#MeToo

#MeToo

Hey.

Do you ever wonder what God thinks about sexual assault and harassment? The Bible is clear, God hates it! But there is hope in the darkness.

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, I can’t help but share a few thoughts on what we as Christians can do to support victims of sexual assault.


The Miracle Of John 11

Miracles. We all love them, hope for them, wait for them, pray for them.

How many of us haven’t been inspired by the story of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus in John 11, and hoped for God to move the stone in our life and bring our Lazarus back to life?

Why do some see their miracles come to life while others stare on with painful longing? Why does Jesus seem so far when you want him to be near? Why does he seem so silent when you want him to speak?

What I have learned in my life is that there is a greater miracle than the miracle of getting what I want. And it is the miracle of receiving exactly what I need.

Listen to this talk I recently gave at Simply Jesus Gathering. I hope it will encourage and comfort you greatly.

Lina


How To Live A Life Unleashed

Hey,

I’ve just been on the Living A Life Unleashed Podcast with Lisa Bishop.

Listen in as we unpack what it means to live unleashed.

We’re touching on tons of relevant topics, such as comparison, the fear of failure, the need for affirmation, disappointment, self-worth, vulnerability, obstacles, courage, how to live out your calling or dream, how to believe for visions bigger than yourself, God’s intervention on our path.

You’re gonna be inspired to live unleashed!

LISTEN NOW

Morning Minutes

5 MINUTE DAILY AUDIO POSTS WITH LINA

Morning Minutes is a 5 minute daily audio devotional in which Lina teaches through one book of the Bible.

We just finished a series through the books of Ruth and Esther called God At Work which you can access on the Living With Power app.

The next Morning Minutes series will start on January 1.

For more, simply click below!


A Personal Update On My Life

Hey guys!

Today is a great day to fill you in on what’s been going on in my life. I covet your prayers and look forward to what the future holds!


Do You Really Want to Change?

What would you change if you could?

Deep down everybody wants to change something.

Would you change a habit you’ve tried hard to quit and failed?

Would you finally put your past behind you if you could?

Would you follow through on that diet you’ve been putting off forever?

Would you change your job? Your relationship statuses? Your reactions to difficult circumstances?

Deep down we all want to change. We just need help doing it.

Did you know that God is a God of change? He is in the transformation business. All you need to do is ask.

I am so on board with God’s plan to change us that I put together a 4 week online teaching series for you to help you change.

You don’t have to live in frustration anymore.

You don’t have to give in to your negative emotions.

You can change!

Here’s how I’m going to help you do it:

First, watch this video that will help motivate you.


Then Click HERE to get the Change Series.

We’re in this with you!

I’ve poured my life to help you get stronger in the Lord. I believe this Change Series will help you do it. We’ve priced it at $20 for you but we believe the series is worth much more for you. We believe this series is truly priceless and will help you finally see the changes in your life that you’ve longed for.

You need to know that every dollar we get for this series will go towards our medical work with Syrian refugees. Our next trip to Lebanon is September 8-15.

So do me a favor?

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 6.59.59 PM

Then share this with your friends. Retweet it. Share it on FB. Email it to someone.

Spread the word that change is possible. Let everyone know that God is for us. He wants us to change and grow and become stronger.

Do you still have questions? Go ahead and leave me a comment or email me lina@livingwithpower.org.

Ready to get the change series?

Click here to get it.  Once you purchase it you’ll get an email with a link to the 4 week teaching as well as a Study Guide that goes along with it.

Oh, yeah, you can do this study with your small group too.

Or just do it on your own.

But know that you’re not alone in this.

We’re for you. I’m for you. But more importantly, God is for you!

All right. Before I start sounding like an infomercial, I’ll stop.

Can you tell I’m pretty pumped about the Change Series?

It’s because I’m pumped about you!

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 6.59.59 PM


Can Wonder Woman Save the World?

You ever try to run your world? 

And quickly realize you can't. You're a complete failure at it. You can't even get the basics right - or at least that's my story.

Then you stop long enough to look around you at the world at large and for a moment you're utterly astounded that things have come to this. Just this week:

Manchester. London. Egypt.

ISIS. Ramadan. Terrorism.

Kathy Lee. Donald Trump. And everyone else in between.

If there's one thing that has become evident to all of us it's this:

We are not in control.

It's not hard to comprehend why we long for a super hero - at this point any one will do. Even the staunchest chauvinists are intrigued by the concept of a woman super hero.

