April 27th, 2017

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Thanks for joining me today. Grab your break-time beverage and come on in for a moment of truth and an invitation, too!

Do you know someone suffering in silence with sadness or depression? Or someone whose anger rises to the surface in a nano second?  An unattended feeling of hopelessness can lead to a silent infection of anger!

Join us for the antibiotics for hopelessness and anger so you can live a life fueled by hope and dare to dream!

Looking forward to working with you and/or those whom you love

Evinda

P.S. Join me for Coffee Hour Live today at 10:00 a.m. PST for Step 6 to Loving the Unlovable

 

April 26th, 2017

Wednesday’s Word

A Little Doubt Goes A Long Way!

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting for he who doubts is like a wave in the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in ALL (emphasis added) in his ways.”

 James 1:7-8

Wow, it’s already Wednesday! I’m so glad you could join me for Wednesday’s Word and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I love this portion of scripture and we can never over-learn it, repeat it too much or live it too well! Grab your coffee, your Strand of Faith and let’s go tie some knots!

Have you ever been going through something…for a long time and dare to look up and ask “Why can’t you just make it stop? Why can’t you just fix this or heal me, or give me a break? “Why do you have to allow this?” (My hand is quietly rising!)

And then you read a scripture like James 1:7-8! Don’t you just want to throw your hands up in frustration? I mean, maybe I’m the only one here, but if I hear one more person say maybe He doesn’t want you to republish, or maybe your faith isn’t strong enough, or you’re doubting, or you’re not praying enough, I think I am going to scream…or get on my broom and take a very long ride! J J

Those spiritual subliminal messages from those who “care” can really do more damage than good, but I’m so glad that His principles and promises are there to guide us to the truth and they are ours for the asking.

So if I’m honest, I still dare to ask, “So why haven’t I been picked up by a agent/publisher…yet?” Could it be that there is a tiny seed of doubt within somewhere that is clogging up the process? I get to thinking about this quite often and finally the light turned on: could it be that I have doubted Him as to where or when the “break” is going to take place? Have I been so bound by my insecurities that I have demanded my own way of healing…someone to swoop in and represent me?

As I allowed that conviction to work its way down into my heart, I knew it had to be true for there were no clogs and the conviction landed quite comfortably, making me humbly uncomfortable!

When I read these verses, my heart absorbed their painful truth and I was reminded of what I had learned years ago about a mustard seed of faith, which talks about not just the size but mostly the purity of our faith. (A mustard seed is the only seed that cannot be cross-pollinated!) As that truth collided with these words, I was amazed at how quickly a little doubt could come in and infect our faith. And then to read that if I doubt my God, His sovereignty, His provision and protection in just one area of my life, I am unstable in ALL my ways! Oh, Mylanta, but I don’t want to be considered unstable in any of my ways.

So back to this question of representation: just because it doesn’t look like I think it’s going to look, does that mean He’s withholding that representation? Not only no, but heck no! His ways are not my ways and I am certain that He will multi-task and accomplish things for my good and His glory, things like ridding me once and for all of my insecurity that rises to a new level any time I dare to compare myself to others who are represented in the publishing world. He will once again refine my faith while loving me through this time in a way I’ve never experienced.

It’s going to be one of those free-falling experiences a fall where my faith can only increase and doubt will disappear and He and I, well, our hearts will be entwined and I will be considered stable in all my ways!

How about you? Is there any area of your life that is requiring a doubt-check? Oh, friend, a little doubt can go a long way in inhibiting our faith. May I encourage you to feed your faith and starve your doubts this week…and next…and every tomorrow!
Love,

Evinda

P.S. Join me for Coffee Hour Live today at 10:00 a.m. PST for Step 6 to Loving the Unlovable

 

April 25th, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too!

Welcome to Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation, too @ Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I love these moments with you to share a significant truth from my heart to yours, inspired by the ultimate Truth Giver. Grab your coffee or your favorite break-time beverage and come on in.

Do you worry about what you worry about? J When things that are happening take up lots of room in our minds, they become obsessions and begin to possess our hearts. Join us to learn how to serve those things eviction papers and have a mind and heart free from the clutter of worry and despair!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/living-fueled-by-hope-free-from-anger-tickets-32076892850

Looking forward to working with you

Evinda

P.S. Join me for Coffee Hour Live today at 10:00 a.m. PST for Step 6 to Loving the Unlovable

 

April 24th, 2017

Monday’s Mantra

Live with all of your senses!

