Hurricane Matthew


Friends, please keep us in prayer.  I and most of my family live on Florida’s First Coast which is being threatened with the worst hurricane in this area in over a century.  Please pray for us and all those affected.  It is a storm that has the potential to be serious to catastrophic.  Where I live as well as my parents, it is not under evacuation as we are on higher ground more inland.  But we still face possible issues with trees, power outages, debris, torrential rain and of course potential serious wind issues.  Please pray for us the next 48 hours especially.  I’ll keep you posted as things unfold when I have internet and power. Don’t take chances.  Please stay safe.  Love you all.

How I Became a Green Room Escape Artist


While I lived in Africa, I traveled a few months out of the year speaking in small to medium conference venues and church settings.  I don’t think I ever made it to the main stage or the big time in the conference circuit.  Around it, yes.  On it, no.  And the fact I didn’t was quite likely God’s enormous protection.

First, let me say thank you. I deeply appreciate any and all of you who hosted me over the years.  I was blessed to meet genuinely amazing and often unsung heroes in the Body of Christ, and even more honored to call many of you friends to this day.  That was and still is one of my greatest joys.

There was however a particularly strange artifact in a sizable number of places I traversed.  A curious anomaly called the “green room” or sometimes the “hospitality suite”.  Now let me say upfront I am so grateful for the service and love offered there.

Usually, I would have just flown 20 hours and spent an additional 10-20 hours in additional forms of transit.  I often was bone tired and sometimes quite ill.  Loving, kind hospitality and a place to find a quiet moment to maybe even grab 15 minutes of shut-eye.  Such. A. Gift.

But I often encountered some other dynamics that just did not factor into my understanding of God’s heart and purpose in having me travel to minister outside of Africa.

Enter bouncers.  Well… sort-of bouncers who’d whisk me off stage away from the often not-so-teeming crowds to grab a snack in the green room and meet all the other speaker-leader people.  I like snacks.  I like meeting and getting to know people.  Sometimes I was exhausted and would have probably just curled up on a patch of floor somewhere and took a nap if given the chance.  People would have thought I was soaking.   Win-Win.

But the whole idea of green room politics. Eek.  Help me Jesus.  I might step on toes here… But the business card swapping, elbow-rubbing, quid pro quo,  I’ll-invite-you-to-my-event-if-you’ll-have-me-at yours was just not why I came.  Building connections with better known speakers to somehow get discovered and become the next ministry sensation was not why I came.  I came to love and serve people, 99% of whom were not allowed in the green room.

And so I became a green-room-escape artist. 

I often said hello if hellos were in order and excused myself to powder my nose (which did indeed get powdered) and just never went back.  I set up coffee dates as God led or just went and grabbed a cup and started chatting with real people with real needs who were my reason for being there.

The most powerful ministry I ever have had a chance to be a part of on the road… Two percent of it, maybe, if we stretched, squinted just right and rounded the decimals up, happened from a podium. 98% happened over coffee, meals, sitting on a couch being real.

I wonder how much ministry on God’s heart in conference settings never happens because as speakers we tuck ourselves away in green rooms.

Jesus, well, He was the ultimate green room escape artist.  People wanted to crown Him king before His time.  What did He do?  He disappeared.  I’m sure the disciples were like, what the heck, JESUS, YOU MISSED the greatest PR platform of Your career. Seriously?!?

But Jesus knew what His Father was asking of Him.  He knew He was already King of Kings so accepting an earthly crown was actually a massive demotion.

If we know who we really are in Jesus, we don’t need popular opinion to crown us or people to promote us.

So if I am ever fortunate enough to share at your event or speak at your church, we need to have an understanding.  I will be grateful for your green room  (especially if it has gluten free options😉 a girl can hope) as long as I don’t have to escape from it to hang out with the people I came to serve.

Cool?  Awesome.  We’ll all go have a coffee together.  Or crash McDonald’s at almost midnight to get ice cream sundaes.  Know this, you are included in His heart and you are forever deeper-than-you-can-imagine extravagantly loved by Him.

Take heart friends, if you’ve never seen a green room, be encouraged.  The REAL action is usually outside of it.

Waiting For Dawn


I won’t lie.  It has been a long night these last 3 years.  But like any night, one moment light rises and pushes it back.

I have so much to share.  I have even more I cannot yet share.  I’ve seen pits of corruption in places you would least expect to find it.  Or at least where I least expected to find it.  I’m not here to point fingers or cast blame. I’m not here rehash and rehearse the litany of every wrong I faced and how hard it was.  I don’t want to stare back into the night and miss the beautiful sunrise God is painting in the sky.

Love covers a multitude of sins.  But it isn’t gag order.

It is high time, Church, we start a conversation how, in many cases, we have wandered far from the heart of God.  And how we find our way back to the place where HE and He alone is King.

I want to share candidly parts of my experience that are instructive as we journey toward wholeness.  I will not be naming names or ministries.  This is not an expose and I want to treat those who played roles with the same grace I would like to treated if the tables were turned.  In some cases, grace I was not afforded.   I am responsible for my choices before Jesus.  I am not responsible for theirs.

If you have been with me for a while or know my history you might be able to figure some things out. Let me encourage you not to try.  It’s more than irrelevant in terms of our conversation. It’s a distraction.  Please simply soak in the lessons Jesus has to teach and don’t worry about the who or the where or the when beyond what I share.  Deal?