If Batman couldn't save the world maybe Wonder Woman will.

I tried to do a spinal tap on an 11 day old recently. I've been in practice for 15 years and can do this procedure in my sleep. Heck, I love this procedure.

I tried once, twice, and nothing. It was a bust and I felt like a complete failure.

I could hardly look the parents in the eyes as I filled them in.

I started my usual chain reaction of beating myself up on the head, of telling myself I'm good for nothing, a total loser.

The world and all its messes felt far away. I had my own personal disasters to tend to. I was too steeped in my own self pity to care about the rest of the world. I could fake it on twitter, but frankly, Manchester is a million miles away.

Where was my super hero when I needed one?

Then it hit me: somewhere along the way I'd bought into the lie that I'm supposed to be the super hero - the Wonder Woman who would sweep in and make everything better for everyone.

And when Wonder Woman fails - which she ultimately will - then what happens?

I am not in control and it hurts to admit it. It hurts my pride. It hurts my heart. And it hurts the people I'm desperately trying to help.

You ever try to run your world and fail so miserably you don't even want to be with yourself?

I usually have to get to the bottom of the pit before I have the unction to look up. And then it hits me.

I am not in control and it is the most intoxicating feeling in the world.

I don't have to fix everything all the time.

I don't have to have all the answers.

I don't have to be perfect.

I don't have to save the world.

But there is one who can.

There is a super hero among us. And He's waiting to save the world.

He's in control and no earthly mess will intimidate him.

No political argument will ever take Him down.

No terrorist will ever touch Him.

Ever wonder what grace is?

I'm learning that grace is the light that makes its way through the darkness when it feels like nothing else will.

Grace is that moment when you realize you're not in control and that it's the most liberating feeling in the world.

Dejection has a way of engulfing me when I lose control of my life.

Grace takes a deep breath and finally understands that help is closer than I think.

Grace hushes the whispering lies in my head and gives me another chance.

And I? Well I asked for another chance. 

And this time when I asked, I looked the parents in the eyes, unashamed.

I was not in control, but there is one who is.

I am not in control and it's the most intoxicating feeling in the world.

This time, when I stuck the needle in the back, I didn't do it alone. I had a super hero beside me and everything would be all right.

And everything was all right.

Are you carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders today?

Maybe it's time for you to admit:

You are not in control and it's the most intoxicating feeling in the world.

There is a King is among us. Our super hero is here. Whether you're neck deep in your own messes or carrying the weight of the rest of the world on your shoulders, it's time to step aside and watch our superhero do it again.

Watch him save the world. Watch him save your world. Watch him do it again.

There's a song I've been addicted to. It's called "The King Is Among Us". I sums up what I'm trying to say.  Why don't you take a minute and listen to it right now? I have a feeling you'll love it.

https://youtu.be/ZxqrQao3eOw

Hey, don't forget that Morning Minutes is up and running and it's been AWESOME! Click here to listen to today's episode. Also don't miss the Faith Boosters on Youtube. We'll be dropping one in the next 24 hours. Look for it! 


For all you list makers out there: why the list must go.

I am a list maker.

I love everything about the list.

I love crossing things off and seeing the list shrink.

I love the organization of the list and the visual management of my life on paper.

I really love the list with all of my heart.

And when it comes to the list, I've been programmed for decades with a certain criteria for my list.

It's a non negotiable. I'm sure you'er familiar with it.

It's the idea that Jesus is at the top of my list.

This idea has given me a false sense of comfort and peace. It's driven me to strive harder to please him. It's held me by the noose and worn me out.

And I'm finally beginning to understand why the list must go.

I bet you know what I'm talking about. Here, let me illustrate my point to you.

If I were to ask you to list the top 5 priorities in your life right now, what would you say?

Ya. See what I mean? You would make a list that might look a lot like mine: God, family, friends, church, work, play.

I used to commend myself for having God at the top of my list.

I used to revel in the fact that God was numero uno in my life.

I started my day with God religiously, and gave him my best self exhaustingly.  I even felt guilty when other things crept in on occasion to bump God.

But I started noticing a problem that was eating up my soul.

I noticed that once I gave God his morning time, I would sort of forget about him until the next day. I mean, unless I had to prepare a Bible study. Then I might think about him again. But once my feet hit the ER? Forget about it. I was too busy to even look at my list.

