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The Sovereign Pursuit of the Savior

Proverbs 8:17
I love all who love me. Those who search for me will surely find me.

It’s 2am and the phone rings; not recognizing the number I hit ignore and tried to go back to sleep. A minute later it rings again, I am so tired I think, if it rings a third time, it is really for me.” Hoping with each passing second there isn’t a third call sure enough it rings again. As I pick up the phone, I heard a very worried voice on the line. “Sarah, I don’t know what to do, what should I do?”

I calmly said, “who is this and what is going on?” The student went on to share how they had been partying, one of them had entirely too much to drink and was passed out. The could not get them to wake up. Most, too out of it they didn’t know what to do. The kid who called me had not been to youth group for more than a year. They continued, “I didn’t know who else to call.” I have to say there are no greater words to compliment a youth leader than those! In a sense, it gives a glimpse to what the Lord must feel when we hit bottom and come to Him.

For many of us, we might think this to be a perfect “I told you so,” or a “what were you thinking” moment. Out of fear, we can lack compassion or react in disappointment. As this young person lay in the hospital getting their stomach pumped, the dr. working hard to keep them alive, God brought me to this place of overwhelming mercy and grace. The kids on the table, was actively involved in youth group activities, outings and events. It was a kid I might not have expected to be in this situations (although none of us are above bad choices)!

As I was praying for this student, God pressed Ps. 23 on my heart. Verse 4 say’s, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me.” I couldn’t help but think how amazing these words of comfort are. In the darkness, in the moment of a bad choice the Lord is still with us. He does not leave us. He does not take His eyes off of us, the Bible says, “He upholds us with His righteous right hand. Amazing!

The student was supposed to join our youth group on a trip to a Christian conference coming up. I had left the island for a few days to go speak at an event on the main land. When I returned, I got news that this student had pulled out of the trip. The news weighed so heavy on my heart; I felt like this student had forgotten that God was still with them. That despite what has happened, the Lord still desired a relationship with them. How often do we forget that grace is an unearned, undeserved, freely given gift? We get into that thought process of having to do good to be excepted. We forget that it is already done. We are already “excepted in the Beloved.”

I think of the book of Hosea and the great picture of the restoration God desires to do when we have messed up. So often when we blow it, we feel ashamed and we don’t think that we can come to Christ. Who hasn’t been in that place? In that shame the first thing the enemy says is, “You’re no longer His child, don’t pray, cause He is not listening.” That’s a lie, Satan is always trying to lie and separate you from fellowship with God. God wants you to seek Him, especially when you’re not walking with Him. Seek Him immediately.

In Hosea, God used Gomer (Hosea’s wife), to show us how far His people deviated from the truth. They once walked with God and now they deceived themselves, thinking they could do it on their own apart from God. So often we become self-sufficient instead of Christ dependent.

God told Hosea that he was to take back his harlot wife to himself and restore her. God was using this as a lesson for you and me. No matter what we have done, how bad the sin, or how horrible the consequences are; He did not, does not and will not reject you or me for them. God takes you just as are; He cleanses you, renews you and restores you. God does not remind us of our sins anymore; why should we? If God could forgive everything I have done, then I too need to forgive those who have hurt me.

God’s promise of restoration is in Hosea 2:14-16 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, I will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, As in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. And it shall be, in that day, Says the Lord, That you will call me my Husband; you will no longer call Me master.”

After much prayer, I called this student up and shared with them that even though they messed up they were still welcomed and loved. I said, I didn’t want them to feel guilty or bad over what happened, or feel like they couldn’t come around anymore. I shared that God loves us on our best day and worst day and only the enemy reminds us of what we have done and makes us feel as if we can’t come to God. We can always come to Him. I let this student know that we didn’t wanting to force them to come, but if they wanted to, they were still welcome.

The next day this student called me back and tearfully shared that this was exactly how they had felt. That they still really wanted to come, but thought they couldn’t. They felt so ashamed. After hanging up the phone all I could do was cry. The restoring love of God is so good! It is always available to all who come to Him. His arms are opened wide to each of us. We need to understand that in the Love and Mercy God has given us, there are going to be times of trial. We are going to go through the valleys, but even through the valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.

You might be reading this today and you yourself have been going here or there to find fulfillment, but have come up empty. God is calling you to wake up and to run back to His open arms! He loves you and His love will not reject you.


Why God??

