See the Upgrade, Instead of the Obstacle

Parable of the Boulder

There was a man who wanted to climb a mountain yet there was a boulder in his way. A man who came along and told him if he pushed the boulder up the mountain, he would give him ten fifty pounds bags of gold. He stated that many attempted to get the boulder up the mountain yet not one succeeded.

The man accepted the challenge and began to push the boulder up the mountain. He could only go so far without resting. The boulder was heavy and others just seemed to try to take the easy way around. They were playing in freedom while he kept pushing. It was hot, it was not easy. Some days it seemed he took a few steps forward and was pushed back.

He was tempted to give up at times because he could easily make money more easily. Why stick with the task at hand?

After many days and months of pushing the boulder up the mountain, he arrived. the man he had met at the bottom was there as promised with the bags of gold. He grinned with delight over the man making it to the top of the mountain. He asked the man to follow him even further up the mountain. Though fatigued, he climbed. The man asked him, “Why do you think I invited to you push the boulder up the mountain?” The gentleman pondered it for a moment and responded, “I do not know, maybe you needed it and there was no one to help you.” The man laughed. “No, I don’t need the boulder at all. This was not for me, it was for you.” The gentleman looked back at him puzzled, “How could this be for me?” The man replied, “Come look.” He took the man to an area where he could see his reflection. His muscles were fully developed and he had gained incredible strength.

“In the climb, you learned patience. You learned to persevere when it was challenging. You learned the easiest path was not the best path. You learned to focus, if you did not, you could be crushed by the boulder. You learned your own inner strength. You learned lessons some will never learn. The climb was never about me. It was about you. Every challenge has both an OPPORTUNITY and an UPGRADE attached to it. Some only live on the flat plains, they never rise to their highest level of potential. They take the easiest route and never learn who they can be. Some wait for someone else to push the boulder up the mountain and then try to glean from their success. You chose to take the path less traveled. You chose a path that would require strength. You chose faith to believe I would reward you for bringing the boulder up the mountain. Not only will I provide you with the bags of gold, but I am also including 10 times the reward in diamonds.”

Sometimes what looks easy is not the best path. Getting to where we want to go and be will take actual work, focus, planning, and perseverance. The race is given to the one who endures until the end. SO keep your eyes on the prize and keep going. If you need to rest, rest, then get back to what leads to your promise.

Praying for you!! You can do this with God’s help.

Oh…and this Friday, please check out our Black Friday sales on empowered-free.com/shop (books, teachings, audio) and empoweredandfreemerch.com (tshirts, bags, phone cases, etc)! All books and audio are 45% off.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com/Shop

EmpoweredandFreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Boulder image: Google images

Unraveling Teachings on Headship & Women in Ministry

Image: Ezer Rising

Since there has been controversy on my author page and other parts of media about women in ministry, I hope to put together teachings on the women in the Bible who were teachers, prophets, evangelists, taught men, shepherding, friends of Jesus, world changers, and commended by Paul for their ministry.

I also hope to cover how Jesus treated women; He even sent Mary to go tell others He had risen in a culture that did not highly value the testimony of a woman. If God wanted the women to be silent, Jesus would not have appeared to a woman and told her to be His witness. God would also not have appointed female prophets, which He did. Prophets speak forth the word of God, teach, mentor, and exercise authority. I will touch on Deborah who was a prophet and judge over ALL of Israel. She exercised authority over men.

I think part of the issue is many people do not hear about women in churches, unless it’s Mother’s Day or talking about Mary mother of Jesus. We need to know all of the Bible, the culture, the context, and most importantly the heart of God.

I also hope to break down what Ezer Kenegdo means. It is the Hebrew word God used for creating woman. It is poorly translated as helper or help meet. Our English language does not do Hebrew justice. Ezer is a word God uses to describe Himself and there is no weakness and inferiority in God.

Eve was created as a warrior, one with divine instinct and she represents a part of God Adam does not. Together as partners they would have dominion on the earth (See Genesis 1:26-28). Before the fall of humanity represents God intentions. Both of them were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

I also hope to touch on the poorly taught doctrine of male headship and female submission. God did not create a hierarchy ladder. He created a triangle. Man+woman would function as equal partners ruling and reigning together both moving towards God.

God also instructed ALL believers (male and female) to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). The greatest among you will be your servant (Matthew 23:11), said Jesus. When it is taught the wife must just do what her husband wants, he’s the head (boss), it creates potential for competition. He must be the smartest and most spiritual. In some cases the husband is not or his wife is far more skilled in an area. Or he’s not listening to God and she is. If he has zero accountability, he can lead his family into a ditch. I see clients with husbands who have brought porn in the home, are abusive, the husband is controlling, absolutely destroyed their finances, not responsible, will not listen to anyone’s counsel, and they are stuck being yelled at to submit.

If the husband thinks he’s the last say, he may forgo listening to his wife and feel resentful if her relationship with God is stronger or she’s more skilled than he is in an area. She may be viewed as a subordinate, not a partner. Both parties are called to mutual love, mutual respect, and mutual submission (a willingness to yield to what honors God). It can create problems when the wife treats her husband like he’s her God. God was clear. You shall have no other gods beside me and there is one mediator between God and man-Jesus. We have one high priest, Jesus. If the husband says to do something that is wrong, the wife is not supposed to do that and vice versa.

The role of both parties is to love one another and love is not about lording over others. Marital love is not a boss employee relationship. It’s two partners laying their life down for the benefit of each other. Jesus told the disciples not to be like the people in the world who seek to dominate and lord over others. He told them to take on the position of a servant.

