Bungee Jumping with God

Bungee Jumping with God

I can’t wait for you to meet my brave beautiful friend Kate Battistelli this week on By His Grace!!  Author and speaker Kate Battistelli and I have a far-reaching incredible conversation about choosing to believe God for the impossible. Please welcome Kate to the blog today!


Bungee Jumping with God 

By Kate Battistelli

Have you ever gone bungee jumping? I’m a complete chicken and in the natural realm, there is no way on this earth you will ever catch me strapping up and stepping off a ledge. My common sense doesn’t trust the equipment or the guide. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. People make mistakes, amiright???

But common sense, when it comes to God, will always try and contradict the still, small voice deep in my spirit. Every time…every stinkin’ time.

Do you ever get those wild thoughts, those ridiculous impressions or giant glimpses of the future and think, no way, that can’t be for me in fact, it’s completely crazy and I don’t live in crazy town.

However, if you’re like me you sometimes let those thoughts marinate a bit and think …what if? Just what if God is directing me and it’s not just me being hormonal or menopausal or a hundred other excuses I could give for not taking a risk and daring to dream? What if God wants me to step out in faith when I can’t see the end from the beginning? It’s super easy to brush those thoughts away because usually, they will require us to make a change and choose to abandon our comfort zones. And admit it, we all crave comfort. We don’t like stepping off ledges into the unknown.

I don’t like change. Change in behavior, change in environment, change in attitude. Okay, I admit it, I like the predictable parts of life. I like writing my lists and checking them off. But I’ve learned over the years God is anything but predictable! God wants each of us to live by faith, not by certainty.

Here are some basics I’ve learned about faith:

  • If you can see it, it isn’t faith.
  • Common sense is the enemy of faith.
  • Faith is a gift and we can ask for more of it.
  • Faith is spiritually discerned
  • Faith asks us to believe in the impossible

(And those are just the easy ones!)

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

No wonder more of us don't take God at His word. It makes us uncomfortable. It disrupts our perfectly planned routine. It forces us to face our fears and often, it completely defies common sense. Click To Tweet

So, here’s what I’ve learned after traveling with God for more than thirty-five years:

  1. If you can see it, it isn’t faith. Hebrews 11:1 tells us: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It’s like a shadow that your prayer and belief and vision put substance to. Faith is actual substance and true evidence but you can’t see or touch it, you can only apprehend it. Faith alone knows that the “not yet” eventually turns into the “will be.” It’s assurance that what we’re hoping for will really and truly come to pass. Faith is a gift and we can ask for more of it. (Luke 17:5)

 

  1. Common sense is faith’s enemy because it’s…common. It shuts down the supernatural in our lives. What starts as a shadow, an inkling, or a knowing deep inside, causes your common sense to rise up and try to shut it down. Faith is unique, unusual, exotic, dangerous and courageous because it takes courage to act on the unseen, to bungee-jump into God’s miraculous plan and throw caution to the wind! Most of us will never take God up on His offer to step into adventure with Him, to walk into the unknown and plunge with Him into the place where dreams are born.

 

  1. Faith is a gift. I remember telling God years ago, I don’t just want faith–I want GREAT FAITH! I wanted to believe for gigantic things for myself, my daughter, my husband. Let me tell you when you pray that prayer, God answers and it’s not always in the way you hoped. I thought He would make me more spiritual but He used it to humble me. He caused me to depend on Him in ways I never imagined but He’s proved over and over that He is enough. He’s still humbling me and reminding me that:

 

  1. Faith is spiritually discerned. My natural man and spirit man are at odds and I won’t be able to figure it out with my intellect or common sense. I’ve learned to let go of what I don’t know and come to Him as a child.

 

  1. Faith asks me to believe the impossible. Could you believe for a miracle of divine healing or provision for a desperate need? Do you believe your child has a phenomenal future ahead of her or that your life can leave a lasting impact on others? Paul teaches us to “…call those things that are not as though they are.” romans 4:17. Don’t you just love that about God? It sounds so easy but it drives me to my knees!