Monday, Monday…thanks for joining us for Monday’s Mantra and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. The days are just whizzing right on by, aren’t they? Grab your coffee or your favorite break—time beverage and come on in.

You know you’ve been to church when the message and everything else is still echoing in the seat of your mind, the aftershocks flickering down into the hallways of the heart. That’s how Easter Sunday was for me. It wasn’t just the message that was spoken but an extra a-ha moment I received while listening to the message, and it wasn’t necessarily brought up by the one speaking the message, but by The One Who inspired the message.

The Pastor was talking about the way people view the resurrection: either it’s a myth a metaphor or the most important event in history. He then gave eight facts to dispute the first two of these. There were two of the eight that really kept me thinking days after the message had been preached. He talked about the first witnesses, women who were looked down upon, considered less than, women whose influence was zippo, nada! And then there are the doubting disciples whose doubt was changed to belief, so much so that they all died for their conviction that He had risen and conquered eternal death.

In Luke 24: 36-43, Jesus appeared before all of His disciples shortly after His resurrection. In this portion of scripture we read that they saw Him, heard Him and they touched Him. If He didn’t have any fragrance left from the oils His skin received at the time of His burial, then perhaps it’s the fish they smelled as He ate right in front of Him.  He engaged all of their senses so they would not be able to refute the reality of Him once He had ascended to be with His Father. Incidentally, can you touch, taste or see a myth or metaphor?

So what does this have to do with us? How many of us live in the moments, effected by all of our senses? Do we look with our eyes, and the eyes of our heart for opportunities to be that resurrected Jesus to others? Do we take in the beauty around us? Do we listen with both our ears, and our heart before daring to bee that resurrected Jesus to a hurting soul, a person in need? Do we take time to stop and listen to the music of His exquisite creation of birds? How is it that we reach out and touch someone with our resources, not just monetary resources, but a touch of compassion, understanding and empathy? Have we ever just hugged on someone while they were hurting and not tried to fix them? And what would it be like if our hearts broke over what breaks His, to taste that righteous anger, literally, in our mouths and in our minds for the injustice that happens because of free will? How often do we taste His goodness in our lives, let alone thank Him for the blessing of provision of every single meal?

Oh, Coffee Hour Friend, may we live with all of our senses that we may be a testimony of our Risen Jesus, the One waiting to enter into the hearts of the lost, to encourage the discouraged, troubled, to be peace among chaos, a light in the dark…through all of us who dare to live with all of our senses.

Love,

Evinda

P.S. Join me for Coffee Hour Live today at 10:00 a.m. PST for Step 6 to Loving the Unlovable

April 21st, 2017

Faith-Filled Friday

Welcome back to Faith-filled Friday!

It has been some time since I have been able to take to physical yet heartfelt dance. As I was out on my morning hunt for a picture to take the other day, I found one and grabbed it, well I grabbed several. As I squeezed the button a few times, the thought of dancing crossed my mind. Not the type that is upon dance floors in nightclubs, but more the kind that goes on between things in nature.

When I took this picture of the sun with the palm tree, it just seemed to really prompt a movement within me. I started thinking about all the distance in between and yet they are still connected. Some might think because the sun is 92 million miles from earth; that it has nothing to do with a simple palm tree. This photosynthesis effect of growth from so far away has always been most mind boggling to me.

 

It suddenly came to me that perhaps I am part of the equation? Maybe God has created the very curiosity within me. Perhaps this curiosity and enjoyment of appreciation is the dance floor for that warming and life-giving sun to create a sort of photosynthesis of being grateful enough to receive it on a spiritual level. Perhaps the palm tree that is considered a weed yet so beautiful and brilliant in the wind is the proof of life I am still here despite depression and heartbreak. Perhaps the fog between the 2 this morning was the light filter that let me grab such a photograph without one drowning out the other.

Is God in this natural fog filled light filter? Did he know I would get something from it and share it with others? It amazes me the countless ways in which we can absorb such beauty and gifts from a higher power, yet to so easily be missed.

