I am so excited to announce a new series! I have been meeting with women over the past few weeks and asking (begging?) them to write a guest post for me. One of my biggest passions in life is to have women of all stages connect on a heart level. As a culture, I feel we put too much pressure on stages and seasons life when we actually need women who are all over the map because at the end of the day we all need Savior because the ground is level at the foot of the Cross despite of your life stage.
I am not even sure when I first met Carolyn. I do remember the first time I visited Woodland Hills she was leading worship and I could tell that she has a heart of worship like I had never seen before and her presence on the stage made you want to know her more because Jesus oozes out of here. She is beautiful inside and out, speaks truth with grace, and constantly building up those around her. A few summers ago, we took some junior high students to Florida and that is where I got to know parts of her heart while we were laying on the beach.
Carolyn’s goal is to love and know God more and then to turn around and love on people.to share Christ with them. She leads worship at Woodland Hills Family Church in Branson, MO as a worship leader is one of her greatest joys in life. For 15 years Carolyn was a professional singer and dancer doing everything from performing as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader to being a Branson entertainer. But leading worship at church, the Pure Joy Women’s Conference, Coffee Conversations and more…has been life changing! Her newest passion is blogging, and her ‘Loving God, Loving People’ blog is reaching hundreds for Christ. Carolyn is married to the love of her life, Jerod Hill, they have two energetic boys: Connor and Dylan. You can connect with Carolyn at www.carolynhill.net and subscribe to receive inspiration once a week and a song download, all completely free, as her gift to you! Trust me, you will want to subscribe to her website.
Duped: A Guest Post
Did you ever know kids in school who could talk you into trouble? I did…I was duped. Inevitably when we were about to get caught, they’d drop me like a live sample of Ebola!! Man, they were just so stinkin’ convincing. Somehow they knew exactly how to play me. I knew what they were suggesting was sketchy, but I was willing to go along because of one little 4 letter word: FEAR.
I remember one such instance when a classmate talked me into a pretty ridiculous scheme. The goal was to avert taking a test in our Spanish class. My part was to run out of the room with one hand over my mouth and the other hand clutching my stomach, pretending to be sick. Then my “crime boss” classmate would act all concerned and ask if she could go check on me in the bathroom. We would hang out there until the bell rang. Brilliant. I remember her persuasively telling me, “Senor Lyman will never know you’re faking…he’ll never suspect that you’d try to trick him! I know you are not ready for this test, and if you make a bad grade you’re going to get in trouble. Now you won’t have to take it because he’s gonna feel so sorry for you.”
Well, I’ve never claimed to be a talented actress! Apparently Senor Lyman wasn’t convinced by my melodramatic exit. Lo and behold, my classmate totally threw me under the bus! As soon as she realized that her plan wasn’t going to work, she told our teacher that I had tried to persuade her to skip class with me! I got a detention and loads of grief from that whole deal. Oh mylanta!
Looking back, it’s easy to see that my “friend” didn’t care about me one iota. With friends like that who needs enemies, right? Interestingly enough, I have learned that our enemy, Satan, does the same thing to us all the time! He’s awfully good at presenting ideas that look like they will benefit us, but actually will result in more trouble than we could have ever imagined. Our loss is always for his gain. When the consequences of our sin start to happen, he is the “accuser of the brethren” and only comes to steal, kill and destroy us (John 10:10). That’s why he is called the deceiver.
Remembering that whole scenario back in school, I certainly cannot claim innocence. I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, but I did it anyway. Why? Because I was afraid of failing the test and of letting my classmate down. Plus she might’ve told everybody how much of a prude I was. Gasp!
There’s the rub: fears dictate our feelings. And when we go with how we feel at the time, instead of what we know is right, we can plan on disaster. Even if I had gotten away with fooling Senor Lyman, that path of deception would have eventually taken me to deeper, more treacherous waters of T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
So if we can’t go with how we feel, how do we know what is right? As Adam Donyes says, “If it’s not in the Word, forget what you heard!” It’s all about God’s Word; knowing it and doing it leads us to ultimate success.
Do you know that Satan knows God’s word backward and forward? Do you know that he understands everything you have as a redeemed child of God? He knows that all you have to do is say in faith and certainty, “In the name of Jesus you are bound and powerless against me! God is for me and so who can be against me? I’ve read the end of the story, and we win! He did not give me a spirit of fear, but instead a spirit of POWER, LOVE and SELF DISCIPLINE!”
But Satan is awfully tricky. He knows how to deceive us and distract us. He also knows how to scare us. When we make a decision based on fear (because the enemy has deceived us…that his way is the best way) it’s like letting that kid in school talk us into trouble! Nothing about it will benefit us…and it will only lead to regret. Satan wants everyone to go down with him, and he definitely wants us to turn away from God. He will do everything he can to keep us away from God’s word and from praying…because he knows when we do those two things we will catch on to his deceptive games!
When I think about how I’ve been duped before, it puts a fire in me to wise up and be strong in the Lord! I don’t know what you might be afraid of, or what areas you are tempted to listen to the enemy, but I want to encourage you to wise-up in the Word! We can do what Jesus did when Satan came and tried to tempt Him: quote the Word back to him and send him packing! The Word of God is the answer. It is absolutely the way to kick him to the curb…and to come out with the ultimate victory!
PS: And can I just say, thank you Senor Lyman for teaching me a great lesson! Gracias, buen trabajo!
PSS: Senor Lyman acted very much in the ways of our Heavenly Father, now that I reflect on it. He disciplined me, yet gave me grace. When it was all said and done, I ended up acing that Spanish test!!