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

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

Which Jesus Are You Following?

I love Jesus. I hope to follow Him all the days of my life, even if it cost me my life.

Following Jesus has cost me “friendships” and invited persecution. Most of the persecution coming from people who claim to know Him. They have called me names (heretic, demonized, weird, another colorful b-word), slandered my name, a few threatened violence, I was struck once by a woman who called me a liar and I was not lying (she claimed to be a Spirit-filled Christian. I refused to hit her back out of love and she was far older than me/over twice my age), cursed my ministry, cursed me, cussed me out, boycotted things I was doing for Jesus, cursed me from pulpits, mocked me, tried to shame me, publically set me up to be humiliated, talked badly about me, stopped talking to me if I disagreed with their understanding of scripture, tried to turn entire groups against me, posted hateful or disrespectful comments on my blogs or social media, tried to debate me for hours and talked down to me like I was stupid, written me nasty notes, called me a bad Christian and untrustworthy, called my ministry for God illegitimate, etc…all in the name of Jesus.

I don’t know the Jesus who acts like that. Jesus said you will know my true disciples by their agape (sacrificial, unselfish) love. Jesus also stated you would know a tree by its fruit. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlenesses, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law (Gal 5:22-23). Love fulfills the law because it does no harm to its neighbor (Romans 13:10).

Why share these things, and I promise I am not complaining? Because if our picture of Jesus is violent, hateful, nasty, rude, unkind, mean spirited, argumentative, proud, hostile, etc…it’s not Jesus of Nazareth. The spirits behind the behaviors in paragraph one are demons. Mockery is a demon. An accusatory spirit is a demon. Pride is a demon. These are the chief characteristics of Satan. It’s easy to build an image of God that is not God at all. Cursing people is the language of demons. Slander and gossip, are demons.

God invites us to know Him, who He really is. Even in my highest levels of ignorance or rebellion God never responded to me in a hateful way. Never. The conviction of God never pushed my face in the dirt and stepped on my neck. The Pharisees partnered with the devil and wanted to stone people for not following their understanding of the law. Jesus did not.

If you feel compelled to violence or mean-spiritedness against people, that is not the Holy Spirit. If you feel compelled to send nasty notes, leave rude and hateful comments, that is not the Holy Spirit. If you feel led to mock people and curse their ministry, that is not the Holy Spirit. A genuine Spirit of God will go gently and speak privately with someone in great love. The Bible tells us to go first privately and to make sure we don’t have a plank in our eye. See Galatians 6:1, Matthew 7:4-5, 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Matthew 18:15-17. If you behave in these ways, I encourage repentance.

I truly believe once we (collectively who claim Jesus) get the love thing right, everything else will fall into place. I am not bitter over the behavior of other people. I forgive them, pray, and move forward. I am deeply saddened by the misrepresentation of Jesus. Why? The world is watching those who claim Jesus to find out who God is. If our actions do not align with the heart of God, why on earth would anyone want to know Jesus? The devil never tells people how their actions will impact others. He pushes humanity to pride.

My prayer is we choose the way of Jesus. I am still being refined and having my heart tended by God. I am still learning from Jesus. I am still yielding myself to God. My hopes are no one will be able to say I brutalized them in the name of Jesus or made a mockery of who He is. Why? I love Jesus. How I behave is a reflection of our intimacy.

My greatest prayer this morning is for those who claim Jesus to truly know Him. Jesus said if we abide in Him, we will bear good fruit (John 15:4-5).

I do not desire to worship a Jesus made in mankind’s image. I want Jesus of Nazareth, the humble king who washed feet and chose nails even for His enemies. My urgent plea is seek to know the real Jesus. The Holy Spirit promises to be our teacher and guide. If we ask God, He will reveal Himself to us.

Before I went to sleep last night I deleted a nasty comment off my author page. I wrote about women in ministry which created a firestorm. The defenders of their version of the law came out with Bibles raised to beat me with their level of understanding. What they do not realize is I spent years studying the Bible. I read through it almost every year, and I am not ignorant. I have been pursuing knowing Jesus for most of my life. I do not speak about things I do not study with God. I bless them, forgive them, delete their hatefulness, pray for them, and move along.