 

A dance never happens by chance. It is never appreciated and enjoyed because we are required to love such a thing. These things that happen all around us that are in sync in one way or another. We lose the ability to not only appreciate but ultimately even notice them because we are not able to always see them due to the craziness and buzz of the world that never seems to stop. When you stop and take the time to just notice, to let yourself be the dance floor for such beautiful things to dance upon, it brings such a peace and harmony that opens us up more to the other things like birds singing, worms burrowing, flowers opening to the morning sun and even the early fog that just might have been sent for me to take a simple photo to share and talk about with you. All while the sun and palm dance within me in peace, in harmony.

 

I have prayed for so many years since my accident for God to let me not only dance once again but run. Perhaps I didn’t get to do that on this particular morning, but that sure doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy this other dance that happens daily in so many things, especially within. The day will come when I break through the shackles of pain and dance down the street looking weird, but it won’t matter because I’ll dance as if no one is watching…

 

Much love out to each and every one of you, my friends,

~John

April 20th, 2017

Thursday’s Trench Truth and Invitation Too!

Welcome to Thursday’s Trench Truth and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you could join me for a couple minutes. Grab whatever you’re having and come on in.

Have you ever said something like, if so and so would do such and such then I’d be happy? Or, if so and so wouldn’t do such and such, then I’d be happy? How do we fall into that unhealthy cycle? More importantly, how do we get off and out of that crazy cycle without making it worse?

We recently had a huge tragedy in our community that was as a result of unresolved anger which turned to rage. This shouldn’t have happened. It’s such a waste; and now parents and children are left to deal with the aftermath of this senseless hate-filled murder of innocent victims. How do we explain this kind of anger to children, much less adults? Depression and anger/rage are real emotions, Coffee Hour friend. The shooter wasn’t born to kill others; everything awful in his life led up to him doing what he did. And please don’t misunderstand me; it’s not an action I condone…I just get it. This is what happens when we don’t deal with what’s inside of us!

Would you consider jumping in the trenches with us to learn how to live with real hope, fueling you towards healthy relational expectations and freeing you from frustration and anger? I’d love to work with you.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/living-fueled-by-hope-free-from-anger-tickets-32076892850

P.S. Join me today for Coffee Hour Live at 10:00 PST where I’ll be sharing Step 5 to Loving the Unlovable(s) in your Life! And if you can’t tune in at 10, no worries, just go to my wall, www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins and listen at your leisure…and then share.

 

 

Blessings

Evinda

April 19th, 2017

Wednesday’s Word

Say Nothing at all!

Psalm 141:3: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United! It’s Wednesday, time to take a verse and chew on it so we can digest it into our very being and utilize it in this journey of life! Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith and let’s go strengthen our faith and trust in the Author of The Greatest Book ever Written. J

So when it comes to writing these blogs, I really like to write about what I’m learning, something I’ve recently been through or a recent conviction. This is why I say I write from my heart to yours.

Have you ever walked into a room or up to a group of “friends” and feel the tension as they become quiet with your appearance? You just know they’re talking about you, right? Maybe, maybe not! J But nevertheless, it’s a horrible feeling.

What do you feel when you hear/read the word gossip?  Most people when asked that question say they don’t like it; they think it’s wrong. The funny thing is almost everyone does it…but I must say unconsciously because they’ve become immune to their own form of gossiping! The word gossip is a noun and means: “Idle talk, rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of another.” Hmmm, personal or private creates a conundrum with the use of social media, but still, anything we say about another, if it can’t be said in front of that same person, shouldn’t be said!

Recently I was at a function with people I’ve known for a while, people that I truly care about – I have to be careful here because I don’t want to go down that slippery slope of gossiping! Anyway, one person in particular began the gossip fest with “What do you think of your new church ‘Active’”? The tone was one of sarcasm and I know it’s based on her own experiences with the church and the pastor. As I write this and rewind the evening, I remember I started to go down that slippery slope with her…but stopped her gossip train by sharing with her this truth: “As I’ve said before, I have based my opinions on him, and the church on my own experiences with him and them; all I can say is he has a heart for others.” I went on to give one of my opinions, which wasn’t necessary, but at least that definitely derailed the track she was going down.