Many people have asked, “where was God during the Connecticut shootings?” Luke 2 tells us, when Mary was ready to give birth to Jesus, there was no room in the Inn. Even today people do not have room for Jesus in their hearts and lives, there’s no room for Him in our schools, often in our communities and work places, nor in our country!
When a society becomes so anti God, this is what tends to be the result. We have seen the depravity of man at its finest through this pointless massacre. This, leaves us all feeling uneasy and asking, why?
You cannot deny Christ in a society and then blame the very God you deny, when bad happens! Bad, is a result of sin; we are all born with a sin nature. When you couple that sin nature with a society that wants to live and do how it pleases, wanting nothing to do with what God set in place, you get this!
The Bible says, “all have made bad choices, and because of those bad choices, the result is death”. Jesus came with a free gift for you and I, and in receiving Him (the simplicity of the gospel… just receive Him) we receive eternal life!
Jesus, coming to the earth was His way of making a path for sinful men to come boldly to His Throne, there, we can receive grace and mercy in our time of need.
Gods grace and Mercy is available to all. That will be the only thing that will sustain our nation, while hope might seem lost.
I was so touched to see one father, who lost his 6year old daughter, stand firm on his faith in God. Where was God? He has there, sustaining His son, through the death of his daughter. One day, this father and daughter will be together again in heaven.
Thank you Jesus for making a way for us! Thank you, for the cross and thank you, for loving people so much that you refuse to leave us stagnate. Lord, bring Good out if this evil. May we as a society, see just how truly great our need is for You.
Merry Christmas all


Take the Time

Take the Time

•You can turn around and walk away. Tell yourself there’s nothing here to see. Try so hard to look the other way. As if you hadn’t noticed anything. You do it to the least of these, You do it to Me. You’ve got to take the time. You got to take the time. Shadow is a voice of no concern; running through the bridges that we burn. You can’t even feel your lonely marks. So how can you pretend to lead the blind? You do it to the least of these, You do it to Me. You got to take the time. You got to take the time. I’m the hungry and the weak, Can you even see me? I’m the stranger all alone, won’t you welcome me home? I’m the naked and the shame, Won’t you look my way? You got to take the time. You got to take the time!
Song by:
Mercy Me

The more I think about going on a missions trip, I can’t help but feel convicted by the lack of mission in my own home. As I shared these feelings with a friend they shared, “But Sarah, you are doing it all the time by serving the youth.” This might be true in some way, but the reality in my heart is that this is an easy place to do it. I am passionate about the youth. I have served so long that it has become easy.

Christianity is not meant to be easy. I have been on a journey in the past four months, taking a new Bible and going on a journey with it, through my old one. I have been rereading all that I have highlighted through the 11 years of ministry on Kauai. The moments God spoke to me in His still small voice. The times He has hugged me in a moment of fear, held me in the times of pain or frustration. The times He carried me when I had nothing left to give or no strength to keep walking. The whispers of encouragement in the moments of defeat or failure. The smiles He shared with me in the reminders that He loved me. The silent tears cried, that He placed in a bottle, not missing one of them. The strength we shared as He walked with me through the darkest hours. The healing He brought me by His Grace, that enabled me to love like He did; giving me the ability to love the one who I once thought was unlovable. The reminders that not one step I took was in vain, even when I watched so many walk away. The constant pursuing me, when I wanted to be left alone. The challenges to run harder and long, telling me that giving up was not an option. Him calling me to new steps of faith, even when I could not see how it was possible. The never ending forgiveness when pride got the best of me. The reminder that I could always come boldly to receive His great grace and mercy at His thrown.

All of these moment have had so many emotions but the one thing that none of them were, was easy. As I took this journey I found myself missing all the firsts that ministry had. The unchartered waters that had never been walked. The total dependency on God for every step. The excitement of seeing Him do new things. Seeing the fire flamed; that contagious excitement of the Lord doing new things.

I am not saying that I do not continue to see Him working, He is, He daily blows me away! What I am saying is that I miss the steps of faith in reaching the lost (not just youth) on Kauai. I can think of several people that the Lord has placed in my path that need His truth, His love. Yet in some way shape or form, I have turned and walked away from those opportunities. I don’t want to go serve those in Mexico only, I want to step up and step out in the community and be a loud voice for the Lord. He wants to use us, He waits for us to be willing to step out of easy Christianity, to see Him do above and beyond what we thought He could do, by His power working in and through us.