You can’t figure this out with intellect or common sense. I’ve learned to let go of what I know and come to Him as a child because children are able to believe anything is possible. I’m learning to walk in faith day by day, sometimes moment by moment, hand in hand with God. On the hard days my prayer simply becomes, “I believe Lord, help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Our faith will be tested; you can take that to the bank. How else can you develop faith unless God gives you something to have faith for, knowing He’s the only one who can provide it? He has to test us in our faith journey and here’s why:

Faith is just a doorway. A doorway into trust.

And that, dear friends, is the ultimate goal. Knowing and trusting every day that He has your best interests at heart.

If I were to really go bungee jumping, I’d want to be absolutely certain that the person in charge knew what he was doing and had taken all the proper safety measures. As I stepped out on the edge of the cliff, you better believe I’d be praying the cords were tight and the harness fastened correctly before I took that bungee plunge. Holding my breath and squeezing my eyes shut I’d count to three and jump. So far, my Father has always been there to catch me. And I’m certain He always will.

What about you? Are you willing to step out into your incredible future? Will you risk everything, jump and trust the cord will hold?


Kate Battistelli is the author of The God Dare: Will You Choose to Believe the Impossible? I know this book and her story will encourage you to step out on the water and walk in radical obedience to God!

Kate is a wife to Mike, and an author, speaker, and former actress/singer. She is the mother to Grammy award-winning Contemporary Christian artist Francesca Battistelli. Kate has faced all kinds of trials throughout her life from having an abortion, ectopic pregnancy and struggling with infertility. She has also struggled with anxiety and nocturnal seizures, but through it all, she is keenly aware of God’s continual presence in her life. For more information visit: Kate Battistelli

 

 

Misty Phillip

Book Review: The Logic of God

Book Review: The Logic of God

“God wants us to know Him personally and live out our faith day by day in meaningful ways, but the noise, chaos, clutter, and busyness of life so often overwhelm that we find it difficult, if not impossible.” -Ravi Zacharias

The Logic of God by Ravi Zacharias is an invitation to know God more deeply, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review it. I firmly believe we all have a worldview or a lens in which we view the world. What we believe and what we believe about God matters! It affects every area of our life and those within our sphere of influence.

“For the Christian this is where the battle must be fought, for no worldview suffers more from the loss of belief in God than the Christian one. And unless the “logic” of God – the evidence has provided us of His existence – is defended, I sought after, is fully engaged with our hearts and minds, every essential of the Christian faith will be deemed illogical and untrue, thereby making them unworthy of rational assent “- Introduction to The Logic of God

According to CARM – Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, Worldview is defined as:

“A worldview is a set of beliefs and assumptions that a person uses when interpreting the world around him.  A worldview deals with issues like . . .

1. What are we?
2. Were we created or did we evolve?
3. What is our purpose in life?
4. Does God exist?
5. From where do we derive our morals?
6. Are there moral absolutes?
7. Why is there suffering in the world?

 

All people have a worldview.  Some believe in God, and others do not.  Some affirm evolution, and others do not.  Some believe there are absolute morals, and others do not. Some worldviews are more refined than others, but all people have them because all people have a set of beliefs through which they view the world.”

What we believe matters! I have a Biblical Worldview and so everything in my life filters through that lens. I also believe in the sufficiency of scripture. We see this concept clearly illustrated in Psalm 19:7-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

John MacArthur on the sufficiency of scripture states,

“God’s Word is sufficient to meet every need of the human soul as David verifies frequently in his psalms. Psalm 19:7-14 is the most comprehensive statement regarding the sufficiency of Scripture. It is an inspired statement about Scripture as a qualified guide for every situation. Scripture is comprehensive, containing everything necessary for one’s spiritual life. Scripture is surer than a human experience that one may look to in proving God’s power and presence. Scripture contains divine principles that are the best guide for character and conduct. Scripture is lucid rather than mystifying so that it enlightens the eyes. Scripture is void of any flaws and therefore lasts forever. Scripture is true regarding all things that matter, making it capable of producing comprehensive righteousness. Because it meets every need in life, Scripture is infinitely more precious than anything this world has to offer.”

He goes on to say,

“It is significant that one of the biblical names of Christ is Wonderful Counselor (Isa 9:6). He is the highest and ultimate One to whom Christians may turn for counsel, and His Word is the well from which we may draw divine wisdom.”