After dinner, we moved around to our various tables and there were two people who every time I went around them, they were talking about someone different, and it was like they were pulling from each other what they could to find out what the other thought of the person. I sat in silence with another bystander and said absolutely nothing at all. AWKWARD! Now, years ago, I might have chimed in and given my two cents in order to feel a part of the conversation, to fit in, belong, but I’ve been the recipient of the harsh harm that gossip can cause; and though I’m not completely rid of this sneaky, slithering tendency that creeps in at the most unsuspecting times, I’d like to think that He and I have a better grasp on it rather than gossiping grasping me.

Within minutes one of them was sitting next to me and before I knew it, she was leaning over to me, and she began to whisper about the other’s son, something he had done, asking if I had seen the post on Facebook having to do with what she was talking about. I let her finish and then I looked her straight in the eyes and just said gently but matter-of-factly: “What if that was his need at the time and he didn’t do it with the intention that you’re implying? What if what you’re thinking isn’t accurate?”

Well that was like a splash of cold water on a cold day!

What if we were to just give people the benefit of the doubt, quit trying to drive their cars (lives) and base our own opinions on our own experiences…and then say nothing at all. Why do we feel the need to talk about others? Is it really about the other person, or more about us?

When we gossip about another person, it says more about us than about the one we’re talking about!

Gossip is like alcohol, legal but deadly! It causes so much damage. Father, help us to live by the golden rule: If we don’t have nothing nice to say about another, let us say nothing at all. Set a guard, O Lord, over our mouths. Help us to keep watch over the door of our lips.

Learning and unlearning

Evinda

April 18th, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too

Welcome to Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m excited to share a true story with you that really drives this particular trench truth today. Grab your coffee and come on in.

Last Sunday, we were invited to lunch with a couple we’d been trying to connect with for weeks. You know how that is; making the time to take the time is…well, challenging when you have a lot going on, right? But finally, it happened and the funny thing about it is it wasn’t planned; it was spontaneous! She gave me the time and the place, and just like that, it was set.

As we were driving we realized they were right in front of us – they have a really fun, fast car – so when we pulled into the parking lot, it was simultaneously and I was able to see him go around to her side, and not only open her door, but take her hand and help her out! Who knows, maybe because of how low the car sits J 🙂 J but it was still so sweet to watch, especially considering he’s a pretty big guy and she’s pretty tiny.

Anyway, as soon as I got closer I felt her tension – body language says so much, doesn’t it? And as we made our way up the stairs, she just blurted out, “Can I talk to you for just a moment?”
“Sure.” So we went back down the stairs as our husbands went inside.  With the first stair we went down, she began to share what was bothering her. It had everything to do with one of her adult children, and she was so frightened, so upset, and so much so she was shaking. Have you ever been there? I listened to her and when she was done, I gave her a couple of solutions and decided it would be good to share those with her daughter. She dialed her daughter’s number and I got to talk with her long enough to suggest she not do what she was going to do and then, POOF, she was gone due to a bad signal on our end! Talk about helpless!

When we went back up inside, I noticed it was hard for her to concentrate. She was having a very hard time just letting go and letting God. I looked right at her and just said “God grant me the serenity…”

She smiled…but only for a second. It was really difficult for her to just let go and let God. It was obvious that her well-being was wrapped up in the well-being of her adult children in such a way that borders on unhealthy and interrupts her own sanity and peace of mind.

How do we work through that? How do we get to a point where our own well-being is not dependent upon others’ well-being?

Here’s one solution: We usually feel “let down” because we need to “put down” our expectations! Join us to learn healthy relational expectations that fuel us with hope and free us from anger.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/living-fueled-by-hope-free-from-anger-tickets-32076892850

Looking forward to working with you

P.S. Join us for Coffee Hour live on Thursday at 10:00 PST! Let’s talk about Step 5 in Loving the Unlovable(s) in your life!

Evinda

April 17th, 2017

Monday’s Mantra

Take Him at His Word!

Welcome to Monday’s Mantra and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you could join me today. Grab your coffee, or whatever your favorite break-time beverage is, and let’s talk about change.

When I say the word “change” to you, what comes to mind? Do you tense up at all, or does your heart kind of skip a beat, or tighten? Can you tell I’ve experienced so many side effects from the challenge of change? I used to wonder what it would be like to be able to embrace change, to ride it like a surfer rides a wave, sort of like poetry in motion, or to be unmoved as a branch abiding in a tree on a windy day. How can one go through change without allowing our faith to waiver?