Last month I was in New Jersey speaking at a girls conference. I love traveling and sharing Christ with others, but I love the stories I walk away with. The last story was from a 16 year old named Christina. Her life has never been easy, she was born with a tumor growing out of her face from her nose. She has spent her life having surgery after surgery, hiding in a sense from the world that often can be so mean. As she has gown in the past year in her relationship with Jesus, she found strength in Him. She no longer wanted to hide from the world, but became passionate about reaching the lost in her community (none to be the city with the highest crime rate in the US). So she took the step of faith to put on the first ever girls outreach in her community. There were over 300 girls in attendance. After sharing with these inner city girls I gave an invitation to receive Christ. I would say about 40% of the girls that were there gave their heart to Christ. I heard story after story of tragedy and pain these girls had faced. I had several of them cry in my arms just needing a hug. I can’t help but smile when I think of their sweet moments of firsts they are about to have with Christ.

I am so thankful for the Christina’s who are willing to step out and not afraid of the unknown. Christianity my friends is not meant to be easy. When we are walking in Christ, we will always be blown away by the fruit those difficult steps often produce!

If you are like me, and find yourself in a routine that has become easy, I challenge you to step out again and ask God to use you in new ways. It will be a challenge, but it will be a reward too! Please pray for the group of 28 that will be in Mexico with me, pray that God will challenge them as He has me.


Lost Limbs, but Not Hope!

       I recently was invited to come in Tunica Mississippi. It’s always a pleasure to travel and meet new people while exhorting them through God’s Word.  I am blessed to see the doors God has opened for me through Soul Surfer and also, through the ministry He has allowed me to be a part of here on Kauai. As I travel, I have made lasting friendships and have been touched by so many people as they share their stories with me.

        Every trip I take, I look forward to seeing what God is going to do and how He is going to use me.  Often I hear stories of tragedy and pain; people looking for a word of hope to keep them going.  Sometimes they need a hug or someone to pray with them.  Often I am brought to tears by the stories of the pain that is out there!  I am always blessed to share the hope we have in Christ and remind people of a promise often forgotten in the storm: Romans 8:37,Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” God’s Word is the truth that will get us through our darkest hour.

        Mississippi was a bit different from all the other places I have gone; probably because it hit very close to home for me.  While there, I met an incredible young lady by the name of Madysen Acey.  Madysen, who is now almost thirteen, became a double amputee at the age of ten.  In one day she went from being a young girl full of innocence and wonder, to fighting for her life.

        While out with her friend Betsy, they found themselves playing on top of a cotton picker  (a very large tractor).  Madysen lost her footing and to avoid falling she grabbed onto a live electrical wire that was hanging low due to a storm that came through days earlier.  She remembered people telling her to not look down and she couldn’t understand why.  She said all she could see was black stuff on her arms.  She shared how everything after that was pretty much a blur.  Her friend Betsy told me that it was like flames shooting through her hands.

        By the time she got to the hospital and went into surgery, they had to remove one of her arms at the shoulder.  As she was fighting for her life, doctors fought to save her other arm.  Within four days her and her mom received the dreaded news.  In order for Madysen to survive, they would have to amputate her other arm.  After numerous surgeries and skin grafts, Madysen’s attitude, like Bethany’s, seemed to bring so much hope to others.  When talking about all who had helped to save her life, she said, “God put them there to save me because he has a plan for my life here on earth. He’s not finished with me yet. This may be a set back in life but thank God for life!!”

         There is such beauty in knowing and trusting God in the darkest hour of life.  I love how Jeremiah 33:3 puts it, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”  Bethany’s story and faith had played a role in Madysen’s life and it helped her to remember that God was not done with her.  He has a plan in this, as He did with Bethany.  Only He knows what the plan is, but as we seek Him, His peace will be upon us.  That peace is what came upon Madysen, helping her to cope with losing her arms.

           As I sat and talked with Madysen and her mom, Bethann, I was touched by their zeal for life and making it all work!  I saw Madysen laugh, play and wrestle with one of the neighborhood kids; her joy is moving.  Her mom has such a servant’s heart and it was extremely humbling to see.  She has sacrificially given so much for her family and does it all with a smile.  Her love didn’t stop in her home; she helped to put together the community outreach I spoke at.  Her hope is to share God’s truth with the lost.  They are living out their faith and looking to reach out to others while doing so.

        God knows what He is doing; He knew that through Bethany losing her arm to a shark, that a young girl would look to her to draw strength in her own storm.  He loves us so much; if we would only see that.  So often we hold out our arm in a sense to block that love from moving toward us in difficulties, and because we do not understand, we run away.  Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”  When we allow ourselves to rest in Him, His peace will be upon us.  He is never far from those in need.  He is always ready to lift us up and help us see.

          I look forward to sharing Madysen’s story with others and I look forward to seeing what God is going to do with this young thirteen year old to bring glory to His name as he as with Bethany.  Today if you need encouragement and a spiritual hug, look to Jesus.  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 2Corinthians 1:3-5

 

Click here for more information on Madysen Acey,
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Wake Up!!

