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You Are Much To Old! 

You Are Much Too Old by Dr. Naima Johnston Bush, Founder of the Refreshing Life

Recently I was reminded of The 2nd Annual Called to Sing Retreat that occurred in 2011.  It was an amazing gathering of artists who came from as far away as Maryland and the mighty Midwest of Illinois.  Artists eager to do a great work for the Lord, seeking direction, encouragement and a community of like minded psalmists who understood their special needs. 

As I reflect back, the most interesting thing about the group was all of the artists in attendance except one were over the age of 30.  That’s like being a senior citizen in the world of contemporary Christian music.  I remember my first experience with a major Christian Artist organization when I left my day job to pursue this God given dream fulltime.  I was told in no uncertain terms at the rip age of 32 that I was much too old to expect a record deal or have a viable career as an artist.  I left that conference feeling discouraged – in their opinion, and they were the gatekeepers, I was too old to be worthwhile to mainstream Christian music. 

After drowning my sorrows in cake, I decided that I wouldn’t let anyone tell me what Jesus could and could not do.  If He wanted me to have a record deal, dog gone it, I’d have it.  Since then, I’ve started my own label seen and done some incredible things in ministry and have been able to sustain myself as an artist for almost 20 years.  Am I rich, nope, do I have national exposure – nope.  But I am happier then I ever was working in an office confined to the limits of other people’s faith.  And I believe, I’ve made a difference and touched a few lives in the process. 

A friend and fellow artist Katie Peltier once said that Christian music seemed to be one of the only industries that closed the door on your entry after a certain age, which is completely contradictory to what the Bible says about age.  The Bible says in Proverbs 16 verse 31 that, Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.  And I gotta a few gray poking through this blonde wig.  Or in Job 12 Verse 12, Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days. 

What I know now, what I have experienced and learned in my early 40’s can in no way compare to what I knew when I was in my 20’s or even 30’s.  I’m a better artist because I know about struggle, loneliness, extreme joy, Godly love and loss – in multiple ways and from multiple perspectives.  I’m not saying young whipper snappers don’t have anything to say – I could be my current producer’s mother if I’d had a baby at 17!  I’m saying that a multitude of life experiences make for a richer artist so don’t count me out cause I’m older then what a record label thinks is marketable. 

So I want to encourage someone if you are an artist or not… someone told you it’s to late, you’re to old, it will never happen for you.  Don’t believe the lie of the devil.  Get moving on that dream, that desire, that goal.  You have much to share with the world and as long as there is breath in you, it’s never to late!  

As for me, I’m leaning on Psalm 92 Verse 14, 

And you know what, I’ve only just begun, sit back and watch me burn… I got things to do and places to go for the Lord.  I’m on a great adventure, will you join me? 

I'd love to know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and let me know! If you are looking to launch your ministry or God given dream and you'd like a little help, pick up a copy of Dr. Nay's Guide To Achieving Your God Given Dream - get it on www.amazon.com today!

The Greatest Gift  

The Greatest Gift by Dr. Naima Johnston Bush, Founder, The Refreshing Life with Naima

When I went to middle school at the East Harlem School of the Performing Arts, we sang a song based on James 1 verse 17 that went like this, “All good gifts around us, are sent from heaven above, so thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all His love, I really want to thank the Lord.”  

The mere fact that we sang a song filled with praise and power in a public school is amazing, but the greatest truth is contained in its simple poetry, God gives us good gifts, and He gives us these gifts because He loves us.  At Christmas, on birthdays, or “just because”, we scour the stores seeking and searching for that perfect gift to brighten the lives of those we love.  Sometimes it is about quantity or expense, the bigger the gift or the more expensive, the better we showcase our love.  Sometimes it is small and meaningful, the delicate, thoughtful or handcrafted object that illustrates the tenderness of the heart. 