“…Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles have absolute power and lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them[tyrannizing them]. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,“~Jesus Matthew 20:25-26.

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom. The way “headship” is sometimes taught is the husband is a god substitute in the home, the boss, the dictator, the final authority, and it’s not biblical. The husband is called to model Jesus in his sacrificial love, unselfishness, empowering his family, purity, etc…God did not create a boss and subordinate relationship, nor establish a system for husbands to have zero accountability. The husband is not a god substitute.

Whether you agree or disagree, I hope to unpack the word of God, the words of Jesus, creation, the Greek and Hebrew. Let’s unpack what God did say.

God willing after the holidays we will dive into the controversy. I think its great to study for ourselves and know what authors of the Bible meant. I also think it’s even better to know God, the character of God and the heart of God. The Pharisees knew the Torah and the law. They could quote it, beat people up with it, but they did not have personal relationship with God. We need both. The Holy Spirit is the best teacher.

Resources:

Ezer Kenegdo

https://godswordtowomen.org/ezerkenegdo.htm

Headship and Paul’s Letters

https://margmowczko.com/kephale-and-male-headship-in-pauls-letters/

It’s A Woman, Not All Women (Paul’s Letters)

https://margmowczko.com/a-woman-not-all-women-1-timothy-212/

Women in Ministry, Pastoral Roles, Submission

https://margmowczko.com/paul-gender-roles-in-marriage-ministry/

I will be doing Facebook lives on these topics. I think as a woman, it’s important I know what God did say. I think for men it’s important to know what God did say. There are so many women being forced into silence that God is calling to SPEAK! There are husbands who are not receiving the full benefit of having a partner because she is seen as a subordinante to be led by the nose.

I hope you join me in the new year for the series! You can follow video posts by going to Facebook.com/erinlambauthor. You can grab copies of the books I have written or audio teachings by going to empowered-free.com!

Lastly, we will not be SILENT!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Which Jesus Are You Following?

I love Jesus. I hope to follow Him all the days of my life, even if it cost me my life.

Following Jesus has cost me “friendships” and invited persecution. Most of the persecution coming from people who claim to know Him. They have called me names (heretic, demonized, weird, another colorful b-word), slandered my name, a few threatened violence, I was struck once by a woman who called me a liar and I was not lying (she claimed to be a Spirit-filled Christian. I refused to hit her back out of love and she was far older than me/over twice my age), cursed my ministry, cursed me, cussed me out, boycotted things I was doing for Jesus, cursed me from pulpits, mocked me, tried to shame me, publically set me up to be humiliated, talked badly about me, stopped talking to me if I disagreed with their understanding of scripture, tried to turn entire groups against me, posted hateful or disrespectful comments on my blogs or social media, tried to debate me for hours and talked down to me like I was stupid, written me nasty notes, called me a bad Christian and untrustworthy, called my ministry for God illegitimate, etc…all in the name of Jesus.

I don’t know the Jesus who acts like that. Jesus said you will know my true disciples by their agape (sacrificial, unselfish) love. Jesus also stated you would know a tree by its fruit. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlenesses, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law (Gal 5:22-23). Love fulfills the law because it does no harm to its neighbor (Romans 13:10).

Why share these things, and I promise I am not complaining? Because if our picture of Jesus is violent, hateful, nasty, rude, unkind, mean spirited, argumentative, proud, hostile, etc…it’s not Jesus of Nazareth. The spirits behind the behaviors in paragraph one are demons. Mockery is a demon. An accusatory spirit is a demon. Pride is a demon. These are the chief characteristics of Satan. It’s easy to build an image of God that is not God at all. Cursing people is the language of demons. Slander and gossip, are demons.

God invites us to know Him, who He really is. Even in my highest levels of ignorance or rebellion God never responded to me in a hateful way. Never. The conviction of God never pushed my face in the dirt and stepped on my neck. The Pharisees partnered with the devil and wanted to stone people for not following their understanding of the law. Jesus did not.

If you feel compelled to violence or mean-spiritedness against people, that is not the Holy Spirit. If you feel compelled to send nasty notes, leave rude and hateful comments, that is not the Holy Spirit. If you feel led to mock people and curse their ministry, that is not the Holy Spirit. A genuine Spirit of God will go gently and speak privately with someone in great love. The Bible tells us to go first privately and to make sure we don’t have a plank in our eye. See Galatians 6:1, Matthew 7:4-5, 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Matthew 18:15-17. If you behave in these ways, I encourage repentance.

I truly believe once we (collectively who claim Jesus) get the love thing right, everything else will fall into place. I am not bitter over the behavior of other people. I forgive them, pray, and move forward. I am deeply saddened by the misrepresentation of Jesus. Why? The world is watching those who claim Jesus to find out who God is. If our actions do not align with the heart of God, why on earth would anyone want to know Jesus? The devil never tells people how their actions will impact others. He pushes humanity to pride.

My prayer is we choose the way of Jesus. I am still being refined and having my heart tended by God. I am still learning from Jesus. I am still yielding myself to God. My hopes are no one will be able to say I brutalized them in the name of Jesus or made a mockery of who He is. Why? I love Jesus. How I behave is a reflection of our intimacy.

My greatest prayer this morning is for those who claim Jesus to truly know Him. Jesus said if we abide in Him, we will bear good fruit (John 15:4-5).

I do not desire to worship a Jesus made in mankind’s image. I want Jesus of Nazareth, the humble king who washed feet and chose nails even for His enemies. My urgent plea is seek to know the real Jesus. The Holy Spirit promises to be our teacher and guide. If we ask God, He will reveal Himself to us.