Sarah Rachel Hill Speaking a Northside Church’s Women’s Conference


But None of These Things Move Me

    A few weeks ago while running at night (something I typically do) the rain began to fall. Feeling so proud of myself for being out there, the music on my play-list truly fit perfectly for this hardcore workout moment. Usually, I run with a headlamp on (it’s ok to chuckle at the thought of that) but I thought that since it was raining, I didn’t want to frighten anyone driving by so I turned it off. As the rain began to really come down, I felt as if I should be running faster and harder  (yes pride was seeping in). All the sudden I lost my stepping, rolled my ankle, skidded down the asphalt and sat there feeling ridiculous!

    When I got up, I had to convince myself that it was not broken and everything would be ok. Talk about bad timing; I couldn’t afford to be out with how much I had coming up on the calendar. As I got home, I couldn’t even walk on it. I immediately iced and elevated it. It was so painful, but I refused to go to the doctor fearing I would hear the words “It’s broken.” I spent the next few days home, nursing it back to health. In the stillness, I began working on preparing my notes for a conference I would be speaking at in the next couple weeks.

     As I sought the Lord about what He would have me share on while in North Carolina, I felt driven in a million directions. I understood why my mind was so crazy; my life seemed to also be going all different directions. My plate has been so full with so may different ministry opportunities. Interesting to note, the last thing I posted on my social media before this happened was, “I’m feeling spread so thin.”  

    I am one who If not busy, I soon become quite restless. So not being able to run, surf or even walk for that matter you could see how quickly I started feeling restless and down. I knew God was allowing me to have some time to rest; yet here I was not focused, not able to do what I needed to. I really felt defeated and you know when you are down, the enemy loves to have a hay day with putting lies in your mind. I started wondering if I should cancel my trip because I wasn’t sure what to share on, I felt inadequate and to top it off, I couldn’t walk.

     I’m sure you have heard enough about my truly minor problem but I soon began to see that this was a battle I was in and it was far beyond me. Kauai in the past month faced some of the worst flooding we have seen in years. It one week we had 50, yes 50 inches of rain. The day before I was to leave for NC it was a torrential down poor all day. As I went into town to the school I work at; I had to drive through a flooded town. The water level was up to the car doors. I was one of the last cars through, before they closed the road. I thought by the time I headed home the road would be opened again.

    The storm never let up that day and as I headed home there were mud slides, roads washed away and no way for me to get home. I had nothing for my trip to NC and no way to get the things needed to travel. I sat in my car for hours praying for the roads to open with no avail. My dear friend Cherie Hamilton called me. She said, “Sarah I feel like you still need to go to NC!” She did not even know that I was debating on not going. I thought she’s crazy; I have nothing!

  As I went to a friend’s house that night, I was up talking to the Lord, telling Him all the reasons why I could not go. I thought He must not want me to go and this must all be a sign. In the wee hours of the morning, I heard His still small voice. “Sarah, if I called you to go without all your comforts, would you go?” In my heart the initial thought was no, I need my things. I began to feel as the rich man in the Bible felt, when God asked him to sell all he had and follow Him. I did not want to be that guy. I wanted to be willing to say yes to obeying the call I knew months earlier God had placed on my heart, when I first prayed about going to NC. I knew He wanted me there! So I said, I will go Lord, with nothing! As I was on the plain I was reading in Joshua; the things he faced in following the call, blew me away!  

    In a number of ways, the preparation for invasion and the conflict that lay before Joshua and the people begins in chapter 1. It is significant that first, God speaks and commissions Joshua (1:1-5) and then calls him to be strong and courageous (1:6-9). In view of this word from God, Joshua speaks to the people and gives them instructions for preparing to cross the Jordan in three days (1:10-15). This is followed by the response of the people which, of course, had its source in the Word of God (1:16-18). God’s revelation should always be followed by a response to what He is calling us to do.

The Commission Given (1:1-5)

1 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, 2 “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. 3 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun, will be your territory. 5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.

    The victory and possession of the land which follows is a direct result of the Word of God and of man, in this case Joshua, hearing and responding to His Word. This should show us that there is no victory or chance for us to experience the blessings of our new life in Christ apart from the Word of God. Whenever any believer begins to turn away from the Word weather it is from indifference, apathy or whatever reason, he is turning away from the Lord and into defeat. It would have been very easy to ignore what the Lord was calling me to do, but I refuse to allow my selfishness to turn me away from God and His calling. What are you allowing to defeat you in your walk today?