If you have been beaten up by professing Christians, I am sorry. Jesus is sorry. God is not mean nor cruel. God loves you! God is patient and kind. God is good and merciful. God is not hateful. God is love. I wrote my third book Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse this year because we have way too many Christians in bad shape because of the treatment and abuse of other Christians. If you are hurting, grab it. It has 5 star reviews and has helped numerous people step out of pain and into healing. You can grab off Amazon.com or Empowered-Free.com/shop.

I hope something written here blesses you! Praying for you, me, the global church. Let’s choose love!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Photo Source: Pinterest

Insecurity is One of Our World’s Greatest Problems. There is a Cure!

Confident people tend to treat others better than insecure people. Why? If we love ourselves, then we can love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Insecurity is more than just not feeling good about oneself.

Some people cannot be alone, they are fearful, and therefore they cling to anyone who comforts that fear of being alone or left out.

Some insecurity manifests in greed, hoarding, and the inability to be generous. If you give, then there is fear of not having enough.

Some insecurity manifests in settling for less than in relationships and treatment.

Some insecurity manifests in pushing oneself to the front of the line or excessive boasting.

Some insecurity manifests in promiscuity and unholy relationships; lust is false love. It may feel like love to people, but it leaves them empty.

Some insecurity manifests in unhealthy jealousy, comparison, or envy-they must have all the attention or blessing. If not, the internal deficit is triggered.

In the case of abuse, people treat other people the way they feel about themselves. It’s easy to talk down to you or slap you around because they hate themselves. The way people talk to you is often how they talk to themselves.

The critical spirit is rooted in insecurity-“I will nit pick everyone else to bypass dealing with my own issues.”

Manipulation and control are rooted in insecurity (fear). When we are secure in God, we have no need to try to control everything.

Racism and sexism are both deeply rooted in insecurity. Someone must be inferior to feel superior or good about one’s self or group.

God invites us to ditch insecurity and find identity in Him. Godly confidence differs from self confidence because it is rooted in who we are in God; created in His image, His workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully made, desired, cherished, without rival, uniquely loved, the object of God’s affection. God is not unstable, nor His feelings flakey. God is love 24/7 and always. When we live out of His love, our identity grows secure. Living loved by God enables us to give that love away to others and cease comparison, envy, or gross mistreatment of others. Why? We see our value and theirs.

There is a cure for insecurity and it’s found in God’s love; knowing God’s love, receiving God’s love, abiding in God’s love, being healed by God’s love, and living from God’s love. Our world is suffering from broken identity and insecurity. More than having a sin problem, there is an identity crisis. When we know who we are from the perspective of God, we cease mistreating others and ourselves. May you and I seek knowing the fullness of God’s love!!

Prayer: God show me who you are and who I am from your perspective. Heal my hurts, insecurities, and hidden fears. I want to live fully loved by you! Today I want to ditch insecurity and cling to godly confidence.

Blessing you!

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

#KillingInsecurityBook #NextBook

Guarding the Heart❤️

Build A Fence Around Your Heart, Not a Wall. Therefore, Others Can See It’s Beauty, Yet Only Those Invited Are In It’s Inner Chamber (Your Inner World). Steward Your Heart.

One of my biggest mistakes (I think) in life was opening up my heart to so many people without wisdom. I simply wanted to love people as God loved me. So I was open, transparent, easily shared vulnerabilities. I learned it was not wisdom to give everyone access to my heart. There are ways to love everyone without allowing everyone access.

God is love! Yet God does not give everyone VIP access to Him. If you read in the Old and New Testement, there is way to get to the Father. He is not a snob. He is holy and valuable. You and I are not God. We are highly valuable to God. God loves His children MORE than earthly parents love theirs. God placed so high a value on humanity, Jesus was willing to offer His life in exchange for ours. We were guilty, dead in tresspasses and sins, and distanced from God. Jesus paid the full penalty for sin, and through Him we gain access to a holy God.

God pursues with relentless love. The door and access to Him remains the same. God sets boundaries out of love and wisdom.

You and I are called to love and value ourselves as God does. This means taking inventory of what is coming into our heart, our lives, our ears. Out of the mouth the heart speaks. When we spend all our time healing/mending from toxic people, it takes away from enjoying God and connecting with the right people.