Before I went to sleep last night I deleted a nasty comment off my author page. I wrote about women in ministry which created a firestorm. The defenders of their version of the law came out with Bibles raised to beat me with their level of understanding. What they do not realize is I spent years studying the Bible. I read through it almost every year, and I am not ignorant. I have been pursuing knowing Jesus for most of my life. I do not speak about things I do not study with God. I bless them, forgive them, delete their hatefulness, pray for them, and move along.

If you have been beaten up by professing Christians, I am sorry. Jesus is sorry. God is not mean nor cruel. God loves you! God is patient and kind. God is good and merciful. God is not hateful. God is love. I wrote my third book Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse this year because we have way too many Christians in bad shape because of the treatment and abuse of other Christians. If you are hurting, grab it. It has 5 star reviews and has helped numerous people step out of pain and into healing. You can grab off Amazon.com or Empowered-Free.com/shop.

I hope something written here blesses you! Praying for you, me, the global church. Let’s choose love!

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

Photo Source: Pinterest

The Chef & The Feast (Parable)

The Chef & the Feast (Parable)

There was a local Chef who loved to prepare feasts for those in the town. Daily the Chef would rise and spend hours in preparation for the feast. There was great joy in the Chef’s eyes to share. Years had been spent learning to prepare food. Years where others were able to simply laugh and play, there was due dilligence to study and learn to prepare feasts for others.

The daily feasts were quite the spread. Each detail was thoughtful, with the guest in mind.

Some would come to the feast and enjoy! They were honored to sit with the Chef and enjoy the food and company. They would even place their dishes in the sink when done.

Some would eat and complain, “I don’t like roasted chicken and beef. Why didn’t you prepare what I like?” The Chef would endure their consistent complaining day after day because they were concerned primarily for themselves and not others. They did not recognize they were not paying for the feast. Their selfishness and complaining blocked them from enjoying what was prepared for them.

Some threw their food in the trash or their plate on the floor, because they did not like the Chef. They could not receive because of who was serving. They felt they would be better at cheffing or the Chef needed to be a certain way. They too missed out on enjoying a daily feast and dishonored the Chef.

Some refused to show up to the daily feasts. They were so busy. They could never make time to just rest and enjoy.

Some would come and try to cook for the Chef and they were never asked to cook. They misunderstood their role at the feast.

Some would push their way to the front of the table, “Me first,” they would shout. They did not care who was there, they had to be the first to eat. This disheartened the chef because the intent was a table of family, not a hierarchy of importance.

Sometimes the heart of the Chef would leap with joy because the people were kind and sharing with one another. The Chef loved when they enjoyed the feast. Sometimes the Chef would slip away to the kitchen and cry. The guests would fight over their opinions and beliefs. They would fight to be the first people getting a plate. They would smash plates on the floor, and complain.

There were days were the Chef spent hours cleaning up the messes made. Yet every day, the Chef would rise and prepare a feast. The Chef was never paid for the feast nor the prep time. It was a sacrifice and labor of love.

One day the Chef decided to move to another town and try again. Maybe in another place and with other faces there would be a different experience. The Chef soon realized no matter the town, the people were similar. The faces were different, yet the experiences were similar.

The Chef’s heart sank. Why bother preparing a feast? The Chef closed up the shop and moved into an isolated mountain top. The view was glorious. The Chef still had a passion to create feasts. Therefore, the Chef would rise early in the morning and prepare a mini feast. Dining in solo the Chef would give thanks. Thanks for provision. Thanks for health. Thanks for peace on top of the mountain.

One day there was a knock at the door. An unfamiliar gentleman stood at the door. He said, “I heard you were a Chef and I wondered if a hungry traveler could dine with you. I have traveled a long way and I am famished.” The Chef look puzzled at how the traveler could have found the mountain top home. It was so secluded. He obliged the traveler and let him inside.

The Chef prepared the meal of a lifetime. Oh what a feast. The traveler was in awe of the level of detail and thoughtfulness placed on each dish. The traveler smiled with delight and enjoyed every moment. The traveler asked questions of the Chef and listened. The Chef was amazed because no one had cared about the things on the Chef’s heart before. People came, ate, pleased themselves or complained and dishonored the Chef. The traveler asked, “What can I do for you? You have prepared such a glorious meal for me.” The Chef was startled and taken aback. “I don’t know. No one has ever asked what I desired. I am uncertain of what I want.” The traveler smiled and replied, “If you could have anything, what would it be?”

The Chef pondered for what seemed like an eternity. He finally came up with an idea. “I would love my own garden, to grow my own food and prepare meals from the garden! Yes, a garden. Yet I am on a mountain top and things will not grow here. I travel down the mountain to purchase what I need. I would love to have more travelers like you who understand the feast. The feast is not about the food. It is about fellowship, family, and intimacy. You see, sharing a meal is a time to get to know each other. Yes, those are my dreams.”

The traveler listened intently. “I believe I can help you! I am on my way to another town, yet I will return for you.”

The Chef was excited and they parted ways with a grin. The Chef thought, “Could someone be thinking of me? Oh, will I have my own garden and kind travelers to feast with me?!”

Days turned into weeks, that turned into months. The Chef’s heart sank into disappointment. “The traveler has forgotten me! Yet at least I had a dream.” The Chef continued making feasts for one, watching the sun rise and set in isolation. Though the Chef missed the bustle of the daily feasts in the villiage, the Chef did not miss the behavior of the patrons.