    With the mention of the death of Moses, Joshua is then told, “Now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people.” The words “Now therefore arise,” teach us the truth that no man can live the Christian life by keeping a set of laws or taboos. While the Christian life involves obedience to the principles and commandments of the Word, it is so much more. It is a life to be lived by faith in the power of God. We simply cannot live the Christian life in our own energy or by our own determination. The Christian life is not just being Mr./ Mrs. Nice or merely keeping a set of Christian principles and rules. It is a faith relationship with God to be lived out in the power of the Spirit and in the light of the Word. What step of faith is God calling you to take today; is it leaving behind all your positions to follow Him? Nothing is more satisfying in this life then to follow Christ.

    With the Words, “arise, cross this Jordan,” the Lord is saying, “get out of the desert and move on into Canaan.” God’s will for the believer is never in the wilderness. It is in Canaan, the place of deliverance and favor. “Arise, cross” by the parallel of New Testament says, “take up your armor, stop trusting in yourself, trust me and move out.” When I was finally willing to be obedient and go without my things, God in His grace, provided a way. Literally hours before I needed to be at the airport my friend called me and suggested that I have a couple girls from the youth group (who were on the other side of the closed road) go to my house, pack a back pack with some necessities, then have them meet us at the river. He then was willing to cross the raging river (I love the correlation of crossing the river) to get my things and bring them back. God has promised to supply for all our needs, but He needs us to be willing to count the cost and say yes to follow Him.

    In verse 5, Joshua is given the promise, “no man will be able to stand before you,” but this promise is also a warning. While the land was theirs for the taking, it would not be taken without conflict or battle. And likewise, as the land of Canaan was full of fortified cities and enemies that needed to be driven out, so the Christian life is a life of conflict with enemies, which must be overcome. Though the outcome is assured if we claim God’s sufficiency and the saving life of Christ, we must still do battle and reckon with the fact of the enemy throughout this life. This is a wake up call, a reality that must be faced: life is full of battles and conflicts. We wrestle with the flesh (indwelling sin), with the devil and supernatural powers of darkness, and a world that is antagonistic to God, to His Word, and to godly living.

    Nevertheless, the positive side is that these words, “no man will be able to stand before you …” are also a promise of continued deliverance in battle after battle after battle. Because of the immeasurable sufficiency of the saving life of the Christ, there is no enemy we can possibly face which the Lord (our Joshua) has not already conquered. Our need is to understand what He has already done for us through His Word.

    Satan’s power has been broken and we can resist his deceptions and attacks. Though sin still dwells within or the flesh and is still active in our members, its power over us has been broken through our union with Christ in His death and resurrection. This means the victory is ours because of the cross!

      I was able to see the victory of Christ while I was speaking in North Carolina. God moved in ways I would have never imagined and as I saw Him do that, I better understood why I faced so much opposition in getting there and why I had such difficulty clearly knowing what it was God wanted me to speak on. In our insufficiency comes God’s sufficiency! As I shared with about 300 kids at a breakfast in NC, I saw close to 40 kids raise their hands to receive the Lord. I also saw God break down racial boarders that are clearly still seen in the South, especially in the churches. He moved to unite the Church like only He could. God does not desire division in the church. It was so refreshing and a blessing to fellowship as the BODY of Christ, the way He has intended it to be. God moved and the enemy did not win!!

 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24


Savoring the Savior

1John2:6
“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also walk just as He walked.”

There is such beauty with abiding in Christ. In the midst of so much going on in the world you can easily become overwhelmed, often feeling defeated. I especially feel that way when I look around and see how many people need Jesus! As someone who is in ministry, I can tend to feel like we aren’t even making a dent in this world. Especially on Kauai and with the youth.

The Lord had been doing a huge work in my life by simply teaching me about the power of prayer and being in His presence. To understand the access we have through prayer not only to Christ, but the power in interceding on behalf of others. The Bible says that, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).

I have come to realize how often I am sluggish in my prayer life. It’s like we treat God as our magic Genie. When we need something we will come to Him with our requests “wishes” but then leave Him hanging other times. We even have the nerve to blame Him when things are not going right in our life. So often many of us take all that the Lord has done for us, all His grace, all His mercy, all His love and treat it as a common thing. We take Him for granted.