Guarding our hearts is part of our responsibility. God does not do everything for us. We not only take assessment of who has access to us. We take assessment with God regarding our own heart. David stated, “Search me oh God!”

One of my regular prayers is, “Search my heart God. Recalibrate my heart. Align my heart with your love, truth, wisdom. Reveal any little foxes that may spoil the vine. Give me wisdom. Help me to be a blessing. Purge my heart of anything not like you!”

God is faithful to not only reveal the hearts of others (so we know how much access they need in our lives, not to judge them), but to reveal our own hearts so we can repent and be properly aligned with God’s heart! We too can guard our hearts by taking inventory of what we listen to, who we allow to speak into our lives, by seeking godly relationships, and investing in taking in what is good, pure and noble. What we feast on, we become. We become like the gods we worship. We can take inventory of the inputs in our lives. What we take in our eye and ear gates does impact our hearts. What we feed grows. So may you and I not only guard our hearts, may we deposit good things into our hearts.

As water reflects the face,

so one’s life reflects the heart.

Proverbs 27:19

The heart is deceitful above all things

and beyond cure.

Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind,

to reward each person according to their conduct,

according to what their deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:7

I seek you with all my heart;

do not let me stray from your commands.

Psalm 119:10

Be blessed! You are prayed for and deeply loved!! God I ask for each person reading this to have an encounter with your love today. May they know and experience the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your incredible love!! Comfort the hearting. Heal the broken. Love them deep. In Jesus powerful name.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

You Will Make It

I am studying for an important exam, yet this morning I was inspired to write this post reflecting on the past 16 months. I won’t go into great detail over what has transpired. I will say there has been great loss, a few betrayals, multiple deaths in my family, partial blindness for me (healed now), health issues with people I love, being stalked (I had to report someone to the police last spring), sabotage of some of my efforts, gross disappointments, and so much more. There have also been incredible triumphs and joys. I believe we can learn from anything!

Here is my post from the morning and I hope it blesses you.

There is a promise attached to the pain; we must seek God for a revelation of the promise(s) (Lessons Learned the Past 16 Months). ❤️👩🏽‍💻💯

I don’t share all my business online because I recognize levels of intimacy. My closest friends know my business. Everyone else is on a need to know basis. It’s just how I roll. I share my heart fully with people who know how to steward it well. Those who know my full journey and challenges the past 16 months may get more out of this. Everyone else, I hope you find a sliver of hope. No matter your season, the valley or the mountain top, there is a God who loves you and though He does not prevent every challenge, He will walk you through them.

Some sweet things learned the past 16 months…

Even in hard seasons you can find beauty if you LOOK for it! I started journaling each day and counting blessings. I list good things that happen and express gratitude to God. I look for at least one person daily to bless. Why? Introspection will rob you of opportunities to be a blessing and enjoy God.

Even in my hardest moments, I can still love and serve others without expecting them to take care of me. I have a choice, as do you, to be a victim or a victor! It does not mean breaking your back nor forgoing rest, it does mean choosing love. Waking up each day to choose love provides focus and greater dependency on God…God who needs your love today?

The extreme power of grace; God’s supernatural ability to do what we could not do before. Wowed by grace. It is a frequent prayer to say, “God give me grace for today. Today God I receive grace.”

When I think I cannot take another step because I am exhausted physically or emotionally, how God’s super invades my natural. God will infuse you with His strength. You learn a level of God’s POWER in weakness that cannot be learned in any other season.

Who loves me for me, and who was connected for their own personal gain or to benefit from ministry. It is unfortunate, yet trials not only reveal who you truly are on the inside, they reveal who is truly for you! Bypass offense and understand you must not expect a consumer to act like a true friend. A consumer comes to take. A friend comes to give. I don’t expect a cat to be a dog. A cat will behave like a cat.

The great lengths some people will go through to help you or encourage you in their own storm has been revealed. I wrote out a thank letter this week. I was weeping as I typed out thank you to all the people willing to be obedient to God and help in some way. Don’t focus your energy on who is not for you. Focus that energy on who is for you! Mostly God is for you!!! He will put you on the heart of perfect strangers to be a blessing.