But how often have we received a gift and despised it?   Spent more time thinking about how the gift was impractical, not needed, to extravagant or in our own insecurities we were unclear of the motive or rational of the giver?  How often have we been unsatisfied with the gift that we did receive, hiding in our hearts the secret thoughts of, “what should have been mine” or “what I could do if I would have been given that something else!” 

In our often selfish and blinded states, we sometimes treat the gifts of God that way, failing to see the beauty or power in the special gift He has given just to us.  We go about our lives, doing what we want to do and never stop to ask the Lord what gift He has placed in us that must be used to edify the body of Christ and encourage the lost to seek the love of Christ.  

I was like that, God gave me a gift for music and I poured it into a dream of secular stardom so that I could be bigger then Whitney and better then J-Lo.  My goal, my greatest dream, was to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, a Grammy and various Soul Train, NAACP, American Music and MTV awards, while selling millions of records and cruising around the world first class in my private jet.  That was before the world beat me up and before I accepted the greatest gift of God – Salvation.  

We think that our gifts are inadequate, we don’t pursue them, we allow the world to influence our holy dreams and then one day we look back with regret.  The greatest tragedy is when we believe the lie of the devil, that we have no gifts at all and can make no difference in these last days.  I was like that, God gave me the gift of music and I hid my light under a bushel believing that I could not sing like Whitney and didn’t look like J-Lo so I better let that music dream go, get an education and make as much money as I could in the academic world.  That was before I understood that Paul’s words to Timothy applied to me today! 

Paul states in 1 Timothy 4 verse 14, 

Neglect not the gift that is in thee which was given thee by prophecy… 

Or how about when Paul states in 2 Timothy 1 verse 6, 

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by putting on of my hands. 

Have you failed to stir up the gift, let it lay dormant, hidden it or not figured out what it was because you are afraid, or you think that it is not a worthy gift, or you want to do what you want to do and never stopped to ask the Lord what He would have you to do? 

For many years I neglected the gift of song in me, so when the Lord called me to leave my safe, well paying job as the Associate Director of Student Life at Wright State University in 2001 to sing for His glory, all I thought about was my failures, my shortcomings, my inadequate voice… I never even thought about the power of the anointing.  I didn’t understand that if God had given me the gift, and if I used the gift for His glory, then it was not a question of me failing or being less gifted then someone else.  I did not need to compare myself to anyone else, because the gift that God gave me, He gave only to me and only I could do the job He called me to do with His gift to me.  He called me Naima, gift from God, what is He calling you?  Confused?  Well here is the revelation in another way. 

When we neglect the gift inside of us, we deny the world an opportunity to see the power and glory of the Lord through His working in our frail abilities.  When we believe the lies of man or the devil, that we are too dumb, old, late, slow, poor, or we have to much to lose… we glorify the kingdom of the enemy by withholding from individuals the song that they need to be encouraged, the prayer that might save their lives, the class that needs to be taught so that a child can be influenced and make the choice for the Lord and so on and so on!  When we neglect the gift we fail to edify the body or lead the lost and become partners with the enemy in his attempt to destroy the kingdom of God.

How do you plan to use your gifts in 2019? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below or shoot me a message at: naima@ministryofnaima.com

This blog is an excerpt from Naima's Book: Confessions of a Big Girl. Purchase your copy of Confessions by Clicking Here!

The Importance of Abiding In Christ - Guest Post by Alicia Terry 

The Importance of Abiding in Christ - Guest Post by Alicia Terry

This post is a bit different than what I normally write, but I hope my recent experience will help someone who may have gotten off course get back on again. 

Here’s My Story 

I did it again. I set myself up for failure when I focused my eyes on the mission at the expense of keeping them on the Master. 

I got back into the mode of trying to write impactful blog posts and even a book in my own strength. To be honest with you I don’t know exactly when I pushed God out of the process, but when it happened I lost my focus, drive and ability to hear the words God would have me say.  In short, I was attempting to write anointed words without the One who gives the anointing. 