As I was home during the holidays, I was bombarded with news of kids who were not making the best choices for themselves back on Kauai. Kids are notorious for this, as we all know! I must say though, the news was pretty disheartening for me. So many of the kids who had been doing well in their walks, now found that the world was looking very appealing to them. I remember being up one night till 2am talking with different kids, praying for them and helping them through things. As I laid down to go to sleep, I had a heavy heart! I felt the Lord begin to talk to me, asking me if these issues were too big for Him? When I opened the word this is what I read…

Psalm 63
New King James Version (NKJV)
Joy in the Fellowship of God
A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
O God, You are my God; 
Early will I seek You;
 My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You 
In a dry and thirsty land
 Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, 
To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, 
 My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
 I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
 And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed,
 I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
 Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
 But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

It is believed that this Psalm was written while David was in the wilderness hiding out from those who sought to kill him. He had lost all the comforts and riches he once held so dear. Not only did he lose everything, the man who he served with, the very king who brought him into his kingdom and gave him of all he had, that very king now sought to kill him.

David at this time was going through a lot! Yet he didn’t turn his back on God. There is so many things I love about Psalm 63! In David’s dry and weary season, in his spiritual drought, he sought the Lord. He made a conscious choice to follow God. The theme I have this month with the youth is purposing in your heart to follow God. From the moment you wake till the moment you lay down, live every moment savoring the sweetness of our Savior.

When we look to God in the hard times, it enables us to take our eyes off that problem and allows us to see it from a different perspective. That does not mean things will change right away; but our faith will grow and we will trust Him with the unseen. We understand David was in the wilderness for quite a while, but God
did deliver him! God was teaching David how to depend upon Him. God was causing David to focus on Him.

David knew something about savoring God. He meditated in the night watches. The night I was up stressing for all these kids, I should have been praying for them and meditating on all the promises God
has given us in His word. The Bible says, “In His presence is fullness of Joy.” If life today is robbing you of His joy, then take the time to cocoon in His presence. Savior Him and all He is and has done. Talk to Him.

Through His Holy Spirit, He has given us access to Him. Don’t lose heart. Share with Him your trials, tribulations, fears, temptations, stresses and joys. Find that sweetness of being with Him in prayer. It will change your life.
It has mine! I have never savored Him more. I look forward every morning to talking to Him. Interceding for those who are struggling and seeing Gods mighty hand moving in them. He is faithful, and we should savor in that alone!

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The First step

​​​The First Step…

She watched excitedly, yet nervously as the wobbling child lifted his leg. Will he do it? Will he finally take his first step she thought? She had waited for what seemed like forever for this moment. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she looked so proudly towards him.

The first step for a young child is always the hardest. This couldn’t be truer in Isaac’s case. Within the first eight months of his precious life there were signs that he was delayed. As cute as he could be, we all rallied around him, helping to assist in bringing him along.

For my sister, Christina, the hardest step was to feel comfortable with being open about the delays and sharing with others. She soon realized that the only way she could help her son was to take every road possible, offering him whatever assistance he needed. I’ll never forget the somber day when she received the diagnosis that her son was showing early signs of autism (Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3). She was so broken and asked God, “why?”

After she had a few days to take it all in and the news settled, she knew she needed to fight for her son, who was unable to fight for himself. Christina took all the steps possible to become educated on autism. She jumped on signing Isaac up for every service and assistance she could find for him. Her life became completely committed to doing everything she could in being the voice for her little boy.

As a Christian, often we are delayed in holding fast to the promises of God? Here He, our loving Daddy, has made the way and offered everything we need to walk in total faith. Yet fear worries us sick. We forget all that the Lord has done and how He has shown so much faithfulness in our lives.

A story that has had a huge impact on my life before I went into ministry is found in Matthew 14:25-33. You have the disciples hanging out with Jesus. They watched Him take fives loaves and two fish and multiply them to feed more than 5000 people that were there. An absolute miracle! I don’t know about you, but if I saw this I think my faith would be so strong and founded that I would never doubt God again! I just might not ever question anything again… Not true, I am human as were the disciples!

Right after this, Jesus sent them out in a boat and if you haven’t read the story, this is where it gets good. Jesus sends a storm and then walks on water out to the disciples. It was in the night hours and they were freaking out! Talk about a fright; they see someone walking to them on the water and the waves are going crazy! I can just see Jesus being like, “Watch this.” Maybe He and God were cracking up while the disciples were peeing their pants thinking, “There’s a ghost.”
Nonetheless, Peter challenged Jesus saying, “If it is really You, call me out of the boat.” What I love is that Jesus replied, “Come.” It was almost as if there was an invitation for all the disciples to step out. Peter was the only one nuts enough to do it! Next to Jesus He was the only guy who ever walked on water. If you surf, you can imagine how amazing this would be (or if you can’t swim).