How deep the Father’s love is, vast beyond measure. I won’t even start typing out the revelations of God’s love, provision, care, comfort, goodness, beauty, and hope because I will be here all day. It just gets richer in revelation. Oh my, is God better than what humans represent or speak about Him.

I learned not to expect people who have not walked it out to understand. There is a complete and utter disconnect. #BlankStare. You release the expectation for compassion from people and talk to God. I used to be bothered by unkind people. I recognize I too can be insensitive if I lack understanding. You forgive easier and move on. You learn who to talk to and get really raw with and who to tell, “God is good,” and keep on moving.

How deep the roots and love go in my Ignite Reborn community!! They have loved me well and I thank God they are not looking for a super hero in a leader. I am only human; I am there to serve, not be a Savior. There is power in safe, loving, and mutually giving community. If you find a safe, loving tribe-cherish them, invest in them, give thanks for them, show up and do your part.

Learn to completely ignore the haters online and in real life. Unhappy people try to make others miserable. You become quicker to block, ignore, say, “Take that garbage somewhere else. I love you, but I am not your trash can.” You start to monitor your energy. It’s not proper English but, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I stopped trying to figure it out or explain myself.

I stopped answering the phone for energy vampires. Some days I only had strength to do one or two things (being honest), I refused to waste it on selfish people. Please go to voicemail. Protect your energy and schedule. Some people are simply distractions. Lovingly set boundaries. They want their problem to be your highest priority when you have a pile of your own.

You listen to the voice of Jesus on an even deeper level because He is close to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. He whispers and you lean in closer and closer….your friendship with God goes to a whole notha level! If you are being challenged in your health, your finances, your family…Jesus is right there. Lean in. Lean on Him. Ask Jesus for heaven’s vantage point. “God show me your truth and give me wisdom in this season.”

Understanding with every problem, every pain-there is a promise. A promise of God’s steadfast love. A promise of God’s healing. A promise of God’s protection. A promise of God’s presence-“Never will I leave you or forsake you!” A promise of beauty for ashes and joy for mourning! A promise of glory. A promise of His unwavering friendship.

Grief is temporary. Yes, it comes in waves. Some days like tidal waves, yet there are days of calm, great joy, and peace. Walk through the process of grieving without bypassing the hard parts. Don’t let religious acting Christians try to convince you that you should not grieve nor how to grieve. If they have not walked through what you have walked through they can keep their scripture one liners. Find healthy people to walk with you who possess wisdom in their speech.

Give yourself grace to be human. I love laughing with God and being positive. I also recognize my humanity and when I went through months of unexplained blindness I had human moments. It was not a fun time. Grace! Trying to be Superman or Wonder Woman is crazy. Yes, lean into God and seek His strength. Also understand you are human.

Oh the depths of desperation…I gained a greater understanding of how desperate people feel. The compassion in my heart has gone from maybe level 7 to off the charts. Pain changes the way we see things. I hope I don’t forget the trials that broke my heart and some that sought to crush my spirit. I pray my heart remains soft towards God and humanity.

God will deal with your enemies! He is longsuffering and gives each person time to repent. When God has had enough, He moves in with His right arm outstretched to execute judgement on your enemies. People play with fire thinking they will not be burned. Yet God has shown me on an even greater level the past 16 months that anyone who raises a weapon, tries to work evil, or places their tongue in a malicious way on His children will have consequences. God is merciful and kind. God is also a fierce warrior who will and does cast down Jezebel from her throne. God defends and avenges His own. He prepares a table before you in the PRESENCE of your enemies. Even when the devil thinks he’s winning, he loses in the end.

Don’t let people pressure you into more than you can do. I cannot tell you how many people try to pressure me into meeting their ministry or personal need. “Count it all joy! Trust the Lord!! God is just testing you. See how much more like Jesus you are becoming…yada yada yada..” Attached to that is normally some expectation I can do something for them. Well, no. I have grace to complete God’s assignments for me, not everyone else’s. I cannot tell you how many people have approached me with “God said to contact you or your were the one to do this.” If God did speak directly to me, I am not doing anything. Nope. Nada.

