We have a lot of “firsts” in life, don’t we? First breath, first steps, first school, first job, first home of our own, first child, first blog post…the list is different for each of us. Last night I had a new “first” – first time on the radio. My dear friend, Vonetta Carter, had the opportunity to fill in for a host on a one-hour segment last night. Vonetta asked me to join her so that she could interview me, to which I’m pretty sure I laughed out loud and texted back a reply something like, “What?!?!” Vonetta was so passionate about her request, so I summoned up all my courage and said okay. We headed out, together, on our journey to share the hope of Jesus.
Why did she choose to interview me? She said God put it on her heart. Over the few years I’ve known Vonetta, God has been moving us closer together in terms of the type of ministry He’s giving us. Vonetta has a YouTube channel (click here) where she shares video messages of what God shares on her heart, and I sit and share God’s words here, in written form.
What I’m about to share with you is all for God’s honor and glory – it’s ALL His!
Something powerful happened here on this blog last month, though. I know some of you are aware, but others may not be. This space has always been about my personal journey outside my “neat and tidy box” of how I think life should run. When I started here about 15 months ago, I told God that I’d take this journey with him, and would gladly share what He gives, but I didn’t want to write about marriage or missions – both were topics that were already being covered so well by others, that I didn’t need to lend my voice. (Go ahead and laugh – even I know how ridiculous it is to tell God what you won’t do…yet, that’s what I told Him!)
In June, I wrote a post about marriage – just one – because it all came together so nicely in my mind, and apparently it came out pretty well “on paper”. Within two weeks, that post received more views than any other post I’d ever written – TEN TIMES more views than any other post. Please know – that’s not to brag, at all, but to show the power of saying “yes” to what God gives us to do.
Writing about marriage – I had said no to God about that, and look what He did.
What about missions? Well, God hasn’t specifically said, “Time to pack up your family and move around the world to go share the good news with others.” Instead, as I’ve started to write, He’s taken me on my own little journey, and I didn’t even realize it at first. It took the whole first year before I even really looked at the stats in great detail.
See, my purpose here isn’t writing for you, or even to you. My purpose here is to share the words God gives me – always for my own journey with Him. The fact that He brings people to read, as He will, is amazing to me.
And that’s just what He’s done – He’s brought people to this page from 107 countries of the world. In some of those countries, people aren’t allowed religious freedoms and they certainly are not to be Christians.
Have you heard of the 10/40 window? According to the Joshua Project website, the 10/40 window is defined in this manner:
“The 10/40 Window is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia approximately between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude. The 10/40 Window is often called “The Resistant Belt” and includes the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. The original 10/40 Window included only countries with at least 50% of their land mass within 10 and 40 degrees north latitude. The revised 10/40 Window includes several additional countries, such as Indonesia, that are close to 10 or 40 degrees north latitude and have high concentrations of unreached peoples. See the original and revised country lists on this page.”
Of the 68 countries listed on the Joshua Project website, this site has been read in 33 of those countries. How? I have no idea – I don’t know people in most of those countries.
Last night at the radio station, Vonetta was sharing that God gives us dreams – desires of our hearts – for a reason. He can take what we do with those dreams and use it for His glory. If God gives us a dream, He isn’t bound by our understanding of circumstances to accomplish His will. For example, it would take me a long, long time to physically travel to the 107 countries where the blog has already been, to share any of the posts here. However, in just over a year, God has already moved these words – His words – across borders, to reach someone who needs to hear of Him.
That compels me to make sure I’m sharing with you what He has, not ever what I think you should hear. Please know that anything you read here will always come through prayer and a deep desire to convey God’s words, never my own.
As Vonetta asked the listeners last night, what dream has God given you that maybe you aren’t sure how to pursue? Or maybe you’re hesitant to pursue the dream as you can’t possibly imagine how God might work it out. The first step is simply to acknowledge the dream that God has put in your heart, and to say yes to God. You don’t have to understand His plans, you can simply pray for guidance along the way, that God would open and close doors appropriate to His will.
Vonetta and I are proof that God will open doors that no man can close, in His perfect timing and in accordance to His will. Her story is an amazing story that I can hopefully share here with you someday.
One of Vonetta’s final questions to me last night was something along the lines of, “What’s the most important piece of advice that you could give to our listeners, or to your readers?”
Can I just say, there’s a lot of great advice out there – a LOT. And I was nervous and hoping for some good words and clarity of thought as I attempted to answer that particular question well. I was so amazed to see that my heart went right back to the basics – to what I’ve known all along, and to what I hold as the foundation for my own life. My answer to her question about the most important advice I could give to someone was this: Make sure your own relationship with God is right. Pursue Him more than a spouse, more than a career, more than life. All other relationships, decisions, concerns will fall into place when your relationship with God is right.
I would love to ask – are you trying to pursue a dream God has given you? Are you ready to try that new “first” in your life? How can Vonetta and I come alongside and pray with you?
And humbly, would you pray with us? There is a hurting world out there, right outside our door, across the ocean, around the world – a world who desperately needs the good news that Jesus loves them, that Jesus loves us! Would you pray with me as God continues to use this space for His glory? If you have a friend who you feel might benefit from reading something here, would you share this site with them? (If you’re looking for a particular post, let me know and I can send you the link).
After seeing all that God has done here, and all He’s doing through Vonetta’s ministry, I am more determined than ever to keep this space active and full of God stories, of good news, of encouragement for each of us on this journey.
Remember to check out Vonetta’s video ministry – powerful!
May God bless you, may God bless us, as we follow His will and His leading. Vonetta, thank you for a new first in my life last night – praying for you as you continue in your ministry, and I’m so grateful we can be taking some of this journey together!
A final reminder, one of my favorite verses:
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:13