One day, out of the blue, when the dream of a garden had long died there was a knock at the door. The Chef arose thinking, “Who could this be?” The face on the other side was the warm faced traveler. He was smiling from ear to ear. “I told you I would return for you! Can you come with me?” The Chef rubbed the amazement from each eye and packed a bag to go.

The traveler was beyond excited to go on this journey with the Chef. They traveled far from the mountain home to a place where the royals lived. The Chef was flabbergasted at the sights and smells. Aroma of baked bread filled the town square. People were smiling and waving at the traveler. They were bowing and displaying such honor. This perplexed the Chef. Who was this traveler? He (the traveler) looked so ordinary and plain.

The traveler journeyed into the Land where the King lived. The Chef had never seen the King. He only heard stories of the wealthiest King in the world. His heart pounded.

They arrived upon a mansion. The traveler said, “Let’s explore!” The Chef stepped onto the land which was lush and beautiful. The traveler took him on a tour of the mansion and then he said, “I must show you the garden!” He pushed open the double doors and guided the Chef into a garden as far as the eye could see. “This Chef is your garden! Welcome home. I have tasted your food for years and I thank you for every feast. Thank you for all you prepared for me. I am so grateful for you and every feast you prepared for villager after villager. Thank you for feeding the widows and orphans of your town. They had nothing to repay you. I can repay you. Thank you for cleaning up the messes people made, and enduring their complaining and harsh criticisms with grace. Thank you for continuing to make a feast when your heart was breaking. Thank you! This is your garden. This is your mansion. This is your home. I have assigned gardeners to you and other chefs to help you. You will have family and fellowship here. No one will throw your food in the trash or break your plates on the floor. They will come with open hearts to recieve and honor who you are.”

The Chef stood amazed. “How can you say such a thing? How have you tasted my food many times? We just met.”

“Oh I know you Chef. I came every day in a different disguise to meet with you. I would sit at the last place, the last one to be served. I would take my plate to the kitchen and say thank you! I have eaten with you at every daily feast. Even the ones where you were so busy serving you did not recognize me.”

The Chef realized there was always at least one guest who stayed to put their plate away and say thank you. The Chef cried deeply and stood amazed. “How can you offer so much to me? Aren’t you simply a traveler?”

“I am the King! Welcome to my Kingdom. I own everything you see. And you are invited to be my friend, part of my family, and if you are willing-my Chef! We will have feasts and daily bread. I am a rewarder of those who seek to love. Thank you for loving me. I appeared as lowly, sometimes dirty. You treated me like royalty. When I appeared at your mountain top home, you invited me in and treated me like royalty. It’s my turn to repay the favor.”

The Chef remained in the land of King, enjoying daily feasts with people who smiled, laughed, and honored the feast. There was so much joy in the heart of the Chef. The daily feasts took on a new meaning. The King was always there and the King’s opinion of the feast mattered most. Despite how the Chef was treated by villagers in the past, the Chef was storing up treasures for the true cheffing assignment. The Chef was always cooking and preparing a feast for the King.

Moral of the Story: It’s all for the King (Jesus). He shows up daily and our actions are not for people primarily, they serve a great King. He rewards us for our love, sacrifices, and service. Some may trample your efforts under foot, complain, under value, dishonor, or treat with disdain. It does not matter too much. What matters is the King saying, “Well done! Well done! Enter into my Kingdom.”

Photos: Feast (Pinterest)

Lovingly,

Erin Lamb

Insecurity is One of Our Greatest World Problems. There is a Cure!

Confident people tend to treat others better than insecure people. Why? If we love ourselves, then we can love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Insecurity is more than just not feeling good about oneself.

Some people cannot be alone, they are fearful, and therefore they cling to anyone who comforts that fear of being alone or left out.

Some insecurity manifests in greed, hoarding, and the inability to be generous. If you give, then there is fear of not having enough.

Some insecurity manifests in settling for less than in relationships and treatment.

Some insecurity manifests in pushing oneself to the front of the line or excessive boasting.

Some insecurity manifests in promiscuity and unholy relationships; lust is false love. It may feel like love to people, but it leaves them empty.

Some insecurity manifests in unhealthy jealousy, comparison, or envy-they must have all the attention or blessing. If not, the internal deficit is triggered.

In the case of abuse, people treat other people the way they feel about themselves. It’s easy to talk down to you or slap you around because they hate themselves. The way people talk to you is often how they talk to themselves.

The critical spirit is rooted in insecurity-“I will nit pick everyone else to bypass dealing with my own issues.”

Manipulation and control are rooted in insecurity (fear). When we are secure in God, we have no need to try to control everything.

Racism and sexism are both deeply rooted in insecurity. Someone must be inferior to feel superior or good about one’s self or group.

God invites us to ditch insecurity and find identity in Him. Godly confidence differs from self confidence because it is rooted in who we are in God; created in His image, His workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully made, desired, cherished, without rival, uniquely loved, the object of God’s affection. God is not unstable, nor His feelings flakey. God is love 24/7 and always. When we live out of His love, our identity grows secure. Living loved by God enables us to give that love away to others and cease comparison, envy, or gross mistreatment of others. Why? We see our value and theirs.

There is a cure for insecurity and it’s found in God’s love; knowing God’s love, receiving God’s love, abiding in God’s love, being healed by God’s love, and living from God’s love. Our world is suffering from broken identity and insecurity. More than having a sin problem, there is an identity crisis. When we know who we are from the perspective of God, we cease mistreating others and ourselves. May you and I seek knowing the fullness of God’s love!!