Lastly, your latter shall be GREATER than your former. If you sink into God, there is no limit to what can happen. It can be painful in the process, yet you must not give up on His beautiful vision. You may need to reject the visions of others, or their dreams for your life…yet keep pressing into His! God is good, and God LOVES you. Keep being a seeker of God because He is seeking you. He is seeking you in the good times and challenging seasons.

Signed…someone linked to Jesus to hopefully always overcome! Back to studying for exams I go. Have a great weekend.

God loves you! You can make it! With God you will make it. That’s what my dad says to me often. I love my earthly dad and heavenly Father. Be blessed! Praying for you to make it!! For real praying. You are loved!!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Promotion Comes from God

Let God Promote You & Bypass Disgrace!

We live in an insta society where people want to build a brand, a name for themselves, and promote what they can do. As a business owner I have been told to promote myself, build a brand, get the word out there. I try to share what I do, but I am most interested in how I can help someone else or hear their story. I love stories. I don’t want to be a self promoter. I would love for God to open doors and God to get the glory.

It’s a temptation to promote ourselves ahead of God or to build our own empires. The truth is, it’s His story for His glory and God advises us to do nothing out of selfish ambition and vain conceit. We are also told the following from Psalm 75:7.

This I know:

the favor that brings promotion and power

doesn’t come from anywhere on earth,

for no one exalts a person but God, the true judge of all.

He alone determines where favor rests.

He anoints one for greatness

and brings another down to his knees.

It is God who raises up and sits down. God gives grace and promotion to the humble, not the proud. God will put your name, your ministry, your business, your needs on the hearts of the right people at the RIGHT TIME! The key word is TIME. Please don’t move ahead of God. He knows what He is doing.

God thinks bigger than we do, and God prepares who He calls. God cares more about our character than our gifting. You don’t set your child up to fail. You would not give a toddler keys to a lambourghini, yet I have seen people promote themselves or others past where they need to be at the moment. It can lead to disgrace.

Our giftings have the capability to take us further than our character or capacity can sustain us. If we are not rooted in Jesus, it can lead to performance and striving. Both are stepping away from abiding in the true vine-Jesus. Apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5).

What is in a name and the applause of mankind? Nothing. For if we live to please people or move from red carpet to red carpet, we are no longer servants of God.

Am I now trying to win the favor and approval of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please someone? If I were still trying to be popular with men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ,~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:10).

Pride is a nasty sneaky demon that has destroyed many families, friendships, and ministries. It is the chief sin of Lucifer…”I will exalt my throne above Gods.” It is more concerned with self than God or others. Pride needs to be out front and boasting. It is applauded in culture, it is not in heaven. God resists the proud. We can boast in God, yet I cannot boast in myself or what I have done. I am nothing apart from Him and only by His grace am I even alive.

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”~James 4:6.

Honestly, the best places to be in the Kingdom are at the feet of Jesus or in His arms. It is not the stage, the platform, the TV show, the radio, the podcast, the blog, the speaking or preaching engagements. It’s intimacy with God and making His name famous on the earth. Is Jesus glorified? Is it aligned with heaven? Is Jesus made known?

It’s also about the timing of God.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem He knew where the donkey was that had never been ridden. God knew where to find him. He may have been invisible to everyone else, yet that donkey had a date with destiny.

When Jesus had finished saying all this, he went on toward Jerusalem. As he was getting near Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples on ahead. He told them, “Go into the next village, where you will find a young donkey that has never been ridden. Untie the donkey and bring it here. If anyone asks why you are doing that, just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”-Luke 19:28-31 (CEV).

God knew where Moses was on the back side of the desert. He spoke to him and called him from a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-17). God knew where David was. Shepherd boy David was tending sheep (1 Samuel 16). He did not have to run to the front of the line and say, “God chose me to be king.” God sent for David and anointed him.

When God calls and when God anoints, He provides grace for the mission. When we call ourselves, anoint ourselves, or allow someone else to call us outside of God’s timing it leads to disgrace. If God places me somewhere, I know God will sustain me. If I appoint myself or allow others to appoint me ahead of His timing it leads to self effort and self promotion to keep me there.

