”. If anyone knew it could damage the “church” reputation. Holding onto this mindset helped to enable thousands of pastors to continue to abuse people in silence. It is ungodly to enable sin. What you hide, enables abuse to continue. It sends a message, “Please come and abuse people here. We will keep your secrets and forgive. We will pretend that nothing happened.” Some “church” leaders don’t recognize forgiveness is not ENABLING! Forgiveness is supposed to be coupled with repentance. To repent is to change one’s mind, not offer a sloppy sorry because you were caught.

In Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse I talk about the boundaries churches need in place to prevent a set up for a scandal.

  • Background checks on every leader. If you are a pedophile, you are not qualified to lead. Period.
  • Men should not counsel women in closed door, behind the scenes situations or off hours. And vice versa with women counseling men. “Counseling,” has led numerous people into sexual misconduct. Have a two person system. If you must have a one on one, one pastor I knew had a glass office door and his admin would sit outside. She could not hear, she could see what was going on in the session. I do not do deep inner healing sessions by myself in person. I have an assistant. If it’s through Skype, it’s recorded.
  • Check in on pastors and their mental, spiritual, and emotional health. Some are burnt out and not connecting with God. They serve, yet they are not working on their own relationship with God. Check in and have accountability systems.
  • Set up situations where leaders are never alone with someone else’s child. Children’s ministry should have two people not related caring for kids. They all need background checks too!
  • Teach your children proper boundaries. Just because a person claims to be a Christian does not mean they are safe. Teach your children about inappropriate touch and they can tell you anything. It’s sad, yet many children are threatened with getting in trouble if they tell.
  • Cease trusting people just because they claim to be a Christian or clergy!! This one is big.

I knew a lady who’s pastor invited her out to a bar then began to sexually proposition her. Well, first thing is this-I am not meeting my pastor alone anywhere!! Let alone a bar. Secondly, the moment he propositioned me for sex he would have been rebuked and then turned into the church board. This pastor had a history of hitting on women at the church, sleeping with them, then getting up preaching on Sunday. He would also remove parts of scripture that talked about sexual immorality.

What we permit, we promote! Let me repeat that, “What we permit, we promote.” This woman wanted to love, forgive, and pray for her pastor. Awesome! Yes, forgive. Also rebuke the sexual advances and let someone know so he cannot prey on anyone else. Some women have been so brainwashed with false teachings on submitting to authority that they easily give in to what is ungodly. He’s my pastor, I have to do this. NO!!!! You are sinning and God still hold you accountable. “My pastor told me,” does not fly in heaven.

What are you and I going to do to help stop abuse in the church? We cannot change other people. We can ask God for our part! Writing this book and helping victims of abuse is part of my part. It’s also my part to say something if I see something inappropriate.

I regret not listening to my instincts years ago. I noticed a male minister always playing with the little girls. He was in his 50s. They were 7 to 14 years old. I did not wish to judge him. I thought I was being overly suspicious. I looked the other way though it bugged me. Later it was revealed he was grooming young teen girls for sex. He eventually married a teenage girl in an impoverished nation by grooming her parents as well. He was eventually removed from ministry. Could I have helped if I said something early on? I don’t know. I had no proof. It just creeped me out. I wish I had said something.

My encouragement is this, “Please don’t turn a blind eye to abuse, control, manipulation, or sexual sin.” God is loving, gracious, kind, and forgiving. God also highly values people. If we allow abuse we violate God’s love. Being passive is easy. Being passive is not godly.

I see the aftermath in sessions with people. I see how the abuse wounded their views of themselves, of God, of the church. I see the horror and the agony the victims of abuse carry.

Let’s have honest conversations about abuse in the church. Let’s have boundaries that keep people safe. Let’s stop teaching that submission is doing whatever is asked of you. It’s not! Godly submission is being willing to yield to what honors God. It does not mean obey. Let’s teach young children and teens about appropriate and inappropriate touch. Let’s teach everyone about healthy boundaries. No I am not meeting a man alone in his home for ministry. I do not have them come to my house either. Why? I have no desire to be a victim of rape nor to appear to be doing something inappropriate. I don’t meet men at bars to talk about ministry. I don’t sin with them.

Several stories came out this week of men in Christian leadership exposed for sexual misconduct. Those women could have helped themselves by saying, “No I am not sinning with you. No I am not meeting you somewhere alone with no witnesses.” I am not trying to blame them. I feel compassion for them. I am saying in this day and age, we must use wisdom. I am not traveling to my pastors house alone. I will meet you in a public place with witnesses. No I am not sinning with you and submitting to what dishonors me or my relationship with Jesus. Boundaries help protect what has value. It’s far more difficult for sexual assault to happen in a public place with loads of witnesses.

If you have been abused sexually, physically, emotionally, spiritually (spiritual abuse is another one that is high in clients I see), manipulated, controlled, or mistreated by clergy or professing Christians, I am so sorry! It is not the heart of God and He hates abused. I pray your heart is healed and restored. God loves you! I can also confidently say that God gives beauty for ashes and binds up the wounds of the broken hearted! You are greatly loved.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org