Prayer: God show me who you are and who I am from your perspective. Heal my hurts, insecurities, and hidden fears. I want to live fully loved by you! Today I want to ditch insecurity and cling to godly confidence.

Blessing you!

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

#KillingInsecurityBook #NextBook

Guarding Your Heart❤️

Build A Fence Around Your Heart, Not a Wall. Therefore, Others Can See It’s Beauty, Yet Only Those Invited Are In It’s Inner Chamber (Your Inner World). Steward Your Heart.

One of my biggest mistakes (I think) in life was opening up my heart to so many people without wisdom. I simply wanted to love people as God loved me. So I was open, transparent, easily shared vulnerabilities. I learned it was not wisdom to give everyone access to my heart. There are ways to love everyone without allowing everyone access.

God is love! Yet God does not give everyone VIP access to Him. If you read in the Old and New Testement, there is way to get to the Father. He is not a snob. He is holy and valuable. You and I are not God. We are highly valuable to God. God loves His children MORE than earthly parents love theirs. God placed so high a value on humanity, Jesus was willing to offer His life in exchange for ours. We were guilty, dead in tresspasses and sins, and distanced from God. Jesus paid the full penalty for sin, and through Him we gain access to a holy God.

God pursues with relentless love. The door and access to Him remains the same. God sets boundaries out of love and wisdom.

You and I are called to love and value ourselves as God does. This means taking inventory of what is coming into our heart, our lives, our ears. Out of the mouth the heart speaks. When we spend all our time healing/mending from toxic people, it takes away from enjoying God and connecting with the right people.

Guarding our hearts is part of our responsibility. God does not do everything for us. We not only take assessment of who has access to us. We take assessment with God regarding our own heart. David stated, “Search me oh God!”

One of my regular prayers is, “Search my heart God. Recalibrate my heart. Align my heart with your love, truth, wisdom. Reveal any little foxes that may spoil the vine. Give me wisdom. Help me to be a blessing. Purge my heart of anything not like you!”

God is faithful to not only reveal the hearts of others (so we know how much access they need in our lives, not to judge them), but to reveal our own hearts so we can repent and be properly aligned with God’s heart! We too can guard our hearts by taking inventory of what we listen to, who we allow to speak into our lives, by seeking godly relationships, and investing in taking in what is good, pure and noble. What we feast on, we become. We become like the gods we worship. We can take inventory of the inputs in our lives. What we take in our eye and ear gates does impact our hearts. What we feed grows. So may you and I not only guard our hearts, may we deposit good things into our hearts.

As water reflects the face,

so one’s life reflects the heart.

Proverbs 27:19

The heart is deceitful above all things

and beyond cure.

Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind,

to reward each person according to their conduct,

according to what their deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:7

I seek you with all my heart;

do not let me stray from your commands.

Psalm 119:10

Be blessed! You are prayed for and deeply loved!! God I ask for each person reading this to have an encounter with your love today. May they know and experience the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your incredible love!! Comfort the hearting. Heal the broken. Love them deep. In Jesus powerful name.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Soul Sunday Relationship Tips

Soul Sunday Notes: How to Process Challenging Times Without Burning Out Your Friends & Family (14 Options to Process In Challenging Seasons).

I told a relative yesterday who proclaimed, “You should ask for more help. Pride keeps independent people from getting help,” that I never desire to be that Debby Downer, needy person. God supplies all my needs, not people. The first stop for me is God, not people. I talk to God. I cry with God. I seek God. I receive comfort from God. I process with God. I tell God what I need and desire. Then God either puts me on the heart of people who reach out because they are led by His Spirit, or leads me to the right resources/people.

There is no shame in letting people know you are walking through challenges. I will tell you though people grow weary listening to other people’s pains, challenges, and problems. I know what it is like to be the person people think is their 24/7 therapist, counselor, pastor, problem solver, listening ear, crisis manager, and intercessor. They come and drop of their needs on top of my own. I can only do so much and after awhile I feel depleted. I am emotionally spent. Some people, I know if they contact me they want something, need something, or have a problem. They can be overwhelmingly exhausting. I don’t want to be the person people run from because I am constantly singing the dirge or in crisis.

So here are my tips for bypassing being the person people hide from because you are too needy:

1. Seek God first! Gosh God gives the best counsel, support, comfort, and challenging seasons are a great time to go even deeper.

2. Get in the Bible and search for passages that pertain to your current struggle. Pray God’s word out loud.

3. Worship God. Worship recalibrates our perspective and takes our mind off our situation and places it on God.

4. Reach out to people paid to help those in crisis. Many bigger ministries have paid intercessors or prayer teams. Cfan, Joyce Meyers, CBN, and many more have numbers you can call or online portals to submit prayer requests. Gosh, I have been submitting requests to Joyce Meyer Ministries since college. It gives your friends and family a break.

5. Ask God to send helpers, supporters. God knows who can handle your situation and your heart.

6. Take an interest in your friends and family without dumping your problems on them. Celebrate with them if you can. Why? Life is not all about us.

7. Give thanks daily. Try to find something to be thankful for.

8. Recognize your friends and family have their own struggles, bills, lives, and issues. If you constantly dump your problems on them, you can become a burden. Yes, our family/close friends are supposed to love without condition. Yet they are not God. They can not handle constant crisis.

9. Learn to encourage yourself in the Lord. I go find inspirational youtube videos & prayers. I play them. I encourage myself instead of looking to someone else.

10. If your situation is chronic, look for support groups, grief share, or for some-you may need to find a therapist. They get paid to listen to people’s problems.