Where Things Went Wrong 

I tried to make things happen in my own strength and all I got in return was a lack of energy to get anything done.  I felt physically tired and emotionally detached from the calling I knew God had given me.  

Where Things Went Right 

Then something interesting happened… 

In two separate conversations with long-time friends we discussed the goodness of God and the call of God on our lives. I felt excited and energized. 

I basked in His presence as I listened to worship music and my soul was refreshed and a weight was lifted. 

In reading the book, When God Calls a Writer, plain but powerful words admonished readers to focus less on the calling and turn our attention to the One who is calling us. Not only was I immediately encouraged, but also set free to be about God’s business again. 

The deal was I had to stop trying to do things on my own. I needed to re-establish myself in the Vine. Jesus tells us: 

 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NKJV) 

Where Are You Abiding? 

If things are falling flat for you and you’re struggling to make things happen in your life don’t go another second without answering the question, “Am I abiding in Christ?” Our lives, businesses, gifts and talents will never reach their full potential and impact apart from Him. 

Don’t be afraid to assess yourself. Let today be the turning point to get back on track if you’ve gotten off track. Abide in Jesus and allow Him to breathe new life into everything you do. 

 

As the owner and founder of Idea Haven, a communications and training practice, Alicia Terry helps entrepreneurs, teens and women clarify the message around their mission so they can attract and connect with the people they are meant to serve. You can learn more about Alicia at aliciaterry.com and connect with her on Facebook.

The One... 

The One by Dr. Naima Johnston Bush

We all desire to do a great work for the Lord and for the last several years I’ve had a pretty solid definition about what doing a big work for the Lord means.  I have shifted my ministry focus, started projects, shut down programs, all to pick up again in a whole different area.  When your heart longs to be of service to the Lord and to His people, it is extremely easy to get sidetrack by the multitude of needs that bombard you. 

It doesn’t help that I have dog and squirrel syndrome… You know, when a dog sees a bushy tale flash around the corner of a tree and tears off like a mad hound pulling his owner like a limp noodle.  My goodness, the poor Holy Spirit being dragged around as I jump from project to project without staying the course. 

What is the course? I believe that when you get off track you should go back to the original dream, the original vision, and most importantly… the original word that the Lord spoke to you. 

And that is what the Lord has been whispering in my ear, go back to what I first told you.  I have been so focused on building a ministry with a goal of touching first 1,000 women and then 1 million women that the most important person has not been at the forefront of why I do what I do.  

The One.  The one person whose life might be changed through a word that the Lord has given me to share.  The one young woman I can inspire to be a wife of excellence by sharing my mishaps.  The one called to ministry with no idea where to start who can learn from my multitude of mistakes. The one who needs a song to brighten their day, a community to uplift them, a prayer warrior to help them pray through the challenges of sickness, infertility, lack, depression, food addiction.  A friend to come along side them to laugh, share the joyful moments and point to His faithfulness and goodness through stories, music and art. It's so much easier to find success when you focus on one person at a time...

There are so many dreams I hold in my trembling hands.  I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t want to sing to nations, see my books touch millions of lives, speak a word with such power and truth that the captives are set free.  But I’ve come to understand that these are my dreams.  

And sometimes my dreams are not the dreams of the Lord.  So back to the basics we go, surrendering what I think is a great work for an even greater work.  The work that He has willed for me to do.  When I first started this journey in fulltime ministry so many years ago, my heart was to simply meet the needs of those around me and sing the songs God had given me. 

I’m going to stop chasing squirrels, stay the course, sing a song and go back to the first things the Lord laid on my heart to do.  I’m going back to my first love and going after The One… 

Go back to your first true love and joy will be found again.

Naima is the founder of The Refreshing Life Network and would love for you to join us in our Facebook Group where we are learning to live lives of joy, powerful prayer and thanksgiving! 