I have angered a few people in my lifetime for refusing to give them a leadership role ahead of what God told me to do and disappointed a few people who wanted to catupult me into their version of my destiny, not God’s voice to my heart. I simply know that moving ahead of God or following the ways of man leads to destruction.

My encouragements:

  • Seek God and pursue humilty (get low to serve not be served).
  • Focus on being a blessing instead of being blessed.
  • Wait on God. Trust me, God knows where you are and where to find you. If God can locate an unridden donkey, He can find you.
  • Yield to the Holy Spirit. I cannot tell you how many times He has whispered to my heart, “This is not for you.” Or “This is not the proper timing.”
  • Understand everything that glitters (sounds good, looks good) is NOT necessarily God.
  • Seek God with opportunities. “God is this aligned with what I need to be doing right now?”
  • Understand God wants you to succeed. God loves His kids more than we love ours.
  • Know God withholds nothing good. If you are in a hidden season, enjoy the time with God. I love my cave with God. I actually prefer it to the spotlight.
  • Sink into Jesus. Keep abiding.
  • Don’t be distracted by shooting stars. Some rise fast then crash and burn.
  • Your audience is God, not people! Live for the applause of heaven.
  • Think in terms of eternity.
  • Understand earth is more concerned with metrics than Jesus. God is looking at the heart.
  • Note popularity is not the same as influence. There are popular people with millions of people headed straight to hell.
  • Quality is better than low quality and high quantity. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself with Jesus.
  • Building history/relationship with God is far more important than building an audience or platform.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

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People Are Not Against You; They Are Primarily For Themselves.

Happy Look Out For Someone Besides Ourselves Wednesday!

The Bible tells us to love one another and part of love is demonstrating the heart of the Father to others. I recognized years ago in my own walk in ministry that I grew to believe God loved the people I was ministering to more than me. It is untrue. Yet the lie grew from experiences with Christians. I was expected to give, to love, to pour out, to lay my life down, to be available in every crisis, to forgive, to show up even when I was overwhelmed or in my own crisis, to put myself last, to endure gross mistreatment with a smile, to be perfect, and they were not expected to do much.

I was expected to be Jesus. They on the other hand were not. I was to offer grace and mercy and give others unlimited access to my time and life.

The reciprocation of God love was low and sometimes non existent. I was expected to get love from God and show up again to pour out. I recognized I had to set limits with people. Say no to extra ministry tasks.

I found reciprocal relationships in the marketplace and through hobbies/outside the church activities. I thank God today there are a few reciprocal relationships with believers.

It is not true God desires one sided relationships for us. It is NOT true that God desires for us to love Him, then others, and ourselves last. Every time I see those bumper stickers, I want to rip them off. The Bible states we love because He first loves us. Then we are called to love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. Step 1. God loves us. Step 2. We RECEIVE God’s love for ourselves (we cannot give what we do not receive). Step 3. We give back to God and others the love we have first received from God.

Unselfish love-loving others without strings attatched and desire for selfish gain comes ONLY from God. It is agape love-the highest form of love. It’s the love Jesus invites us into so we represent His heart to the world. It is the love that marks His followers.

Pain and disillusionment can come when we expect agape from Christians who are incapable of returning agape. We can only give what we first possess. May we abide in agape (Jesus) so we demonstrate agape (Jesus) to others.

Love is not selfish.

I noticed people would and will ask things of me that they absolutely would be unwilling to do in return. I have heard more than one person tell me I was supposed to help their ministry or business, but God was not calling them to help me. Not that I asked them for help. I tend to ask God and ask Him who to ask for help. It saves me time.

At the root of all sin is selfishness and hyper concern for self. Self is the idol to be worshipped instead of God. What about me? Is the theme song.

I realized I would push myself almost to the point of breaking to keep my word, to be there for people who would not even pull their own weight or bother to show up. It taught me something. It taught me boundaries. It taught me to expect Jesus to be Jesus, and people to be people.

Expecting people to be like Jesus leads to disillusionment. I am still a work in progress, so is everyone else. Expectations can lead to unnecessary discomfort.

We, humans, can also have flawed visions of ourselves. I have met those who believe they are representing the heart of God, yet their primary focus is self: making sure their voice is heard, their ministry is supported, their needs are met, their political agenda pushed forward.