11. Show up when you don’t have a problem. Add value. Ask how other people are doing and listen.

12. Journal thoughts instead of taking up hours of your friend’s and family time talking about yourself. I can not tell you how many times I prayed God would let my phone die with people who talked 3 hours or more about themselves and never let me say anything. Then after their verbal dump on me it’s “I gotta go.”

13. Understand people need breaks from bad news and you need prayer. Share something positive, add value, ask how you can pray for them.

14. Treat others how you wish to be treated. I don’t enjoy only being contacted for prayer requests, needs, everybody’s crisis. So I refrain from putting my burdens on people. I go to God first. Then where He leads me. I try to add more than I take. Because I understand what it’s like to be the burden bearer for others. After awhile you learn to say no, set firm limits, and tell people to seek Jesus or professional help.

I hope something here is a blessing! God loves you with an everlasting love.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.Com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

You Will Make It!

I am studying for an important exam, yet this morning I was inspired to write this post reflecting on the past 16 months. I won’t go into great detail over what has transpired. I will say there has been great loss, a few betrayals, multiple deaths in my family, partial blindness for me (healed now), health issues with people I love, being stalked (I had to report someone to the police last spring), sabotage of some of my efforts, gross disappointments, and so much more. There have also been incredible triumphs and joys. I believe we can learn from anything!

Here is my post from the morning and I hope it blesses you.

There is a promise attached to the pain; we must seek God for a revelation of the promise(s) (Lessons Learned the Past 16 Months). ❤️👩🏽‍💻💯

I don’t share all my business online because I recognize levels of intimacy. My closest friends know my business. Everyone else is on a need to know basis. It’s just how I roll. I share my heart fully with people who know how to steward it well. Those who know my full journey and challenges the past 16 months may get more out of this. Everyone else, I hope you find a sliver of hope. No matter your season, the valley or the mountain top, there is a God who loves you and though He does not prevent every challenge, He will walk you through them.

Some sweet things learned the past 16 months…

Even in hard seasons you can find beauty if you LOOK for it! I started journaling each day and counting blessings. I list good things that happen and express gratitude to God. I look for at least one person daily to bless. Why? Introspection will rob you of opportunities to be a blessing and enjoy God.

Even in my hardest moments, I can still love and serve others without expecting them to take care of me. I have a choice, as do you, to be a victim or a victor! It does not mean breaking your back nor forgoing rest, it does mean choosing love. Waking up each day to choose love provides focus and greater dependency on God…God who needs your love today?

The extreme power of grace; God’s supernatural ability to do what we could not do before. Wowed by grace. It is a frequent prayer to say, “God give me grace for today. Today God I receive grace.”

When I think I cannot take another step because I am exhausted physically or emotionally, how God’s super invades my natural. God will infuse you with His strength. You learn a level of God’s POWER in weakness that cannot be learned in any other season.

Who loves me for me, and who was connected for their own personal gain or to benefit from ministry. It is unfortunate, yet trials not only reveal who you truly are on the inside, they reveal who is truly for you! Bypass offense and understand you must not expect a consumer to act like a true friend. A consumer comes to take. A friend comes to give. I don’t expect a cat to be a dog. A cat will behave like a cat.

The great lengths some people will go through to help you or encourage you in their own storm has been revealed. I wrote out a thank letter this week. I was weeping as I typed out thank you to all the people willing to be obedient to God and help in some way. Don’t focus your energy on who is not for you. Focus that energy on who is for you! Mostly God is for you!!! He will put you on the heart of perfect strangers to be a blessing.

How deep the Father’s love is, vast beyond measure. I won’t even start typing out the revelations of God’s love, provision, care, comfort, goodness, beauty, and hope because I will be here all day. It just gets richer in revelation. Oh my, is God better than what humans represent or speak about Him.

I learned not to expect people who have not walked it out to understand. There is a complete and utter disconnect. #BlankStare. You release the expectation for compassion from people and talk to God. I used to be bothered by unkind people. I recognize I too can be insensitive if I lack understanding. You forgive easier and move on. You learn who to talk to and get really raw with and who to tell, “God is good,” and keep on moving.

How deep the roots and love go in my Ignite Reborn community!! They have loved me well and I thank God they are not looking for a super hero in a leader. I am only human; I am there to serve, not be a Savior. There is power in safe, loving, and mutually giving community. If you find a safe, loving tribe-cherish them, invest in them, give thanks for them, show up and do your part.

Learn to completely ignore the haters online and in real life. Unhappy people try to make others miserable. You become quicker to block, ignore, say, “Take that garbage somewhere else. I love you, but I am not your trash can.” You start to monitor your energy. It’s not proper English but, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I stopped trying to figure it out or explain myself.

I stopped answering the phone for energy vampires. Some days I only had strength to do one or two things (being honest), I refused to waste it on selfish people. Please go to voicemail. Protect your energy and schedule. Some people are simply distractions. Lovingly set boundaries. They want their problem to be your highest priority when you have a pile of your own.

You listen to the voice of Jesus on an even deeper level because He is close to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. He whispers and you lean in closer and closer….your friendship with God goes to a whole notha level! If you are being challenged in your health, your finances, your family…Jesus is right there. Lean in. Lean on Him. Ask Jesus for heaven’s vantage point. “God show me your truth and give me wisdom in this season.”

Understanding with every problem, every pain-there is a promise. A promise of God’s steadfast love. A promise of God’s healing. A promise of God’s protection. A promise of God’s presence-“Never will I leave you or forsake you!” A promise of beauty for ashes and joy for mourning! A promise of glory. A promise of His unwavering friendship.