Join the Refreshing Life Group by clicking here: Refreshing Life with Naima

Because I Am Young - Guest Post By Gena McCown 

Because I Am Young - Guest Post By Gena McCown

 

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech,

in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 

1 Timothy 4:12 

 

I was invited to speak at a local church for an upcoming Women's Conference.  There were many emails sent back and forth about the event, but now it was time to have a face to face meeting with the Women's Ministry Leader.  You can only imagine my surprise when I entered the room to find a nineteen year old waiting for me.  It was such an encouragement for me, someone who invests in raising up women into leadership, to see such a young woman in this position.  I was impressed that the church saw her potential and had a willingness to let her lead this ministry.  

I probably stared at her all googley eyed, enamored by the child of God sitting before me.  On the way home I was even praying, “Lord, let there be more like her... nineteen year old women ready to take up the mantle of ministry leadership!”.  After arriving home I had some time to really think about our conversation that day.  Another woman had joined the meeting and after discussing my years of serving in the ministry, she pointed out to me that I had begun as a young leader too.  After twenty years of ministry service, I had forgotten that fact.  Just like someone believed in this young lady, there were people who believed in me. 

Even at the ripe age of forty, I have days where I feel like people look at me and think I am too young to be an expert in my field.  They see my face, they don't see the twenty years of experience that brought me to where I am today.  I have to put a voice to that experience, share my education, etc. all to prove that I actually know what I know.  My mother says that the last born always stays a “baby” in the eyes of their parents.  I often wonder if that is the same in the church.  When your faith journey allows you to grow in front of the church body... can they see who you have become, or do they still see only who you were? 

Whether you are nineteen, forty, or ninety-nine, there always seems to be a least a hint of feeling inadequacy that we battle.  It may because of our actual age or based on our number of years in service, it could be the lack of formal education too.  We begin to doubt ourselves because we are not enough.  But the Lord says that we are more than enough in Him, because He equips us for what He calls us too.  The Word reminds us that even our age doesn't matter to God, who created us for his delight and purposes. 

Jeremiah 1:6-7 reads, “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” 

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” 

Be encouraged that the Lord can use YOU where you are at.  When Moses questioned God's appointment by pointing out that he wasn't a good speaker, God didn't change His mind.  Paul told Timothy to not let anyone look down on him because of his youth.  Whatever it is that you believe disqualifies you, cast it aside.  When the Lord asks... “Who will go?”, reply “I will.  Send me.”  He will handle the rest.

 

Gena McCown is an author, speaker, teacher and ministry leader who makes her home in Southern Florida.  She is the founder of the Lead Her Women's Conference and leads The Women's Ministry Council.  For more information about Gena visit:  www.GenaMcCown.com)

5 Ways To Shape Your Marketing Message - A Dream Development Post by Alicia Terry 

When I first became an entrepreneur more than 16 years ago, I helped other entrepreneurs with their messaging, media outreach, graphic design, etc. 

One day I was introduced to a group of potential clients by a close friend who I helped with everything mentioned above. However, she introduced me as a graphic designer. I was not a graphic designer. I was and am a messaging strategist, but at that time I had not done a good job communicating my message. 

 

The Lesson Learned 

I quickly learned: 

If I don’t clarify and clearly articulate who I am, what I do, how I do it and why my business exists, someone else will and my brand will become what they assume it to be and not what it really is. 

This experience can help us understand Habakkuk 2:2 with greater clarity. It reads:   

Then the Lord said to me, 

“Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.” (NLT) 

Since that time, I’ve made it a point to get clear on the who, what, how, and why of my business and I encourage you to do the same. 

These following five tips will help you shape your marketing message so you can clearly articulate it and potential customers can easily understand it. 

Define your brand voice. Perception is reality and you’ll want to shape it by doing some internal work first. Start by asking yourself, “If my business was a person, what 3-5 words would I use to describe its personality to someone?” 