When the Lord placed Kauai on my heart for ministry, at first I was in disbelief that He could call someone to Hawaii. I remember going to bed apologizing to the Lord because of it. That night I had a radical dream about kids perishing on Kauai (literally dropping dead) without the gospel and when I awoke, I was afraid of not going! As I shared my heart with others, there were a variety of responses. Most were chuckles or out loud bursts of laughter. People thought, as I had, “What a place to go reach people.” The more I heard this, the more I tried to convince myself that I shouldn’t go.

After I graduated from Bible college, I was driving home, alone in my car talking to the Lord, asking if I was really supposed to go to Hawaii. On the radio I heard a pastor talking about this story in Matthew. I remember hearing the Lord ask me, “Sarah, will you step out of the boat, or be the one who stays put?” I don’t want to be the Christian who stays put in their walk with God. I want to be a part of sharing His name and love with others.

Although there were a lot of “I don’t knows” and “Lord how are you going to do this,” with the Lord’s great strength, I was able to take that wobbly first step myself. It seems to be just as hard with the steps that have followed. In fact, the reason I am sharing this is because as I asked the Lord what He wanted me to write about, this is what He has placed on my heart.

I receive many emails from people and often they are from those hurting with life’s pains and unknown futures. Some have had a rough day, a rough year and some a rough life. They have had to fight for every step like Christina has had to do for Isaac.

I had a girl write me the other day asking, “If God is so good and faithful, why hasn’t my dad found a job in over a year?” Immediately I told her He is faithful and in His time, He will provide! I shared how I too had to trust things to Him right now, but I knew He would take care of it. At that moment I had total conviction come over me. Here I was sick all day about things going on in my own life that I should be trusting to God, but I hadn’t been.

You see when we take one step it’s easy to take the next right away. With every step I took coming here to Kauai, the Lord has provided! For the past five years, I was on staff with a church and although that aloud me to focus more on outreach, it also made me dependant on a paycheck instead of the Lord. I was not trusting God each month to get by because I was assured money was coming in.
Lately I have felt that the Lord is calling me to step out in faith and trust Him for provision. He is doing new things in my life and ministry and opening a lot of exciting doors, but with each door I must walk through, I am doing it in faith. I might be back to the “I don’t knows” and “Lord how are you going to do this,” but I know this is where the Lord is leading. As I shared with all the kids this week, “I don’t know how, but I know He will, and I can’t wait to share with you how He does.”

God wants us to walk by faith not by sight (2 Chor.5:7). There are so many great verses about walking with Jesus – not ahead of Him. His promises are true and if we have to learn that for the first time or all over again, Praise God! He will never give us more than we can handle. He wants to grow us and shape us and mature us. He has given us every resource we need with the Bible and prayer. Take advantage of this time and when in doubt, play worship music or read!

Isaac is Christina’s miracle baby. She had such a difficult time getting pregnant. She had several miscarriages. Her heart was so broken. She was steadfast in prayer and Gods promises and she got pregnant with Isaac. He is the best thing ever. God has also given Christina the strength to fight for her precious son. Although getting him to take those first steps were difficult, it lead to the most beautiful and rewarding thing; her baby walking! Ten years ago, I put my car on a boat to Kauai and had to follow. It was the hardest step I had taken at the time and there have been a lot of trials and battles along the way. In that, though, it has lead to being a part of something I could have never dreamed possible! Seeing kids lives changed and them giving their hearts to Jesus is amazing! God has always been faithful! He knows why we are where we are, so let’s just trust, worship and thank Him that He made a way for us through His Son being born. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Isaiah 26:3
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

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How Are You Doing??

In ministry, I often hear so many stories from hurting people. There is a lot of pain in our world, but the encouraging thing for us is, that this world is not the end. We are promised a future and a hope!
In the midst of trials, so often the situation seems too big and we forget the promises the Lord has given us. Sometimes, it seems like there is never an end ahead or a light at the end of the road. We see how huge problems are and often, that makes God seem so small.
I ran into a girl while shopping the other day. As I was talking with her, she shared how she was at her wits end and ready to give up on everything. While she shared with me, she grew emotional. I could see so much hurt in her eyes. I sat and listened as she spoke. “I just don’t know why all these things are happening and I’ve tried praying and everything. Why am I not hearing from Him, Why isn’t he helping me”, she asked?
I have heard this so many times from believers all over as I have traveled lately. Even I have felt discouraged and distant from the Lord! I kept asking for wisdom and directions and just didn’t seem to be hearing anything nor seeing my situation change.

Discouragement is often difficult to move past. Team that, with trials and you have what seems to be a hopeless concoction. In hopelessness we tend to grow depressed and distance ourselves from others. It can be a sad situation. Often we run from God instead of running to Him. I believe that the enemy is working over time, trying to make the church feel defeated and in despair.