We imitate the God we know and at times treat people similar to the way we treat God. If God is only pursued to meet a needs list, then people treat other people like slaves too. Abiding in God love, which is not selfish, is the only way we manifest unselfish love.

When we can connect with people and love them NOT for what we can gain from them, that is real love God. Love fulfills the law because love does NO purposeful harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10).

We can only give away what we receive first from God. Jesus stated His followers would be known by their unselfish, sacrificial love (John 13:34-35). May we abide in His love, and love others not for our gain but for their blessing!

Look for someone to love today!!

God love wins!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

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Communication-A Healthy Building Block for Relationships

Communication is one of the building blocks of a healthy relationship. People don’t know what we do not tell them. I don’t know any mind readers. In an age where people prefer to talk about people behind their back rather than to their face, God gives us better counsel. He says, “If your brother or sister sins against you, go directly to them in love. Make sure you check yourself (make sure your spirit is right) and you are not in sin, then gently go talk to your brother or sister.” It does not say, “Push that person into the dirt, shame them, call them names, or be mean spirited.” It also does not say “go tell everyone except the person you have the problem with.”

I had a lady once who all of a sudden started treating me poorly. She did not tell me anything. She just acted funny. Years later, after she processed her issues she randomly said to me, “We are good now. I processed my issues with you and we are good.” The problem was I never knew there was an issue. She was upset because I was receiving certain attention from a particular ministry that rejected her. I was clueless. I only knew what she showed me.

I also had an instance with a gentleman I was trying to serve and love as a brother in Christ who took my sisterly love as romantic. He treated me poorly. I was trying to fulfill John 13:34-35. He saw it as me chasing him, which I did not, for girlfriend status. He never communicated to me his perceptions. He kept inviting me places then ignoring me when I got there. I thought the invitations to group things were invitations for friendship. He told others how he felt. He never honored me enough to ask me questions or talk to me. So others talked about me behind my back with false understandings of my intentions. One brave person told me what was going on so I could move away from this person and stop trying to be his friend. In hindsight, I should have stopped initiating kindness the first time he ignored me. People show us how they feel about us with their actions.

Over the course of my life, I have lived through the “friends” who talked about me instead of to me. I will tell you it is impossible to build a relationship with someone who is not honest and does not communicate. It is challenging to trust people who talk about people all the time behind their back. If they gossip to you or talk badly about others, they will gossip about you or do the same to you. I ask people, “Have you talked to this person, or are you just venting to me? They don’t know you are upset if you do not communicate.” I don’t purposely befriend people for close relationships who prefer to talk about people rather than talk to them. Why? It is not healthy.

Every relationship I have ended, I had a conversation with the person, if I could and it was safe to do so. I have had a few stalkers and hostile people, they get blocked and reported if they refuse to respect boundaries.

Healthy communication builds bridges and can save relationships. Talk it out.

Sometimes we just are not a great fit, even in circles of faith. That’s okay. Sometimes that person just fades out of our life. Seasons change. Yet I did not just disappear and never say anything.

Every person, if I could and it was wisdom, I had an issue with I approached directly in love (either in writing (I process best in written form) or phone or in person). Why? Because people cannot read our minds. Sometimes people are clueless how their behavior impacts others. What we refuse to discuss festers in our souls. People also treat us how we let them. People don’t know our boundaries if we do not set them.

Maybe there is someone to reach out to have a conversation, clear the air, cut the ties, build a bridge, or just to move along.

I appreciate greatly the people in my life who were courageous enough to communicate. A few have had the wrong spirit or absolutely the wrong perception, yet even ungodly feedback can be taken to God. “God what they see is not what happened, yet it bothered someone greatly so I take full responsibility for any unintentional harm. I repent to see my brother or sister healed. If I hurt or harmed someone on accident, I still take responsibility and take their concerns under consideration.”

In order to build any healthy relationship with God or anyone else it requires communication and honesty. I don’t do pretend. I won’t smile in your face and talk nasty about you to everyone and their momma. Why? Because love is authentic and cares about your reputation. Love cares about you!

May we communicate. How has communication helped your relationships? Are you communicating to the right people?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Warmly,

Erin