Match your message to your market. Take the time to identify the problems your target audience has, but don’t stop there. Hone in on how these problems make them feel. The answers you uncover will be a treasure trove of insight in communicating directly to the heart of their need. 

Focus on solutions. Not only do customers want to know you understand their problems, they want to know if you can solve them. So, be sure to give proof you can. Present your products or services in light of the needs they meet. 

Share customer successes. Create case studies to share your customer successes. Also, seek to obtain written customer testimonials. You’ll strengthen the validity of your story and increase the trust factor with those considering doing business with you. 

Don’t just say what you do. Find creative ways to show what you do. You’ve written your case study and you’ve worded it perfectly. Yet, there still seems to be something missing. You add a picture to the case study and it rounds out your story perfectly. That’s what visuals like pictures, video testimonials and infographics will do for you. They will help you further shape your message. 

So, there you have it…a simplified strategy for shaping your marketing message. Keep in mind that it is a process and I suggest you start with defining your brand voice. Here’ a brand voice cheat sheet to help you get started. Download Here: Brand Voice Cheat Sheet 

 

As the owner and founder of Idea Haven, a communications and training practice, Alicia Terry helps entrepreneurs, teens and women clarify the message around their mission so they can attract and connect with the people they are meant to serve. You can learn more about Alicia at aliciaterry.com and connect with her on Facebook.

An Interview with Author and Speaker, Kim Aldrich 

Tell us about you and the work you do. 

I’m an author, speaker, and come-alongside mentor who helps women drink in and pour out the truth and love of Jesus in practical, relational ways. I consider myself a “discipleship evangelist,” someone who helps call the church back to a lifestyle of discipleship. 

How did you get started doing the work you do? 

Years ago, I “stumbled” into making disciples. Thought I’d walked with Jesus since childhood, I had never been discipled myself, nor had any of my friends. One day I met a new believer who needed help getting started in her relationship with Jesus. With all my heart, I wished there was someone I knew who could disciple her. Then before I knew what hit me—I later realized it was the Holy Spirit’s prompting—I found myself volunteering for the job! 

Soon an associate pastor’s wife saw us meeting together, and began sharing about The Great Commission and how making disciples was for every believer, not just the “professional” Christians. These words fused themselves into my spiritual DNA, and soon I found the courage to ask her to disciple me—which to my amazement, she did! 

Over the past dozen years, I’ve become passionately enthusiastic about relational discipleship, as I’ve witnessed time after time the life-changing difference that becoming firmly rooted in Christ brings. I just can’t get enough of it! Yet as I shared my joy with friend after friend, almost every one responded with the same sad sentence: That’s great for you—but I could never do it! 

Over time, I sensed the Lord nudging me to write a book for first-time mentors that would both equip them to make disciples AND give them courage that it’s something they really can—and are called—to do. After four years of pouring onto paper the principles God has taught me (and creating a website with resources to go with it), the book was finally published in November 2017: 

DiscipleSips: Leaving a Jesus Legacy One Latte at a Time (A Sip-by-Sip Guide to Friendship Discipleship) 

What challenges have you had and how did you overcome them? 

One challenge was getting the words down on paper, as clearly as God has whispered them into my heart. On the first day, I could’ve verbally have told you in one sitting 95% of what was in the book. Yet once I started writing, I found myself staring down a pretty deep and debilitating well of perfectionism. So God really had to reroute my thinking. 

I realized the manuscript was twice as long as the publisher recommended—and needed to be cut in half! I had to enlist the help of friends, and my “king of brevity” husband, to be able to take the surgeon’s knife to my precious manuscript—before hiring a professional editor to help smooth it all out. 

Another challenge was the HUGE sensory overload of trying to finish the book while also navigating the learning curve of social media in order to launch the book. At times I honestly thought my head might explode! I felt like I was standing in front of a pitching machine desperately try to avoid getting a broken nose from all the publishing and social “balls” that were constantly hurtling my direction. To this day, I still have so much to learn, yet what I have learned so far has been invaluable. 