Ravi Zacharias clearly lays out similar principles in his devotional book The Logic of God.

 

“At the very heart of Christianity, Jesus is the image and the incarnation of the invisible God – the one who came to live among us to show us God’s love, perfection, and grace. And this reality changes everything” – Ravi Zacharias, The Logic of God

Book Description:

We all have doubts that challenge our faith. We wonder whether the Bible still matters, or whether God is truly as loving and personal as we hope. In his first ever devotional, The Logic of God, apologist Ravi Zacharias offers 52 readings that explain how and why Christianity, the Bible, and God are still relevant, vital, and life-changing for us today. To all our dilemmas Ravi says, “I am convinced that Jesus Christ alone uniquely answers the deepest questions of our hearts and minds.”

With a remarkable grasp of biblical facts and a deep understanding of the questions that trouble our hearts, Ravi tackles the most difficult topics with ease and understanding. But The Logic of God is more than intellectual; it is also personal, offering thoughtful wisdom on:

when Jesus draws especially near you

the deep ray of hope found in God’s Word

how God transforms disappointments

why prayer matters

how genuine peace is possible

making sense of suffering

Ravi makes profound biblical truth easy to understand. And if your life is busy, this book is designed for you! It addresses 52 topics that you can read over the course of one year or slowly digest at your own pace. Each entry includes a Scripture, questions for reflection, and some practical application steps.

When you're struggling with questions and doubts, confused, curious, or just want a clearer way to express your faith The Logic of God has answers that satisfy the heart and the mind. Click To Tweet

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Logic of God and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to know God more deeply and walk closer to Jesus! Each of these 52 devotions begins with a scripture, and a short devotional thought followed by reflection questions and personal application to strengthen your faith.

Enter to win a signed copy of The Logic of God By Ravi Zacharias here:  The Logic of God Giveaway

Much Love, 

 

 

Misty Phillip

Kate Battistelli: Believing God-Sized Dreams

Kate Battistelli: Believing God-Sized Dreams

Kate Battistelli and I have a far-reaching incredible conversation about choosing to believe God for the impossible. Kate is a wife to Mike, and an author, speaker, and former actress/singer. She is the mother to Grammy award-winning Contemporary Christian artist Francesca Battistelli.

We begin our conversation talking about having a daughter in the spotlight. Then move on to God-sized dreams, answering God’s call to move in a completely opposite direction and living a life of faith and obedience. Kate has faced all kinds of trials throughout her life from having an abortion, ectopic pregnancy and struggling with infertility. She has struggled with anxiety, and nocturnal seizures, but is keenly aware God’s continual presence in her life.

Please welcome, Kate Battistelli author of The God Dare: Will You Choose to Believe the Impossible? to By His Grace.

 

 

It Riles People

It Riles People

This week it is my pleasure to welcome Shontell Brewer to this space. Shontell has a radical on fire heart for God. Radical obedience to God may look different than you think and it may shake some people up. My prayer for you is that she challenges you to live this one life with purpose loving and serving an audience of one! Please welcome Shontell Brewer to By His Grace today!


It Riles People 

by Shontell Brewer

Ever been accused of riling things up?

I have.

Try choosing a ministry other people aren’t on board with. Try pointing out heavy truths of slavery and oppression taking place on the streets of your town. Try moving to a state or a city or a neighborhood that people don’t quite understand. Try selling all of your stuff and giving it away. Try walking to a church in your neighborhood and calling those in the pews your “people” whether or not that church has the coolest VBS and worship program. Try leaving your church to spend your Sundays in a different way. It riles people.

Everyone wants an explanation. Suddenly people are huddling in close to you wanting the inside skinny on why you’re really leaving. Simply stating that God is doing something with you isn’t enough. Don’t even try it. Well, try it. And good luck with it. It riles people.

Suddenly, everyone feels they are closer to you than he or she ever truly was. You can’t quite remember becoming close enough with them for this conversation. They don’t say it, but they mean, “I know you aren’t around gossiping, but obviously you will tell ME.” They are riled.

You find yourself at a birthday party and people want to hash it out. They are riled. People pull you out of service and need to know if something happened. And to that we should always be able to say, “Yes.”