Grief is temporary. Yes, it comes in waves. Some days like tidal waves, yet there are days of calm, great joy, and peace. Walk through the process of grieving without bypassing the hard parts. Don’t let religious acting Christians try to convince you that you should not grieve nor how to grieve. If they have not walked through what you have walked through they can keep their scripture one liners. Find healthy people to walk with you who possess wisdom in their speech.

Give yourself grace to be human. I love laughing with God and being positive. I also recognize my humanity and when I went through months of unexplained blindness I had human moments. It was not a fun time. Grace! Trying to be Superman or Wonder Woman is crazy. Yes, lean into God and seek His strength. Also understand you are human.

Oh the depths of desperation…I gained a greater understanding of how desperate people feel. The compassion in my heart has gone from maybe level 7 to off the charts. Pain changes the way we see things. I hope I don’t forget the trials that broke my heart and some that sought to crush my spirit. I pray my heart remains soft towards God and humanity.

God will deal with your enemies! He is longsuffering and gives each person time to repent. When God has had enough, He moves in with His right arm outstretched to execute judgement on your enemies. People play with fire thinking they will not be burned. Yet God has shown me on an even greater level the past 16 months that anyone who raises a weapon, tries to work evil, or places their tongue in a malicious way on His children will have consequences. God is merciful and kind. God is also a fierce warrior who will and does cast down Jezebel from her throne. God defends and avenges His own. He prepares a table before you in the PRESENCE of your enemies. Even when the devil thinks he’s winning, he loses in the end.

Don’t let people pressure you into more than you can do. I cannot tell you how many people try to pressure me into meeting their ministry or personal need. “Count it all joy! Trust the Lord!! God is just testing you. See how much more like Jesus you are becoming…yada yada yada..” Attached to that is normally some expectation I can do something for them. Well, no. I have grace to complete God’s assignments for me, not everyone else’s. I cannot tell you how many people have approached me with “God said to contact you or your were the one to do this.” If God did speak directly to me, I am not doing anything. Nope. Nada.

Lastly, your latter shall be GREATER than your former. If you sink into God, there is no limit to what can happen. It can be painful in the process, yet you must not give up on His beautiful vision. You may need to reject the visions of others, or their dreams for your life…yet keep pressing into His! God is good, and God LOVES you. Keep being a seeker of God because He is seeking you. He is seeking you in the good times and challenging seasons.

Signed…someone linked to Jesus to hopefully always overcome! Back to studying for exams I go. Have a great weekend.

God loves you! You can make it! With God you will make it. That’s what my dad says to me often. I love my earthly dad and heavenly Father. Be blessed! Praying for you to make it!! For real praying. You are loved!!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Promotion Comes from God

Let God Promote You & Bypass Disgrace!

We live in an insta society where people want to build a brand, a name for themselves, and promote what they can do. As a business owner I have been told to promote myself, build a brand, get the word out there. I try to share what I do, but I am most interested in how I can help someone else or hear their story. I love stories. I don’t want to be a self promoter. I would love for God to open doors and God to get the glory.

It’s a temptation to promote ourselves ahead of God or to build our own empires. The truth is, it’s His story for His glory and God advises us to do nothing out of selfish ambition and vain conceit. We are also told the following from Psalm 75:7.

This I know:

the favor that brings promotion and power

doesn’t come from anywhere on earth,

for no one exalts a person but God, the true judge of all.

He alone determines where favor rests.

He anoints one for greatness

and brings another down to his knees.

It is God who raises up and sits down. God gives grace and promotion to the humble, not the proud. God will put your name, your ministry, your business, your needs on the hearts of the right people at the RIGHT TIME! The key word is TIME. Please don’t move ahead of God. He knows what He is doing.

God thinks bigger than we do, and God prepares who He calls. God cares more about our character than our gifting. You don’t set your child up to fail. You would not give a toddler keys to a lambourghini, yet I have seen people promote themselves or others past where they need to be at the moment. It can lead to disgrace.

Our giftings have the capability to take us further than our character or capacity can sustain us. If we are not rooted in Jesus, it can lead to performance and striving. Both are stepping away from abiding in the true vine-Jesus. Apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5).

What is in a name and the applause of mankind? Nothing. For if we live to please people or move from red carpet to red carpet, we are no longer servants of God.

Am I now trying to win the favor and approval of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please someone? If I were still trying to be popular with men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ,~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:10).

Pride is a nasty sneaky demon that has destroyed many families, friendships, and ministries. It is the chief sin of Lucifer…”I will exalt my throne above Gods.” It is more concerned with self than God or others. Pride needs to be out front and boasting. It is applauded in culture, it is not in heaven. God resists the proud. We can boast in God, yet I cannot boast in myself or what I have done. I am nothing apart from Him and only by His grace am I even alive.

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”~James 4:6.

Honestly, the best places to be in the Kingdom are at the feet of Jesus or in His arms. It is not the stage, the platform, the TV show, the radio, the podcast, the blog, the speaking or preaching engagements. It’s intimacy with God and making His name famous on the earth. Is Jesus glorified? Is it aligned with heaven? Is Jesus made known?

It’s also about the timing of God.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem He knew where the donkey was that had never been ridden. God knew where to find him. He may have been invisible to everyone else, yet that donkey had a date with destiny.

When Jesus had finished saying all this, he went on toward Jerusalem. As he was getting near Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples on ahead. He told them, “Go into the next village, where you will find a young donkey that has never been ridden. Untie the donkey and bring it here. If anyone asks why you are doing that, just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”-Luke 19:28-31 (CEV).