But even worse was that I started really missing God. I mean, I missed Jesus deeply. And for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why I didn't feel this sense of closeness and intimacy with him.

For a while I did what most list makers might do. I gave God a bigger chunk of time on my list.

I even doubled him up on occasion.

But eventually even that didn't work.

See, despite what you and I have made Matthew 6:33 to be, God never intended to be the top of our list.

God is not satisfied to simply occupy first place in your life.

Somehow, in my effort to make a God honoring "list" I'd missed the heart of what it means to be a Christian.

Maybe you're there now. You believe that God is the most important person in your life, but for the life of you, you can't figure out why you can't keep him at the forefront of your mind.

You miss God.

You don't feel connected to him.

I have the answer for you today and it's easier than you might think.

You know that list that you've been holding on to?

Do me a favor and get it out. Then rip it up. Shred it to pieces. Burn it up completely.

The list must go.

The list is over.

The list is destroying you.

Today, you move from life by the list to God at the core.

Jesus at the center of it all.

So that whether you're eating today, or drinking, or running, or writing, or painting, or doctoring, or mowing your grass, you're not working on your list anymore.

You're simply letting Jesus be the center of it all.

The minute you gave your life to Jesus, he moved into your heart. Christ in you became your hope of glory. You have been crucified with Christ, you no longer live on your own. He lives in you.

He is in you. He is never leaving you. He is with you.

I don't know when I forgot the secret to the Christian life - or maybe it's a point of maturity.

But these days, you'll catch me without a list in hand.

These days, you'll catch me listening more, watching more, yielding more, and on occasion, you'll see my lips move.

I haven't lost my mind.

But I have lost my list, and I have no intention of ever bringing it back.

These days, I'm reveling in the abiding presence of Jesus in my life.

I'm waking up to what's real and loving every minute of it.

Won't you get rid of your list too? Won't you start living this life God has dreamed for you? 

 


What will awaken the American Church?

Nothing will awaken us to the state of the American Church like spending a week with Christians on the other side of the world.

I met a Lebanese man named Adel last week. I'd met him before and he hadn't made much of an impression on me.

He seemed uneducated but kind.

He had brought me coffee in the afternoons on previous trips to the Middle East, but he'd never been much of a conversationalist.

But last week, he became our designated driver. I ended up seeing a whole lot more of him than I'd ever planned on.

He still seemed rough around the edges and not so young in age, his wife about 20 years younger and full of energy. I inevitably heard snippets of his story. He'd lost his first wife to illness, then at 55 he met a woman who introduced him to Jesus. He ended up marrying her.

It didn't take long for her to figure out that he didn't know how to read.

Desperate to read the Bible, he asked her to teach him how to read and she did. 

In the last 10 years the Bible has become the only book Adel reads.

He doesn't read bestsellers and doesn't have a favorite Christian author.

He doesn't follow Twitter or Instagram.

He doesn't have a blog or a website.

But he reads God's word every moment that he can.

On the way to the airpot, I learned another little secret that my friend Adel had kept.

In the last 10 years since learning to read, Adel has committed not just verses and chapters of the Bible to memory, but entire books - like James, and the Peters, and Mark and Job, and Hebrews and on and on.

I asked him why.  I asked him how.

He was baffled by my questions. "I can't get enough of it," he said. "I fall asleep listening to it, and wake up thinking about it. It is my life. It is my joy. It is everything."

You will likely never meet Adel on this side of heaven. You will never read anything he's written, and you might never even notice him.

Yet on an average day in Lebanon, a 65 year old man who couldn't read until he was 55 is striving towards holiness, seeking after God, and has found intimacy and peace such as many of us here in the western world will never know.

While we in western Christianity argue about homosexuality in the Church and whether females should blog and teach the Bible, our brothers and sisters in Christ overseas are actually living the Christian life.

They have forsaken all and are following hard after Jesus.

They have counted the cost and have jumped all in.

Instead of worshipping their pastors, they respect their pastors and worship the Lord.

Instead of striving for riches, they give away what they have for the glory of God.

Instead of ranking their favorite Christian authors, they make lists of passages in the Bible they still long to memorize.

In a country where you might expect opposition and resistance to the gospel, the very opposite is happening. 

We went to the ice cream store for dessert and ended up leading the owner of the store to Jesus.

My friend Tamar took a cab ride home after a week of serving the refugees and ended up leading the cab driver to Jesus.