Yes. God is at work here. Prepare to be riled if you aren’t in cahoots with his plan. And be ready to be a lone reed if you are. Click To Tweet

Every day and every minute you are trying to stand before God and hone in on his still small voice. You want nothing more than to lock eyes with The One Who Calls You. You find your grasp is a white-knuckled fist upon his robes. And you are low and humble and crying more days than not.

In the end, do you know what you will discover?

You need to know that when people get riled up it is much more their issue and much less your problem. You aren’t riling anyone, actually. What is happening is the Holy Spirit is about you, and rather than meet that with support, their fear jumps up. And then rather than meet their fear with grace, we sometimes find that we are afraid of that very thing they are talking about. And if we aren’t careful we begin to reverse the work God is doing in us.

We are no longer out on the waves, eye to eye with Jesus and his deep grace. We are swimming back to shore, walking up to our chair in the corner, and pulling a towel over our face to block out what we left and what we are now missing. It’s a sham.

That fear? It’s a sham. God says, “Grace abounds in deepest waters. Join me. Look in my eyes and feel my heartbeat in time with yours. This is when your doubt subsides and you are strong in me. This is how you know me. Most importantly, this is how others will know me- when they watch you.”

So rile them up, my friends. Look them all straight in the eye and stand firmly in your calling.

Just watch what God can do with that.

Be sure to check out the podcast we recorded too! Shontell Brewer: Teacher and Anti-Trafficking Advocate

Shontell Brewer is a writer on her blog Nonsense At Its Finest. By day she works as a classroom teacher, and weekends are mostly spent as an advocate for the steadily growing anti-trafficking movement in Nevada. As a licensed pastor, she speaks around the country to youth, mothers, and churches. A wife for over twenty years, she and her husband have spent most of that time raising five kids. Together the family runs a monthly outreach in their home: a come as you are dinner called Taco Tuesday. Keep up with her day to day nonsense, books, and speaking engagements on Instagram. Her book, Missionary Mom, was released fall of 2018.


Hope you enjoyed hearing from this week’s guest and look forward to introducing you to Kate Battistelli!

My last few weeks have been busy attending the Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference and with the launch of The Struggle is Real: But So is God. It debuted at number 1 in Adult Christian Education on Amazon, but more importantly, people’s lives and hearts are already being changed!

I would love for you to join me for an online study of The Struggle is Real: But So is God beginning June 4th-July 9th.

The Struggle Is Real, But So Is God is a

6-week

journey through the Bible that will:

Equip you with empowering wisdom.

Help you grow spiritually by claiming God’s promises as your own.

Teach you how to declare scripture over yourself to strengthen your inner being.

Show you how to conquer challenges by activating God’s Word in your life.

#thestrugglebiblestudy

It is available for sale on Amazon.

We will meet at 8PM CST on Tuesday evenings on Facebook live in The Struggle is Real Online Bible Study Group. The only requirement to join the group is for you to purchase a copy of the study. The group is currently open to the public so invite your friends. Once we begin the study we will change it to a closed group. For more information email info@MistyPhillip.com.

 

 

Misty Phillip

Shontell Brewer: Teacher & Anti-Trafficking Advocate

Shontell Brewer: Teacher & Anti-Trafficking Advocate

Shontell and I have a far-reaching conversation.  It begins with a conversation about being a Christian teacher in the public school system and how she has been able to pray and help people. Shontell then shares her passion for helping-risk teens and her work with the anti-trafficking movement. Shontell shares some clear warning signs of at-risk teens, and what you can do if you think someone is a target.

Shontell Brewer is a writer on her blog Nonsense At Its Finest. By day she works as a classroom teacher, and weekends are mostly spent as an advocate for the steadily growing anti-trafficking movement in Nevada. As a licensed pastor, she speaks around the country to youth, mothers, and churches. A wife for over twenty years, she and her husband have spent most of that time raising five kids. Together the family runs a monthly outreach in their home: a come as you are dinner called Taco Tuesday. Keep up with her day to day nonsense, books, and speaking engagements on Instagram. Her book, Missionary Mom, was released fall of 2018.

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