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Day 29: Fire Up Your Faith! (My Secret Weapon & #giveaway)

blog buttonHey friends -

Welcome to Day 29 of 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith!

If this is your first visit — welcome! You’ll find an intro and previous posts here. Grab a notebook, a pen, and join us in praying God kindles fresh faith and passion in hearts and lives all across the world!

We sort of took a “detour” from my original 31 Day plan this week, friends.

You should know I read every note/email/FB message that comes my way. While my schedule doesn’t allow for me to respond to all — I listen, I cry, I pray for you.  Thank you for trusting me with your frustrations, heartbreak, tests, trials, and pain. Thus the reason I sensed I needed to be completely honest with you.

Please don’t let my cheerful smile cause you to think I’m just coasting through on my personal faith journey.

  • Is living with fired up faith easy? No way. Not in this hurting, broken, and fallen world.
  • Does it take work on our part? Yes, we must be intentional, friends.
  • Is fired up faith possible regardless of our circumstances? You betcha!
  • Is it worth it? Absolutely yes, friends.

So how do we do it?

How do we live with fired up faith in a world filled with chaos, challenges, and a culture that constantly screams we’re not ___________ enough (Fill in the blank: not good enough, pretty enough, rich enough, thin enough…)

We’ve looked at 4 out of 5 keys I believe we desperately need to live with Fired Up Faith —

1. Presence
2. Promises
3. Purpose
4. Power

Before we get to Key 5, I want to share what I think of my “secret weapon.”

Because let’s be honest, if we’re going to live victorious, faith-filled lives, we’re gonna need all the help we can!

A few weeks ago I shared a story of how I made the pre-determined decision to fill my heart and mind with God’s Truth-filled promises.

Thankfully when a friend said something about my weight — which may have been “true” but not “Truth” — I was able to discern the difference. What could have been a major setback became a victorious comeback. Thank You, God!

But what happens on those days we’re not able to discern the difference.

What do we do when the lies are screaming so loudly, we believe and receive them as true?

When we’re so stuck in the muck, it’s hard to experience God’s presence, believe His promises, think we have purpose, or plug into God’s power?

We ask for help, friends! We call our Godly, faith-filled, Truth speaking girlfriends!

A few months ago I was in a low spot. I had to watch video footage from my Bible study Red Hot Faith for final edits — which meant watching me on Youtube for hour and hours.  (Does that sound fun for anyone? NO!)

I ended up sharing on FB —

1 Capture

Within moments my cell phone beeped and I received this text from a faith-filled girlfriend.

It read -

2Capture

I don’t have to tell you how that text message hit me, right?

I cried like a baby. What beautiful, Truth-filled words my weary, insecure soul needed to be reminded of that day.

How about you, friend?

Who is speaking Truth into your life? Are you allowing the “crazy head” thoughts to creep in, or are your reminding yourself of the Truth of who God says YOU are?

Please say you’re not letting fear get in the way of your living with fired up faith? Or do you also need a fresh reminder to “Do your thing with God, lady.”

Go back and read that text again, but this time allow the words to be FOR YOU.

My friend won’t mind, trust me.

Start with, “Don’t you dare spend one minute tearing yourself down yourself” and keep going. Because it’s true, friend.

You are amazing.

He is amazing.

If we’re going to live with fired up faith, we must surround ourselves with Truth-speaking friends — and then be that voice of encouragement to others too!

Who can you call and remind them how amazing, loved, and valued they are?

Why not put your fired up faith into action and be a voice of Truth today!

Today’s Challenge : Day 29 of our 31 Days.

1. Grab your Fire Up My Faith notebook. Jot down today’s date, and then, spend time praying, asking God to reignite a “want to” to live with fired up faith. Ask God to reveal anything getting in the way of the free, full life that is yours in Christ.

2. It’s time for a faith check-up! It’s been awhile since our Fire Up Your Faith adventure began. If you were to take your spiritual temperature today, what would it be?

Chili pepper

Review your Fire Up Your Faith thermometer from Day 1. Has your spiritual temperature increased? In what ways?

3. Do you have 2-3 Godly girlfriends you can call when you need a fresh reminder of Truth? Spend time thanking God for your girlfriends. You may want to send them a note to thank them for their impact in your life. Be specific in letting them know how they impact you.

4. If you don’t have 2-3 Godly girlfriends, spend time praying and asking God to provide Truth-speaking friends for you.

Now for the Fire Up Your Faith giveaway

Five blessed readers who comment will receive the following:

A to Z Truth cards

A to Z Truth cards

One of my Red Hot Faith A to Z packs of Truthcards!

