South Africa (When God Sets the Nations in Your Heart)

Photo: Pinterest (South Africa)!

Is it possible to love a Nation and it’s people without setting foot on it’s soil? I believe so; God loves the Nations. When our heart beats in tandem with His, it is possible to love strangers. The Bible speaks of heaven including people from every tribe, tongue and Nation. God holds each Nation in His heart.

The heart of God is so vast beyond measure, so grand. If we could stretch His heart out over the world, it would wrap around the earth millions of times over! His love is so deep, so wide, so full, and oh so beautiful!!! ❤️💯

Africa, we are coming to love you and bless you. We are coming to speak life over your land. We are coming to see the sick healed, the oppressed set free, the hungry fed, the hurting comforted, and the Gospel (good news of Jesus) shared.

God placed Africa in my heart. When I was quite young, God started talking to me about the Nations. He spoke of where I would go, what I would do, and it was more than I could comprehend. I still wrote it down and pondered the words of a loving Father.

Has God placed a Nation or people group in your heart?

Then I began dreaming of being in the Nations. God was restoring the land. I see Him healing the sick, the lame walking, colonies of the dying coming to life. I dreamed of running across the continent of Africa with views of lush waterfalls, green grass, and fertile soil. My heart exclaimed loudly, “Africa shall be restored!”

In that dream, I ran into a missionary in Africa named Heidi Baker. She ministers to the poor all over Africa and has planted thousands of churches there. We hugged; we smiled. We each had our part of Africa to love! The mission was love. The mission was and is Jesus.

It is something when God knits a Nation, the Nations in your heart. It beats with passion and zeal for perfect strangers. You think of them with delight and joy. Why? They are the delight of the Father.

Me & Heidi at an event

I recalled being at a youth event and Reinhard Bonnke spoke over us, prayed over us, “Africa will be saved!” My literally burned with passion. Does your heart burn with passion to see the lost reunited with the Father? I saw faces of people who would come to intimately know the one who is love. God is love. I felt heaven’s pulse and heartbeat. I felt the longing for those disconnected from God’s heart to come home.

We were created by love (God), to be loved, then to love. The world is looking for a true encounter with love. The agape love of God is much needed!

Maybe you will not cross the seas into the Nations. How about crossing the street to a neighbor?

We cannot do everything. We can do something! We can be the hands and feet of Jesus in a hurting world. Some of us will go into the Nations. Some of us will go across the street or into the marketplace. The key is to abide in God’s love and go! Take love outside the four walls of weekend services.

God knit the ones you love into our hearts! Fuel our passion for those you love!

Love,

Erin Lamb

P.S if you wish to join us in Africa Oct 8th through 20th 2020, please grab an application from OperationGodisLove.org.

Moving Into Greater Levels of Compassion

It is quite easy to be critical and judge. It is so easy to throw stones at other people and not see the plank in our own eyes. Why? We see in part and know in part. We can think we know and know nothing. God does not simply see the behaviors of humanity; God sees why people do what they do.

How many of you have been harmed greatly by someone who seemed to not get what the problem is? How many of you have been harmed by a professing Christian? Ah, it stings a bit more when they claim to love Jesus and do not love others right? Yet there is a part of the puzzle God sees that we may not. God sees how much of His love they have actually received. We can only give away what we possess.

We tell people to love God and others. “Love God, love others, love yourself last.” This mantra has led to loads of dysfunctional and sometimes codependent relationships. “I will love myself last and God will be so proud.” Well, it sounds noble. The problem is that is it is not biblical.

The Bible says we love because God first loves us (1 John 4:19). The starting point is God. God is love (1 John 4:8).

God is the source of agape (unselfish, sacrificial, unwavering love). This love is the highest of all loves. It trumps eros (romantic/sexual), philia (brotherly love), and storage (family love). Jesus stated His disciples would be known by their agape love (John 13:34-35). This love is the 1 Corinthians 13 type of love.

The next step is receiving God’s love, then giving that love back to God and loving our neighbor AS we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). We will not be able to love God or our neighbor if we do not FIRST RECEIVE agape from God. “God here I am in need of your love, help me to receive the fullness of your love for me,” is a great starting prayer.

It is so vital that we learn how to receive love from God and believe God loves us.

Our thoughts matter! We will not out behave our thought life. Those who think they are the scum of the earth tend to treat others poorly. Those who have not fully accepted they are profoundly loved and accepted by God tend to struggle with loving God, themselves, and others. Your greatest adversary lacks God love. The person who mistreated or abused you lacked God love. The people who dishonored you, they lacked God love.