We took care of people displaced from their homes having lost everything and saw in their eyes a hunger for Jesus.

In a world where material comfort is wanting and rare, and where pain abounds and personal loss rules the day, people have awakened to their true need.

They are searching for Jesus.

Yet here we are in our comfortable American houses striving after more - more money, more fame, more followers, more success, more book deals. More of everything.

We argue the merits of a new health care plan forgetting that we serve a God who heals. If only we spent as much time praying for healing as we do complaining about healers.

We argue the rights of illegal immigrants all the while neglecting to point them to the true source of freedom and riches in this life.

We argue with each other about everything while the watching world smirks at us underwhelmed by this message of love we claim has saved us.

We justify our sins instead of forsaking them.

We defend our rights instead of yielding them.

We fight, fight, fight, never satisfied, always striving for more.

Yet in a world where islam has ruled the day, an awakening is happening, a movement of God's spirit turning people's hearts to Jesus.

They're doing it not because of someone's book or tweet, but because in quiet desperation people have quit talking about God and started talking to God.

Help us, they've prayed.

Show us, they've begged.

And He has. He most powerfully has.

What if we too stopped for a minute and did the same?

What if we quit chasing after our own comfort and our own version of an American dream and started running after Jesus?

What if we asked the Spirit of God to move our hearts deeply towards him, changing us, reviving us, uniting us?

What if we made it our life goal to know God and His word like my friend Adel has?

I'm learning that nothing will awaken us to our desperate need for God like our pain.

Help us, we can pray.

Show us, we can ask.

Awaken us, we can plead.

And He will. He most powerfully will.

 


How the resurrection changes everything

A few months ago I was in the ER when we got a call about a 5 year old girl who was found face down in a pond of water.

As the story unfolded, we learned that this autistic girl was playing on her iPad and strolled out of the house, not paying attention, and eventually walked into a freezing pond where she was eventually found face down.

We tried desperately to resuscitate her. It soon became evident that she wasn't going to make it.

Her family had shown up by now, and it was a bad scene all around.

Despite the loud groaning it didn't take long for me to pick up on the fact that the family was praying.

In the chaos around me I was reminded that I was a Christian too.

I believed in miracles.

I believed in prayer.

I put my hand on the child and prayed as sincerely as I could: "God, please raise this child from the dead. Restore her life where it seems gone."

Nothing happened.

The child's heart had stopped.

A few seconds later, I called the code.

Time of death, 3:36pm.

Two years ago my father died after a tough battle with kidney failure.

His death wasn't a surprise but it was just as unwelcome.

Suppose you had run into me the week after his death and I told you that I had just seen him and had dinner with him.

You'd have thought that I was crazy or deluded with grief.

Then if ten other people told you the same story  you'd have thought us all crazy.

And rightly so.

As hard as it is to swallow, death is so final. 

Except for the one time that it wasn't.

Two thousand years ago, a man named Jesus was crucified on a cross.

Because he had claimed to be the Savior of the world and promised to rise again from the dead, the Roman government made sure his tomb was sealed and guards kept watch at the place of his burial.

Yet three days later, His body went missing.

Pretty soon a handful of people claimed that they had seen this man who had been crucified.

They claimed he had risen from the dead.

Crazy?

One might think so  except that pretty soon a few hundred more people were saying the same thing.

Most of us today would call this a cult.  A bunch of loonies. Hashtag wacky.

Today we call it Christianity. 

And because of this resurrection a family burdened with grief thinks to pray to a God who might heal their dead.

And because of this resurrection I can stand by my father's grave hopeful that this is not the end.

Yeah, the resurrection changes everything.

It is the cornerstone of Christianity and without it we have nothing.

The apostle Paul used to murder Christians before he too saw the resurrected Christ and eventually penned these words in 1 Corinthians 15.17-20:

"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."

But in fact.

Because of the resurrection anything is possible.

Because of the resurrection hope is alive.

Prayers can be answered.

Change is possible.

Are you holding a sick child, wondering what might happen to him?

Are you sitting at the bedside of your ailing parent afraid of the future?

Are you burdened by the cares of your own life? Are you stuck in a cycle of hopelessness?

Turn your eyes to the cross.

Follow the blood stained road.

Look inside the tomb.

You'll find it empty.

Jesus is alive.

Anything is possible.


And here's a featured video from Simply Jesus Gathering: Hope With Jesus. 

[vimeo 141123616 w=640 h=360]