In order to be entered to win, simply leave a comment sharing your favorite part of 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith so far.

Has something stood out to you? Have you used any of the printables? Watched any of the videos? I’d love to hear from you. Extra entry for sharing this post on FB or Twitter (leave a comment letting me know).

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, November 5th.

Sweet friend, thanks so much for stopping by 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith!

I love journeying with you! May His Truth dwell richly in us, and may God use His promises to transform us from the inside out!

Sweet blessings
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Day 28: Fire Up Your Faith — Forgiveness

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Hey friends -

Welcome back to 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith! Can you believe it’s Day 28?! Wow! Don’t forget, if you missed any of the posts, you can start from the beginning here!

If you have any questions you’d like answered before I wrap this series up, please leave them in the comments section. 

shareable-redhotfaith-fireThis week, I’ve been sharing my “Fiery Season of 2014,” and confessed devastating surprise details led to a serious marriage mess. (Recap here). Friends, I really thought my marriage was over. My heart was broken in a bzillion pieces.

Thankfully we serve a Savior who can bind up our broken heart. Piece by piece by piece.

As I shared yesterday, forgiveness was a big part of my healing journey.

Now you need to know — forgiveness was the last thing on my mind when I called my friend for help. I was spittin’ mad, devastated, shocked, and ready to punch something or somebody. (Don’t worry — I didn’t punch anything — I just wanted to. :) )

I’m so glad my friend shared not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear.

I’m not joking, her words, “Cindy, you need to forgive him…” saved our marriage.

Literally.

You should also know — I didn’t want to forgive, wasn’t ready to, and didn’t even know how to.

Thankfully I remembered the lesson on forgiveness I had just heard at Bible study.

forgivenessDon’t you love how God goes before us? I remember thinking at class that night, “Wow, I’m glad I did all my forgiveness work in the past.”

Boy was I clueless!

Although I originally wasn’t in a place where I wanted to forgive, I decided I’d at least pull out my forgiveness handouts from Bible study.

Everything changed.

I read Bible verse after Bible verse after Bible verse. God began to help me see the hurtful situation from a completely different perspective — HIS.

After God had forgiven me for so much — drug addiction, promiscuity, alcohol abuse, my daily shortcomings & more — how could I now stay bitter and angry and hold on to such ugliness in my heart?

Now —

  • Was forgiving John a process? Yes.
  • Did I need HS power to help forgive? Yes.
  • Were there still days when I was angry & mad & let John know how much I was angry & hurting? Yes. Yes. Yes.
  • Did I take my binder with forgiveness handouts with us on Spring Break, and literally read them every single day? Yep.
  • But has God done a powerful, transformational work in my heart and mind, and brought new strength, intimacy, and healing to my marriage? Absolutely yes.

Friends, I know this is a heavy subject.

Truth be told, I never planned to go here during the 31 Days. But my sense is someone needs this message. I wouldn’t be serving you well if I shared only what you wanted to hear, right?

ivRemember, the Divine IV from Day 23?

Forgiveness helps “un-kink” the flow of God’s strength, power, and grace into our lives.

Let’s not allow unforgiveness to rob us of the joy of living a free, full life in Christ.

As Lewis B. Smedes says so well —

Lewis-B-Smedes-quote-on-forgiving

Let’s live free, friends.

Let’s live free!

Today’s Challenge: Day 28 of our 31 Days

1. Grab your Fire Up My Faith notebook. Spend time in prayer using the model of Samuel, “Speak Lord, for I, Your servant, am listening.” Wait in silence and then journal any thoughts/insights. Look up the following and ask God to teach you more about forgiveness:

    • Matthew 6:14-15
    • Luke 6:27-28
    • John 20:22-23
    • Romans 12:17-21
    • Ephesians 4:32

2. Author Philip Yancey shares, “I never find forgiveness easy, and rarely do I find it completely satisfying.  Nagging injustices remain, and the wounds still cause pain.  I have to approach God again and again, yielding to him the residue of what I thought I had committed to him long ago.  I do so because the Gospels make clear the connection:  God forgives my debts as I forgive my debtors.” —Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?

What do you think about Philip’s quote? What have you learned about forgiveness from your own life?

3. Take a minute and watch this powerful video from Matthew West and the story behind his Forgiveness song.

I’d love to hear your personal examples of forgiveness, friend. Share with us if you feel comfortable.

Thanks so much for stopping by 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith! May God remove anything getting in the way of your experiencing a full, free, abundant, passionate life in Christ!

Sweet blessings
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P.S. My Bible study — Red Hot Faith: Lessons from a Lukewarm Churchis offered as an on-line study with Ignite Women this fall on Wednesday nights at 9 PM EST! It’s not too late for you to join!