God knew where Moses was on the back side of the desert. He spoke to him and called him from a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-17). God knew where David was. Shepherd boy David was tending sheep (1 Samuel 16). He did not have to run to the front of the line and say, “God chose me to be king.” God sent for David and anointed him.

When God calls and when God anoints, He provides grace for the mission. When we call ourselves, anoint ourselves, or allow someone else to call us outside of God’s timing it leads to disgrace. If God places me somewhere, I know God will sustain me. If I appoint myself or allow others to appoint me ahead of His timing it leads to self effort and self promotion to keep me there.

I have angered a few people in my lifetime for refusing to give them a leadership role ahead of what God told me to do and disappointed a few people who wanted to catupult me into their version of my destiny, not God’s voice to my heart. I simply know that moving ahead of God or following the ways of man leads to destruction.

My encouragements:

  • Seek God and pursue humilty (get low to serve not be served).
  • Focus on being a blessing instead of being blessed.
  • Wait on God. Trust me, God knows where you are and where to find you. If God can locate an unridden donkey, He can find you.
  • Yield to the Holy Spirit. I cannot tell you how many times He has whispered to my heart, “This is not for you.” Or “This is not the proper timing.”
  • Understand everything that glitters (sounds good, looks good) is NOT necessarily God.
  • Seek God with opportunities. “God is this aligned with what I need to be doing right now?”
  • Understand God wants you to succeed. God loves His kids more than we love ours.
  • Know God withholds nothing good. If you are in a hidden season, enjoy the time with God. I love my cave with God. I actually prefer it to the spotlight.
  • Sink into Jesus. Keep abiding.
  • Don’t be distracted by shooting stars. Some rise fast then crash and burn.
  • Your audience is God, not people! Live for the applause of heaven.
  • Think in terms of eternity.
  • Understand earth is more concerned with metrics than Jesus. God is looking at the heart.
  • Note popularity is not the same as influence. There are popular people with millions of people headed straight to hell.
  • Quality is better than low quality and high quantity. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself with Jesus.
  • Building history/relationship with God is far more important than building an audience or platform.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.Com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Stay in Your Lane

Happy Live Unrivaled Tuesday!

The Bible discourages comparison. Let’s talk about our cultural obsession with keeping up with the Joneses.

We each have a unique voice and journey. Each person has their own assignment and pace. Looking to the left or the right can bring significant bondage. When we compare it leads to either self righteousness or pride (I am better than this person) or insecurity which is the flip side of pride (I am not as good or capable as this other person).

Sometimes jealousy, envy, and strife are rooted in comparison. Look at what the other person is doing (especially on social media). How do you measure up? Jealousy is being upset someone else is getting attention or a blessing or has something the person thinks they deserve. Envy is not wanting them to have it. Strife is the fighting, gossiping, arguments, and bitterness that emerge from the sin.

Our measure of how well we are doing in life, in ministry, in business, etc…is best rooted in God. If your church has 10 people that you are faithfully serving-praise God. If the other church has 10,000 whooohoo. Comparing numbers is a waste of time. Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents.

I had a lady tell me my outreach to the poor was just giving out handouts and their ministry was training people for jobs. Well, awesome you have resources for job training. I have resources to help people not eat out of the garbage for a day and get saved. Then we connect them with larger ministries who help them with rehab, job placement, daily meals, after care, discipleship, etc…Jesus stated if your enemy is hungry feed him. Why worry about what that other ministry is doing. Stay in your lane. I rarely look at what other people are doing unless it’s for inspiration. I am not them, they are not me.

God creates. He does not clone. We are NOT to be cookie cutter duplicates of each other.

I had someone else tell me I needed to be more like this other minister who travels the world preaching. I said no. I reach 144 countries through my blogging (I have two blogs) and social media, sometimes 10,000 people a week. What I need to do is stay rooted in Jesus and do what I see the Father doing. If one person get’s saved, I rejoice. We had one salvation at outreach Sarurday. Thank you God! I don’t care if another outreach saw 100s.

Comparison is toxic. The Bible says the following:

Galatians 6:4-5 Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others. Assume your own responsibility.

2 Corinthians 10:12 We wouldn’t put ourselves in the same class with or compare ourselves to those who are bold enough to make their own recommendations. Certainly, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are.

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

1 Corinthians 3:3 For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

Our world loves comparison, God asks us to be of the Kingdom-not the world.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

We don’t live for people. We live for God.

Philippians 2:3 Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves.

Galatians 1:10 Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Isaiah 2:22 Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

May you and I stay focused on the most important thing; God. May we ditch comparison and focus on running our own race with Jesus. In the end, we will all give an account for our own lives, not anyone else’s. Ditch comparison and find joy in the journey with God. We are not with God to perform or tally metrics. We are with God to love Him, know Him, and enjoy Him! It is impossible to have our eyes fixed on God while hyper focusing on what our neighbor is doing.

May we also stop comparing each other. “Oh you need to be more like (fill in the blank).” I honestly cannot be someone else. I am called to be Erin Lamb, the one Father calls Judah. I do not have the same capacity, heart, giftings, etc…as the person next to me. I do what I am called to do by the power of God in me. I encourage that for everyone. What has God given you? Use that for His glory.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.Com/Shop (check out books, teaching materials)

EmpoweredandFreemerch.com (check out our tshirts, merch, mugs, and more. Part of the proceeds go towards helping the poor, homeless, and victims of human trafficking)

OperationGodisLove.org (charity work)

P.S If you are in Ohio, I would love to connect with you at the next two book signings!