Recently our church announced it was changing its 50+ year-old name and when I talked with one of the associate pastors about it, he gave me a great example: When God was doing a new thing within the Biblical giants, and wanted to establish a new identity, He changed their name: for example, Abram became Abraham and he went from “high father, prophet” to “father of many nations.”  His wife, Sarai, (dominative, my princess) became Sarah, which translates to “mother of nations.”  Simon, which means “God has heard,” became Peter, which means (a piece of) rock, i.e., stable, firm, steadfast in his faith. Then there’s Saul, which translates to uproar, as in destruction, who was changed to Paul, which means “pause, desist, refrain,” i.e., a man of self-control!

But in order to receive their name change, their story had to change; God had to do a new thing.

It’s no different today. For our stories to change, we have to let the Author do the changing, the re-writing and the editing for He owns the copyright! We must take the risk and take a leap of faith by taking God at His Word. His promises never lie, never fail and never bounce and they’re all for our good!

So when change comes your way, do you want to ride the change like a pro surfer, looking like poetry in motion, abiding in Him as a branch on a tree on a windy day? Find a promise in His Word and make it yours! Begin to take Him at His Word!

Bending like a branch in the wind…

Evinda

 

April 14th, 2017

Faith Filled Fridays

Welcome back everyone to Faith Filled Friday. If you hadn’t realized yet, I’m a pretty introspective person. But lately I have been trying to look even deeper, looking to understand why I feel things more than most people. Introspection has been something I have had my entire life. It can certainly take a toll on me, that is, to feel things so deep, but on the other hand it can be such a gift sometimes. I really want that out of life. I want to feel everything. I want to not only feel the wind on my face, but feel the words that people speak in conversation. I want to not only see the stars above my head but feel them from within.

Since the accidents I have been in, life surely has turned around and headed me in a different direction. I have really learned what it is like having to change life on a dime and go in a new direction. I can feel the fear that I have carried for so long, the fear that I finally started dismantling some years back. It’s taken so long and as I have overcome in some areas, I have worsened in others.

 

Sure I want to feel life, but I am so tired of feeling so much of the physical and emotional pain. I seek to feel balance. I have always sought balance in life, but I am uncertain how to feel it. Ghandi once said: “Where there is love, there is life.” I want so bad to share the things I love and am passionate about with someone I love. It seems so much at times that it can burst out of me at the seams. It might sound weird but every morning I wake, I do it for love. Every morning I tell myself that I want to not be led down the rabbit hole of hate, despair, negativity. When I wake I think of what I’d like to get done for the day and what I can get done for the day. Sure there is always work to do, but what can I do for the world, for friends, for others, for myself?

 

I have spent so much of my life putting others first. I often don’t think I even realize how much. I used to tell my last girlfriend that for me it was my church. She would want me to go to church with her, but things from childhood make it hard. I don’t want to go to a spiritual place to feel fear or have to pray. I want to feel spirituality in helping others. It’s then when I can feel an incredible feeling of being humble, being thankful, living life beyond the common denominator. I have been shamed so much in life for this. I can see why people have shared that with me. I used to say no. But if I really am open to this thing called feeling, well I really needed to not see what a few others have told me, but feel it. When I allowed myself to feel, I realized that in part they were right. I have often helped others to circumvent maybe taking on my own problems, maybe even my own feelings. So I have been working on me in a different way, and in more than one way.

 

I will continue to rise for love, but I am also learning more and more to rise for the love of myself. I really started thinking lately about how we can invite others to feel more and express in a productive mannerism than respond in some form of default mode to the things they see that bug us. I just know that the world seems to be on auto pilot of so much negativity. I feel I have so much to share with people, something that could make people close their eyes and feel the rain on their face, feel the cool water from the ocean as it rides to the beach upon a wave at its peak, to then feel the sand withdraw from the back of the ankles. Not so much just in the physical world, but the soul. To feel things that deep inside is intense, but we have to also protect ourselves from those who see these deep feelings and sensitivities as a default. To feel intensely is to wake within self.

 

So it all goes back to the balance of things… I want to seek more balance in life, to feel it rising from both sides of the heart and soul. Is that what being complete might be? Is there ever really such a thing? I am all ears at this point, but more importantly I am all in…a sort of sensory feeling from the watchtower…

 

Much love everyone,

John