We started October 29th by watching my story. You can still sign up and participate in Red Hot Faith (including watching the DVD teaching sessions) from the luxury of your own home through Ignite Women. Paulette Stafford Stamper & her team will be facilitating the online study each Wednesday night. And guess what else? In honor of Ignite Women’s national launch, they are offering free membership through November 30th. More details here.

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Day 27: Fire Up Your Faith — Even in the Fire

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Hey friends — TONIGHT is the night! Starting Wednesday evening October 29th, my video-driven Bible study “Red Hot Faith” will be offered online through Ignitewomen.com. My publisher has even given permission to view the full video teachings each week. Yay! Come join women from all across the nation & Canada too! Details in the P.S .at the end of this post!

Hey friends -

Welcome back to 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith! We may be on Day 27, but you can start from the beginning here!

In yesterday’s post, we explored the question—

“How do you allow God to fire up your faith in the midst of a season of pain, disappointment, and/or despair?”

We’ve all been there, right?

Whether we are young or old, Christian or non-Christian, married or single, rich or poor — all of us will experience seasons where we feel as if we are in the “refiner’s fire.”

But I believe —

shareable-redhotfaith-fire

Y’all know I like to keep things real around here.

I don’t ever want my cheerful smile to mislead you, so yesterday I introduced you to my “Fiery Spring Season of 2014,” and confessed devastating details led to my marriage becoming a flat-out miserable mess.

Friends, I didn’t think we were going to make it.

So when the pressures of life intensify, what do we do? How do we withstand the heat?

Y’all know I don’t have all the answers — thankfully He does — but here are two important life lessons I learned—

  • Lesson # 1 — Cling to God’s Promises (recap here) — including the song that God used to save my marriage
  • Lesson # 2 — Call a Faith-filled friend

Aren’t you so glad we are not meant to journey alone?

Do you have 2-3 friends you can call/text anytime day or night — and they will get on their face in prayer for you?

I do.

And I did.

In the midst of my miserable mess, I called a sweet Texas friend who has walked the hard path I was now required to journey.

Through my shock and sadness, tears and terror, I rambled. I was raw.  And then I awkwardly asked,  “What do I do? I can’t even function. Please tell me what to do next.”

Y’all — her six powerful words changed everything for me.

You know what she said?

“Cindy, you need to forgive him…”

You have to know this was the absolute last thing I wanted to hear.  I wasn’t ready to forgive, nor did I want to. Nope — not gonna happen. Forgive?  I’d rather keep fuming! I had a right to be stinkin’ mad!!!

Forgiveness would require way more faith than this broken-hearted, devastated woman could muster.

Later that night, after more tears and long conversations, I remembered the lesson on forgiveness I recently heard at Bible study. I decided I’d at least pull out my new forgiveness handouts.

Friends, it’s in the “fire” that our faith becomes red-hot!

 ….final installment tomorrow….

NOTE: Please know, my Texas friend knew although I was broken-hearted, I was safe. If you are faced with circumstances in your life and you are not safe — physically or emotionally — PLEASE call a friend, counselor, church friend, or hotline for HELP. Promise?

Today’s Challenge : Day 27 of our 31 Days

1. Grab your Fire Up My Faith notebook. Spend time in prayer, then journal any thoughts/insights from this post. Look up the following and ask God to teach you more about His refining fire:

    • Psalm 66:10-12
    • Isaiah 48:10-11
    • Daniel 12:10
    • Zechariah 13:0

2. Are you memorizing a new Scripture verse this week? If so, jot your verse on an index card and then please share God’s promise with us.

3. If you are not currently memorizing Scripture, yippee! Let’s do this together! 1 Peter 1:7  would be a great one to memorize this week!

‘Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of His victory.” —1 Peter 1:7 MSG

4. In the comments section, please say “I’m in!” if you will join us in memorizing one of God’s promises this week, and share what verse you are memorizing. 

Bonus challenge: take a picture of where you are memorizing your verse and post it on my FB page here.

Here’s some samples —

Verse at work

Verse at work

Verse in the car

Verse in the car

Verse in the bathroom

Verse in the bathroom

Thanks so much for stopping by 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith! It’s a JOY to journey with you, dear friend! We’re almost to the finish line of 31 days. Can we can do this? Yes, we can!

Sweet blessings
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P.S. My Bible study — Red Hot Faith: Lessons from a Lukewarm Churchis going to be offered as an on-line study with Ignite Women this fall! Woo Hoo!