We cannot give away what we do not possess.

When we move beyond judging behavior to recognizing the root, compassion fills our heart. We move from being critical to praying the other person knows intimately the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love. We can only reveal to others the God we know. We can only honor others when we have experienced His honor and approval.

When people ask “How could you sit with the homeless, they are so dirty and gross?” I think, “How could I not? I see someone God created with great love. Under all the dirt, is a treasure.” I can honor what society calls, “The least of them,” because I know how much God loves me. If I were dirty and on the streets, I would anticipate God sending someone to love me. I am greatly loved, so are they, and so are you.

Jesus was able to move in high levels of compassion because He was one with the Father. He was not led by His flesh. Jesus knew how greatly He was loved, therefore He could take the lowest place. He could honor the least, last, lost, sinners, and lepers of society because He knew His worth. Those who do not know their own worth or value will not be able to see yours or anyone else’s.

One of the greatest revelations I had from God regarding people was during a season I was being grossly mistreated by Christians. God spoke to my heart, “People will not treat you any better than they treat me. People can not give you what they do not possess.” I recognized in that moment people say they love God, yet if you observe them, some do not honor, cherish, respect, obey, listen to God, etc… For some people, God is their sugar daddy or fire insurance. Loving God to gain something from Him is not loving God.

You can tell quite a bit about how a person feels about themselves by how they treat other people.

You can also gain insight into how people will treat you if you look at how they treat God. If God is only pursued to gain something, that is how they will treat you.

I am learning not to take things personally. How people behave, myself included, is a reflection of the inner condition. Those who know they are loved, love well. Those who try to “fake it til they make it,” tend to hurt tons of people because their love is shallow or deficient.

Before we throw stones, get offended, or hurt by people, pause. Press pause and ask God for His view point of the person, situation, and what is not as visibly seen.

I had a friend chat with me about missing friend gatherings. More than my introversion, there is normally a reason aligned with everything I say no to. Instead of taking on offense, he asked me about it and we talked. His heart grew with compassion.

The evil one will tell you to judge, jump to conclusions, criticize people, be nasty, look for all the things the other person is doing that could be wrong. Love moves us deeper into compassion. Maybe, most likely, there is something more going on than meets the eye.

May you and I sink deeper into compassion. It is a fruit of God’s love.

“…when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd,”-Matthew 9:36.

I hope to release book 4, Killing Insecurity, either later this year or 2021! I hope it leads many into freedom. God longs to see us live bold, confident, and FREE!!

Love,

Erin Lamb

P.S You can support our mission to love the homeless, poor, and victims of human trafficking by supporting our new merch store. Go to empoweredandfreemerch.com.

We cannot do eberything, we can do something!

Interview with Author James Michel

I had the honor of interviewing author James Michel. James has an incredible story of overcoming adversity.

  1. Tell us about yourself and what prompted you to write this book? My name is James Michel. I am a believer of Jesus Christ. I am also a husband and a father. About 3 years ago I lost my first wife unexpectedly to cancer. During my grieving process, I felt compelled to share my story in the form of a book. “Perplexed But Not in Despair: My Spiritual Journey from Faith to Functional” is a testament of her life that has been sown, a legacy for my children, and a testimony of God’s redemptive power.
  1. What has the book writing process been for you? Honestly, painfully rewarding! Painful in the sense that I had to discipline myself to take the thoughts in my head and put them into words on paper. Despite these challenges, it has been a rewarding process, because of the fact that I believe the finish product could be a source for hope and comfort to many. What would be your advice to those who have an untold story to tell? Do it for the one! Your story could very well be the key that unlocks someone else’s destiny. Also, don’t be overly concerned about everything being perfect. There are a lot of resources out there to help you write a book with excellence.
  1. What would you say is the major take away of your book? The ALL-sufficent power of God to redeem every situation. God’s grace carried me through the darkest season of my life, and took my faith to new heights.
  2. What do you want readers to walk away with after reading your book? My prayer and hope is that every reader would encounter the Love and the Faithfulness of God through the pages of my book. I pray that they would be challenged to engage their faith life even harder.
  1. Has writing this book been a part of your healing journey? If so, how? Very much so! It forced me to sort out and process my emotions. It challenged me to ask questions I wouldn’t normally ask, self reflect on a deeper level, and find peace in the answers. What has God done in your heart and life since you started writing this book? Having had the opportunity to journal and as a result write this book, I am now experiencing a deeper peace and intimacy with God. I’ve had my Job moment- “My ears have heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you (Job 42:5).”
  2. Part of your book speaks about “Functional Faith,” what does this mean for your reader? The Bible says, “without Faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6)”. A Functional Faith to me is a faith that works in the middle of hard times. A faith that is fully persuaded of the love and faithfullness of God. A faith that is content in simply knowing who God is. I think Job said it best when he said, “though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him (Job 13:15).”
  3. How will this book help those who are going through hard seasons and loss? God is no respector of person. What He’s done for me, He’s more than willing to do it for another. It is my prayer that as others read my book, their sense of hope will be renewed. It doesn’t have to be the end! What advice would you offer readers? Don’t lose hope no matter what! Trust God! Believe that ALL things can work for good and God’s glory.
  4. How can people get a copy of your book? Or reach you? It’s super easy! People interested in reading my book can order a copy from Amazon. All feedback and questions can be sent to James@generation228@yahoo.com