What has been your biggest triumph and why? 

My biggest triumph has been finally being able to deliver the burning message God whispered to my heart. I so strongly sensed His calling to write this book that I knew I would never quit—but there were definitely times during the 4½ year process when I wondered if I would ever finish—or would be 100 years old when the book was finally published! 

My second biggest triumph has been the reaction of the readers! I have been blown away by how the readers have “gotten” the message and embraced it. I’m often brought to tears that what God whispered to my heart all those years ago is echoing back to me through the heartfelt words of readers. It’s like their hearts were a pile of smoldering embers, waiting for “permission” and the “how-to” to make disciples. All I had to do was blow on those embers...and God used my words to fan them into flame! 

How has being a part of the Creative Christian Women's Network benefited you? 

I haven’t been part of this community for long, but each time I’ve attended the dinners I’ve felt very welcomed and encouraged. I also love that it’s a lot more informal than other Christian women’s groups I’ve been part of, which for me—a “what you see is what you get” kinda girl—is perfect! I also love the part of the meeting where each person gets to share “What are you doing and what do you need?” It gives the rest of us a chance to meet a practical need a person might have in their ministry, and vice versa. It also helps inform the prayer time at the end—because we actually know what each person is facing. 

What advice do you have for those starting out in creative business or ministry? 

I would suggest starting small. Everyone wants to start big, but even if we could, most of us aren’t as ready as we think. I’ve often groaned under the seasons of waiting God seems to put me through at each stage of my ministry journey. Yet often when I reach the next stage, I’m grateful He held me back when He did...because I end up needing the lessons I’ve just learned for the NEXT season! I love Joyce Meyer’s story of being frustrated for years that her ministry was growing so slowly, yet how looking back that’s the thing she’s most thankful for and thanks God for that the most—that her ministry grew at exactly the rate God knew it needed to. 

I’d also suggest that you avoid comparing yourself to others. I realize that comparison is unavoidable to some extent—and can sometimes be healthy if it spurs us on to the next level. But I’m talking about the kind of comparison that makes you feel resentful toward those who are “ahead” of you and “less than” because you’re doing as well (or as much) as the next person. As I recently heard a speaker say: If you are called to this ministry, everything you do is really for an audience of One. So whether your numbers of followers, sales, or likes are tiny or titanic...the main question is: Have you been obedient to God? If so, rejoice—cuz He is! So stay in your lane, and run your race. It takes all of us to reach the world, and Jesus has called YOU to a very specific part of the battle! 

How can we keep up with you? What are you currently working on? 

I’m still in “book promo” mode, so I’ll be doing interviews, guest blogging, and speaking wherever God leads! 

To learn more about me and the work I do visit:

Website: http://kimaldrich.com 
Blog: http://kimaldrich.com/ blog/ 
Facebook: https://www. facebook.com/KimAldrichAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ kimaldrich121 
  
  
To order DiscipleSips: Leaving a Jesus Legacy One Latte at a Time, click: http://kimaldrich.com/ disciplesips/

“Let’s go and make disciples—one latte at a time!” 

Matthew 28:16-20

Chasing The Dream 

A book, a life story, a song, has the potential to change your life. When you first pick it up, when you first read the words or first hear the melody, you don’t think that something in such a creative free flowing way can change your life forever. But it can. How many times have you heard a song and it brought you to your knees, or read a book that made you rethink everything you ever thought you knew? 

One of my favorite books is, “No Compromise, The Keith Green Story.” I have to be honest; I picked it up because I wanted to know “how.” How did Keith build his ministry, write his songs, and become lauded as one of the greatest Christian Recording Artists of all time? That’s why I picked the book up, that’s what I wanted to know. Up until that moment I had no idea who Keith Green really was, as a matter of fact until this weekend I’d never heard him sing, or preach, and as far as I knew, I didn’t know any Keith Green songs.  