My friends and I were chatting about how often we respond to the question, “how are you”, with a, “I’m fine”, even when we are totally not fine. If we would take the time to sit and share how we really are, it would be so different. Many times we are in such a hurry that we don’t even wait for a response. Or we have so much going on we feel no one really cares to hear, so why share? Sometimes when I am talking to a kid and they give me the quick, “I’m ok”, I ask, “No how are you really doing”? Then I will get a real response.

I share this because as I was talking to this girl, I was that person in a hurry. When I saw the hurt in her eyes I was broken by my initial lack of concern. When I really listened to what she shared, I could relate to her feeling that the Lord was silent to her prayers because I had just been in that same place.

I am a firm believer that the Lord speaks often, but we are too busy to hear Him. A week ago I packed my car, a lunch, my Bible and some worship music and headed up to the mountains to be with Jesus. My friends tease me, knowing I try to do this at least once every two months. They always say, “Is He (Jesus) only hanging out in the mountains”? ☺haha

We know that this is not the only place Jesus hangs out, but for me, it is the one place where I have no cell service, I’m surrounded by His beauty and it is a perfect escape from the business of life. I wanted so badly for nothing more than to be in His presence and to hear from Him. I sat worshiping and praying and reading; it was extremely refreshing. I still didn’t sense Him speaking to me though. As I kept asking to hear His voice I felt I was to simply worship Him because He was worthy. In reading, I began to feel a peace come over me about everything and truly the freedom to lay it at the cross. It wasn’t till two days later that I truly began hearing from the Lord. It was in a moment of checking the surf and since there were no waves, I sat looking with a gaze into the deep blue ocean. In stillness, there the Lord began reminding me of His love and grace.

His love I read once is like the inescapable sea that washes up on the shore, it never runs dry. The Fathers loves is so great for you and me! If we would believe that in faith it would make surrendering our problems to him so much easier. I read this in a book the other day called Faith, by Chuck Smith. It resonated so much with me and it brought truth to how God must feel. It said,
“God has given us so many promises of how we can trust ourselves to Him. We can be free in all that He has created us to be. If we are living in constant fear and anxiety, our conduct cannot please God. I’ve often wondered how God looks upon a prayer like this: ‘Oh God, help me to believe you. Lord, please help me to believe your promises.’ Suppose I were to say to my grandson, ‘Son, on your sixteenth birthday, grandpa is going to give you a car.’ If he knew that I had bought cars for all the rest of my grandchildren on their sixteenth birthdays, how do you think he’d respond? I’m pretty sure he’d expect the same thing to probably happen for him too. So what would you think if, after I gave him this promise he replied, ‘Oh grandpa, help me to believe you. Help me to believe in your promise, grandpa!’ I would think, Son, why can’t you believe me? Have I given you a false promise before? Have I promised wild things and failed to come through? God has given us a Bible full of amazing promises and yet so often we say, ‘Oh God, please help me to believe you. Lord please, help me to believe you’ll do as you promised”.
To most of this sounds crazy! Of course we would trust we would get the car. We should also have that same trust in Christ and His promises. God is faithful and sovereign. He longs to be the one we trust completely and surrender all to Him. If we are not hearing from Him, we are called to wait on Him. If we are consumed with the situations of this life, we are called to lay it down at the cross. His Yoke is easy and His burden is light. Lay the heavy load down at His feet. Do not allow the enemy to cause defeat through depression or lies that God is not there. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He is a very present help in time of need. You are loved and cared for by the Most High God!!!
I was able to pray for and encourage this young girl and remind her that God is there. I challenged her to get in her Bible and remember His promises. I reminded her that He holds the universe in the palm of His hands and all she is going through is kept safe in those loving hands.
God has given us each other for prayer and support. As I spoke this weekend to a group of young girls I challenged them with these same words: Find someone in your life who you can be completely transparent with, someone who you can share everything with and that you can trust to hold you accountable. A person who spiritually has a firm foundation and will tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear. Who will even tell you when you are wrong; and you will be able receive that from them. A friend you can pray with and when they ask you, How you doing”, you can share honestly with them. Remember always Jesus is your friend too and longs to speak with you and you with Him!


Christian Leader of the Month Bethany Hamilton Leadership | CBN.com

This was a great article I wanted to share with you all. God has a purpose and a plan for each one of our lives! How are you using your story to bring Him glory? He loves you & has a plan!!

   Christian Leader of the Month Bethany Hamilton Leadership | CBN.com.