Starting October 29th, you can participate in Red Hot Faith (including watching the DVD teaching sessions) from the luxury of your own home through Ignite Women. Paulette Stafford Stamper & her team will be facilitating the online study each Wednesday night. And guess what else? In honor of Ignite Women’s national launch, they are offering free membership through November 30th.

If you know anyone who might benefit from this amazing opportunity, please feel free to share. For more info go to www.IgniteWomen.com. ignite ad

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Day 26: Fire Up Your Faith — When We’re in the Fire

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Wednesday October 29th is the day! My Bible study “Red Hot Faith” will be offered online through Ignitewomen.comCome join women from all across the nation! Details in the P.S .at the end of this post! 

Hey friends -

Welcome back to 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith!

If this is your first visit — welcome, friend!  You can check out the introductory post here

Before we get to our 5th and final “key,” I want to explore a question I received —

“But Cindy, how do you allow God to fire up your faith in the midst of a season of pain, disappointment, and/or despair?”

Great question, right?

My sense is there’s more than one sweet friend who needs to know in the midst of “the fire” — painful, difficult, suffocating tests and trials — God is still a…

You know how I know?

Not only is His Word clear  — look up the verses above if you don’t believe me — but I’ve experienced Him in all those ways -and more- during a horribly painful, “character-building” season this year.

shareable-redhotfaith-fire

Quick history: This past spring 2014, my marriage hit a road bump.

Well, not really a bump — more like a canyon. Like a Grand Canyon magnitude, we’re not gonna survive this, sized canyon.

I won’t go into the nitty gritty details. Let’s just say things were discovered that were “deal breakers” for me.

My Spring months were filled with tons of tears and hard conversations, while my heart was utterly broken and devastated.

Y’all, I don’t do pain well. After the pain of my past, I just don’t.

So my response was basically,

“Yep, I’m outta here. I’m done. Didn’t think this was how the “happily ever after” story was gonna go — but God, I. can’t. do. this.”

I realize this is not the healthy and whole response I would prefer — I’m just being real.  #pleasedontjudge

Life can be hard, can’t it, friend?

Truth be told, sometimes life can be utterly painful and suffocating.

So when the pressures of life intensify, what do we do? How do we withstand the heat?

How do we hold on to hope as we endure seasons of trials, tests, disappointments and despair?

I don’t have all the answers, but here’s what I’ve learned, friends, from what I now call “The Fiery Spring of 2014.”

Bottom line: God used two things to rescue my marriage.

# 1 — His Promises

Y’all, during my “fiery season” I listened to this song over and over and over again.  It wasn’t just the song — it was the lyrics of this song.  Listen to it and/or read the promise-filled lyrics aloud below —

God is able
He will never fail
He is almighty God
Greater than all we seek
Greater than all we ask
He has done great things

God is with us
God is on our side
He will make a way
Far above all we know
Far above all we hope
He has done great things

If you are in the midst of a “fiery season” — please, sweet friend, think about what you are thinking about!

The more we meditate on our mess, pain, hurt, and/or difficult circumstances — the more “the mess” intensifies.

We must, we must, we must think about Who God is and what He is able to do.

Personally, this past Spring, I needed a reminder that God was with US. Not just me…but God was with US — me AND John AND our family, He was on OUR side,  HE would never fail us, & HE would make a way.

Y’all, God used this song to save my marriage.

I’m not even kidding.

Sometimes it’s in the “fire” that our faith becomes red-hot!

(I’ll share Lesson # 2 tomorrow)

Today’s Challenge : Day 26 of our 31 Days.

1. Grab your Fire Up My Faith notebook. Journal any thoughts/insights from this post. Ask God to…

    • Open your mind and heart to all He wants to teach you about His refining fire.
    • Give you courage to say, “Lord, I trust You” when you are faced with tests/trials.
    • Help you focus on who He is and what He is able to do (and not the size of the “flames” around you)

2. If you haven’t already, print off this free printable Fire Up Your Faith Bookmark. Starting with the “A” verse, look up a verse or two and record what you learn about Who God is and what He is able to do.

3. How would you respond to a friend who asks, “How do you allow God to fire up your faith in the midst of a season of pain, disappointment, and/or despair?” Share your response with us please!

“Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)

Thanks so much for stopping by 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith! Only 4 more days to go! We can do this!

Sweet blessings
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P.S. My Bible study — Red Hot Faith: Lessons from a Lukewarm Churchis going to be offered as an on-line study with Ignite Women this fall! Woo Hoo!

Starting October 29th, you can participate in Red Hot Faith (including watching the DVD teaching sessions) from the luxury of your own home through Ignite Women. Paulette Stafford Stamper & her team will be facilitating the online study each Wednesday night. And guess what else? In honor of Ignite Women’s national launch, they are offering free membership through November 30th.