I mean that might seem unusual to someone who has been called a walking jukebox, but I got saved years after he died and I listened only to Gospel Music not Contemporary Christian Music for the first five years after I became a Christian. It’s sad that there are no radio stations that really mix the two genres, so I was totally ignorant of Keith’s music. It wasn’t until I moved to Dayton and started to attend a church where I was one of two African Americans that I fell in love with Contemporary Christian Music. It is what has influenced my songwriting the most. Now I’m some crazy musical mix up – as someone once told me my musical style is, “To Black to be White, and to White to be Black.” I like to think of it as, “If Nicole Nordeman and Ce Ce Winans were sisters I’d be the middle child – LOL.”  

But anyway… I can’t begin to write about the impact that Keith’s story has had on my life. I didn’t get a “how to” lesson. Instead I got a “why to” lesson. It dawned on me that in my heart is a greater dream for music ministry then I ever knew existed before. It is a dream to write songs that change the atmosphere and change people’s lives. To be so transparent, yet so free in Christ, that people will desire to know Him for themselves. To live in such victory that people can look at my life and say God can do anything and if He did it for you He’ll do it for me. That there is enough money to feed the homeless, house them, care for the orphan, the widow, use music as the evangelistic tool it was meant to be used for. 

It’s easy for full time Christian Recording Artists to get swept up in the business of ministry. Seeking promotional opportunities or new outlets to share your music, writing, performing, ministering, it takes a great deal of time. We have to update our multiple social network sites so that our fans can keep up with us, we have to record new music and figure out how to move our ministry to the next level, the bigger venue, how to get the distribution deal, get the radio airplay, get more interviews, get on some major tour, get on TBN and most of us still dream of getting that elusive record deal so we can hear our music on K-Love. 

And somewhere in all of this we forget – well let me speak for myself, I forget that there are people dieing and going to hell. People making excuses for living lives that are not pleasing to the Lord because they have not been able to access the power of God from the throne room of Heaven to find victory. There are people forced to make choices that have eternal complications and consequences because we sang the gospel and then had no place for them to go after we packed up our buses and rode out of town to the next stop. Or we live a life that does not mirror what we sing about and then when we are exposed other people are wounded seemingly beyond repair. It makes me ask myself, what dreams am I chasing? The spotlight or the harvest? 

Have I been so busy singing that I’ve forgotten to serve? When did music ministry become more about being known and building a brand then about sharing the gospel and feeding the hungry? Why am I supposed to be looked at as a product and not as woman of God called for such a time as this on a mission to lead the lost to Christ? A book like “No Compromise” will make you rethink your entire ministry, the approach, the foundation, the why of it all. 

I’m not saying that promoting the ministry God has given me is unimportant. I know God has given me a message and I gotta get it out there. The lost are not going to hear what I need to share if I’m only singing in my shower or sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring – Christ said go into all the earth – so I gotta get up and get out! 

I guess I’m more so thinking about the way it’s done and the why it’s done and even the how it’s done. Any man who asks to be released from his contract with Sparrow Records (the biggest label at the time) so that he could GIVE AWAY HIS MUSIC FOR FREE TO ANY AND ALL – had a true heart for the gospel and the lost. You can’t read something like that as a music minister and not be challenged and changed. 

The Lord is so funny, right after I closed the book; I put something on my Facebook status about being challenged by the ministry of Keith Green. I scroll down and someone else had just written on their status that they were listening to his music and how he was a prophet for the generations!  

To leave that kind of legacy, that more then 25 years after my death people are still being impacted, stirred to bring the gospel to the lost, moving to minister and sharing the love of Christ – that’s the dream I want to chase. That’s the cry of my heart, and that’s what I pledge to do from this moment on. I’m not sure what it will look like, don’t know how my life will change, but I can bet it’ll be anything but dull – I am on a great adventure for Jesus… won’t you come along?

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