Thank you James for sharing with our readers about your new book! I believe it will encourage them to cling to God in every season!

You can connect with James in person on March 6th in Columbus, Ohio at his book launch event.

James Michel Book Launch-March 6th, 2020. 6:30pm. Zion Christian Church. 5780 Baltimore Reynoldsburg Road NW, Pickerington, Ohio 43147.

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Perplexed-But-Not-Despair-Functional/dp/1951630262

Blessing you!

Erin Lamb

Jesus Loved Women Well

Jesus had deep friendships with women. A note to Christian men-it is normal & godly to love someone of the opposite gender without romantic intentions & to be loved in return with agape love.

Chatting with women and my own experiences with Christian men we all have had some bad experiences with men who either act weird, or do not love well. Love is focused only on the woman they want to marry or their biological family.

There is the guy who constantly has to say, “sister in Christ.” I confronted a guy in love once who was excessive saying that to me. I asked him, “Do you keep saying that because you think I want to date you? If so, you can stop. I have no such desire.”

I spoke to a lady where men would not even look her in the eye. She was avoided. This caused deep hurt. Why? Because in Christian community it is supposed to be more like a family than an organization. Imagine going to a family gathering and people avoided you, would not talk to you, ghosted you, refused to have any godly contact, they reminded you often they only talked to you because you are related.

I had a guy tell everyone but me I was trying to date him simply because I periodically encouraged him in the Lord because that is what the Bible said to do. It was not fun when I found out. I stopped trying to have Christian men as friends for a long time. God blessed me later with a few men who could give and receive agape love without being weird, suspicious, or immature. It healed so much and taught me so much about the love of God through a man.

Yes, have some boundaries. Also note Jesus did this well, so it can be done. My suggestions.

1. You can make eye contact and say hello.

2. Don’t assume every person of the opposite gender is interested romantically. Our culture is kind when they want something or to date. It is not that way in God’s Kingdom.

3. Before you leap to conclusions pray. “God how do I need to relate to this person?”

4. Ditch fear. More people have been wounded by fear than anything else. There is no fear in God love.

5. Understand no one can make you sin. It is possible to love with God’s love and not fall into sin if you choose to let God deal with the heart.

6. If you have an issue with lust, get deliverance. Lust is an internal issue.

7. If you think a woman is interested in you, pray (do this first) and ask God for His counsel-not everyone in the church. Treat that person how you would want to be treated. It may warrant an adult conversation or better boundaries. Please refrain from gossip, ghosting (just ignoring the person). It is not loving.

I have talked to several men in my lifetime. “Hey, what’s on your mind or heart about this connection?” Asking questions is better than assuming. Some people are just loving, kind, generous or friendly. If a guy states he is looking for a wife, we talk like adults. Intentions are shared and hearts are spared from mistreatment. Some we are still friends. I simply let them know my heart and intentions. Communication is vital.

If you are not romantically interested, it is still possible to love. Jesus loved women well! Gosh, He elevated women. I also believe for those who want to be married, learning to love women in a non eros (romantic) way will help you greatly in life.

I confess I have made associations with non Christian men because they related to me better, treated me better, did not act weird, and treated me like a person not a virus. We can, I think, do better in this area. 🙂

Love,

Erin

#men #ChristianMen

Photo: Pinterest