If you know anyone who might benefit from this amazing opportunity, please feel free to share. For more info go to www.IgniteWomen.com. ignite ad

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Day 25: Fire Up Your Faith (& Red Hot Video!)

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It’s not too late to enter my Shamelifter giveaway. Click here for more details!

Hey Friends –

Welcome to Day 25 of 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith!

If this is your first visit you may want to get caught up here. Let’s ask God to rekindle our faith until we are burning bright for Him!

For our last day as we discuss Key # 4 — Power — I want to share personally what hindered me for many years from living a power-filled life.

Now if you’ve spent any time around my blog — you’ve heard me share that high school was not kind to me.

Although there a few fun memories – cheering for the freshmen basketball team, our zany psychology class, late-afternoon lunch runs with my good buddy Chuck –

I’m glad I never have to go back to those four agonizing years again.

Ever.

Mostly my adolescent days were filled with intense loneliness, rejection, straining to fit in, and a bottomless longing to be acknowledged and accepted.

Am I the only one?

I’ll never forget the day I thought I finally was on my way to recognition.

A fellow classmate shared she saw something written about me in the girl’s bathroom.

Really?

Me?!

I ran to the south side of the building as quickly as my clog-wearing feet would take me. I couldn’t wait to read what someone had taken the time to share publicly and proudly about me!

I pulled open the heavy wooden door and scanned the chipped bathroom stall’s exterior. Then I spotted the seven words that would shape my life for the next two decades…

“Cindy Stille is a fat red cow.”

And on that dreadful day those seven words attached to me like a sticky, descriptive name tag.

As the years went on, I may have appeared happy and self-confident on the outside. But beneath the cheery smile and bubbly personality, was an insecure and injured young woman meticulously attempting to cover up the pain, and striving to protect herself from ever being hurt or teased…again.

I wonder if you can relate? What labels have attached to you?

  • Not good enough.
  • Clumsy.
  • Stupid.
  • Good for nothing.
  • Lazy.
  • Ugly.
  • Fat.
  • Not wanted.

Labels are awful. They imprison us in categories that are hard to escape. Those labels start out as little threads of self-dissatisfaction but ultimately weave together into a straitjacket of self-condemnation“. – Lysa Terkeurst

Thankfully in 1996 I met Jesus (recap here). He says I am….

  • Accepted.
  • Beautiful – regardless of the size of my pants.
  • Chosen.
  • Dearly Loved.
  • Enough.

And sweet friend, you are too!

In Christ, we have new, Truth-filled, life-giving labels to wear.

That’s why in my Red Hot Faith Bible Study we spend Session 6 talking about the nametags we wear.  Y’all we will never live with a fired up faith until we can figure this one out.  

Here’s a “sneak peek” –

 

Friend, what label are you wearing today?

May we all “think about what we are thinking about” and make sure we are walking about in TRUTH. On this day, I’m choosing to put on CALLED.

How about you? Please share what label of Truth YOU are putting on!

Sweet friend, we have a choice: We don’t have to live defeated any longer. We can “take off” the words that hurt us, replace them with His healing, life-changing Words, and begin to experience a full, passionate, power-filled life.

Can I get a Woo Hoo?

Sweet friend, let’s say NO MORE to lackluster, lukewarm living, and instead ask God to reignite our faith and use us as we live powerful lives!

Today’s Challenge: Day 25 of our 31 Days.

1. Grab your notebook, jot today’s date, and then, write out a prayer to God asking Him to reveal any “false nametags” that are getting in the way of your purpose. Ask God to help you get to the root. Who said that to you? Is it Truth? If it is not Truth, ask God to eradicate the lie, and replace it with His Truth!

2. If  you didn’t on Day 18, please watch/listen to this awesome song by Jason Gray. (It’s sooo good! Thanks for sharing, JJ.) Any thoughts?

3. Print off this free downloadable/printable A to Z — Who I Am in Christ, and then “go up the mountain” and spend time in His Presence. Starting with the “A” verse, look up a verse or two and record what you learn about who you are in Christ.

Thanks so much for stopping by 31 Days to Fire Up Your Faith! May God remind you afresh who you are to Him, and infuse you with fresh faith as you live a life of purpose and power!

Sweet blessings
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P.S. In case you don’t want to miss a day, you can like my FB page, connect with me on Twitter, or subscribe to my blog via the sidebar. There’s still a few more days of ideas, resources, and encouragement to Fire Up Your Faith to come!

 

 

 

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