Spiritual abuse in the Church is real and alarmingly present.  Healthy, wholehearted leadership is surprisingly scarce. But this is not a witch hunt. Ministry leadership is one of the hardest job descriptions possible.   Leaders are human.  We make mistakes.  We have issues like anyone else.  We are growing and changing.  I am not talking about simple mistakes or immaturity or imperfect humanity.  When I use the term spiritual abuse, I am talking about core levels of systemic brokenness that leads to ongoing patterns of behavior and belief that wound hearts and lives and in so doing, misrepresent the heart of Jesus.

I have a passion to take all that I have learned, experienced and walked through these last 20 years, as well as what I keep learning, and pour that into a new generation of leaders.  I’m not sure what that will look like exactly as of now.  But I am excited to face the dawn and walk with the Son rising with healing in His wings to find out.

Friend, I am so glad we get to watch the Son rise together.  Always remember.  You.  Are. Loved.

What No One Tells You Before You Go Into Ministry


I’ve been reflecting a lot this week.  Maybe it’s the move, the not being able to find anything, the first hurricane in a decade, the new season of ministry I’m walking into.  Some recent events reminded me of the long list of things people didn’t tell me about serving in church-based ministry.

It didn’t take long for my rose colored glasses to shatter.  Again.  And again.  And again.  As I kept trying to put new ones on.  This time the colored glasses are gone.  And that is a very, very good thing.

Here are a few things no one told me ahead of time:

If you are going into church-based ministry because you want to see God move, you might disillusioned when it seems like He’s not.  You might even want to give up when people suggest it’s your fault that He’s not moving.  Don’t. (And yes, people actually will suggest such things.)  If we could strong arm God into showing up on our time table, that kind of means we are stepping into His part of the job description.  He’s God.  We are not.  Keep asking.  Keep seeking.  Keep knocking.  Keep loving.  Keep serving.  Keep trusting.  Keep bowing low to kiss the Son.

You won’t feel closer to Jesus just because you are “in” ministry. I hate to break it to you, but you will have highs and lows and maybe even MORE struggles to feel close to Him just by virtue of the fact people often expect you to BE closer to Him than they are. The truth is when we love Him, Jesus lives on the inside of us.  Period.  Feeling His presence is a profound honor and joy, but it is not the measure of how close we are to Him.  We can’t get any closer to Him.  He lives in us by His Spirit.  Pause and think on that.

When you follow Jesus, many in the church will treat you about as well as they treat Him.  Which is sad to say not all that well. In 20 years of missions and ministry, I’ve had reams of work stolen appearing with other people’s names on it. I’ve been slandered, threatened, controlled, lied to, abused, walked on, overlooked, misunderstood, rejected, patronized, taken advantage of, attacked, isolated, used, manipulated and that list could continue onward for a very long time. Not at the hands of the world, but at the hands of those claiming to love and follow Jesus!  The harsh reality is I know few if any folks in church-based ministry who haven’t experienced at least some of those things from the church itself.  The good news is Jesus more than makes up for the injustice, unfairness, disappointment and pain.  Where we die, He lives even greater.

{This is not to say you should stay in an unhealthy church or ministry situation.  Spiritually abusive situations are not something we are called to embrace, as leaders or participants. Ever. But they can be hard to discern when you are stuck in the middle of them.  If you wonder if you are in one, a good classic to read on the topic- Healing Spiritual Abuse by Ken Blue. It’s just a good book to read period for those of us in church-based ministry.}

It is my prayer and deep desire that this would be a safe place for you to experience the depth of His goodness and grace.  You are not alone.  You are not forgotten.  There is no condemnation inside of His heart for you.  The road is not easy, but it is worth it 1000x over.  His beauty cannot compare to the struggles we face.

You. Are. Loved.


New Land & A New Day

Evening on the street where I live (cue music).

Three years ago I had just walked through the most devastating season of my life.  My health crashed forcing me to move back to my hometown in Florida.  It has been a three year battle to get my life back from the long term repercussions (some of which are still ongoing) of 18 cases of cerebral malaria in 7 years.  The hardest thing I ever had to do was love enough to let go.

If I am brutally honest, there were many days I wondered why on earth I was still here and part of me wished I wasn’t.  Dreaming was terrifyingly overwhelming having just lost so much.  I was standing in the darkest night my soul has experienced and all I could do was hold on that dawn would one day come.  Or someone would hand me a flashlight.

This year has been tumultuous to say the least. But as I began to move in and settle into this new house, it felt like the dawn has finally started to rise and the Son has healing in His wings.  I feel like Jesus built this house 20 years ago knowing one day I would live in it.  The grave that became my cave is now a brave new day.  Gratitude is too small a word.

I want to encourage you who have dreamed big dreams from God’s heart and for whatever reason have had to let them go, the dream is so often a seed for the unimaginably more God has.  When we refuse to release the seed back to Him, we are refusing to receive the tree God sees growing out of that seed.  We hold onto little and in so doing miss the immeasurably more God has.


I carried my art studio in a suitcase and lived in my office for nearly a decade.  For the first time in 10 years I have an office/studio I can close the door on and be separate from.  This house in every way is a miracle.  From how God provided for it, to the incredible outpouring of love to fix it up and help with the move, to its location- right down to the fact I love a little street noise in the background.

So much more to come.  But I just wanted to say hi from my dream studio and house.  Beloved, don’t settle for the seed… trust Him for the tree.