5 Quick and Easy Tips to Finding Freedom from Hard Work


If you’re genuinely interested in how to find freedom from hard work, then pay careful attention to these tips

Practice Presence over Performance. Wait… what?

Surrendered Work Comes From a Place of Worship (His Presence), Whereas, Hark Work Comes From a Place of Ambition (Your Performance).

You need to understand this is all about spending your life in worship of the One who holds all things together, including YOU. You stop focusing on the to-do lists and simply focus on Jesus. When He is your focus, you’re in a constant state of rest and you’ll find yourself working as unto Him.

People need to understand this spells the difference between success (abiding) and failure (striving) because this creates a spirit of excellency in your work. Otherwise, if you don’t practice presence over performance, you’ll end up overwhelmed and exhausted. Seriously, striving will leave you spinning your wheels; however, working from a place of surrender – a place of worship – will have you accomplishing more in 1 hour than in 1 month.

So, if you find yourself overwhelmed, turn to these 5 steps:

  1. Take a look at your anxiety and evaluate where it’s coming from.
  2. Devote time every morning to fixate on Jesus.
  3. Allow Him to direct your path, carry your burdens, and answer your prayers.
  4. Don’t try to do His work for Him.
  5. Remember, He doesn’t want your help. He wants your heart.

That’s a good start on pursuing presence over performance. My prayer is you make it your lifestyle.




How We Can Have VIP Access in the Kingdom of God


I had a dream several months ago about intimacy with Christ. I was watching an African preacher who was teaching on holiness. He questioned the crowd, “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart…” (Psalm 24:3-4)

Then the preacher proclaimed, “It’s all about the VIP – the Very Intimate Presence.

So, who has VIP access in the kingdom of God? Only those who have clean hands and a pure heart. The key to going deeper in Christ is death. Death to the flesh, crucified with Christ, and being a slave to God’s Word. Holiness. Blameless. Purified.

Holiness is cutting off or separation from what is unclean and a consecration to what is pure. There is no mixture. He beckons us to come out from the world and into His Presence. His Very Intimate Presence.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” –Matthew 5:8

You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” –Leviticus 19:2

Don’t Play the Whack-A-Mole Game! – Overcoming a Critical Spirit


Have you ever seen a critical spirit in action? Lord have mercy, I have! And it took me years to recognize it. I’m not talking about constructive criticism here. I’m talking about destructive criticism. Constructive criticism builds up. Destructive criticism tears down. 

Any relationship that consistently makes you feel like you’re not good enough is abusive. A critical spirit speaks messages that belittle, devalue, shame, and control you. It’s just like the Whack-A-Mole game. A critical spirit stands above you, watching and waiting with their hammer in hand. As soon as you come up for air, they beat you on the head and push you back down into your hole. Hence the title “Don’t Play the Whack-A-Mole Game.”

A critical spirit wants to completely shut you down. It robs you of your confidence and makes you question your gifts, talents, and purpose. Someone operating through this spirit becomes your personal self-appointed expert who continually focuses on your faults in an attempt to refine you. Somehow, sufferers seem to attract fixers and oh how often these fixers use the Word of God to diagnose and treat you. And initially it all sounds good. It’s so easy to take the bait! Until we begin to wonder, “Why is it they make me feel worse instead of better?” What you grabbed onto as a lifeline ends up taking you hook, line, and sinker. I’ve been there and it stinks.

1 Corinthians 13 says, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” We can speak eloquently, we can even prophesy, have faith to move mountains, and be anointed, but if our motive is not love, we better just hush up and sit down because we can do a lot more harm than good.

A critical spirit doesn’t appear out of nowhere. It’s created and nurtured by past negative experiences. It’s often generational and it’s often rooted in self-rejection. A critical spirit is usually accompanied with comparison of others (which is the enemy’s way of telling you God cheated you), bitterness, an attitude of superiority (which is really lack of self-confidence), and perfectionism.¹ Typically, those who live under the pressure of continual criticism feel the excess weight of false guilt. Never good enough. It’s a continuous cycle: negative thoughts -> negative emotions -> negative actions.²

If we are truly honest with ourselves, we’ve been on both sides of this coin. We’ve been hurt by a critical spirit and we’ve also operated with a critical spirit. We’ve been the mole and we’ve been the whacker. When I’m critical of others, I’m actually exposing my own sin. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Polluted water and pure water cannot pour out of the same cistern. Praise and criticism cannot flow from the same mouth. If so, something’s wrong.

All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. (Prov. 16:2) Is your motive love? The beauty of Christ is that anything the Holy Spirit reveals to you about your heart, He simultaneously offers grace for transformation. God will lovingly point out where we have believed a lie about ourselves or about Him. Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 1:8) That includes our own sins and the sins of others.

We cannot take the place of the Holy Spirit in another person’s life. We must let the Holy Spirit do the convicting and God’s holy fire do the refining. And we cannot stand as judge over another person’s life. Only God can rightfully take that place.

Here’s the key! God never calls attention to our faults in a way that wounds our spirit. His plan is to bring positive – though sometimes painful – conviction for this one purpose: to motivate us to change.² He wants us to be more like Jesus, and to draw us closer into fellowship with Him. There is therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

We are called to “Encourage one another and build each other up.” (1 Thes. 5:11) We are called to come alongside, not rise above others and badger them over the head like a whack-a-mole. A critical spirit rarely focuses on the needs of others. They’re too busy focusing on the faults of others. Instead of building one another up, they find superiority in tearing people down.

Which now leads me to ask, “Are you too critical on yourself?” If your answer is yes, why? Are you performance driven? Do you place unrealistic expectations on yourself? Let’s switch gears in our minds today. Let’s choose to be driven by the Holy Spirit rather than by our performance. Let’s choose to put our expectancy in Christ and not on ourselves because He will not disappoint. He gives us exceedingly and abundantly all that we could expect, think, or imagine!

“If we wait until we are sure we’ll do a thing purely and perfectly, we’ll never accomplish the will of God on earth.” — Elisabeth Elliot

So whether we’ve been hurt or are the one hurting others, the ultimate solution is the same. Jesus Christ! The only way to break this cycle is to renew your mind. Romans 12:2 tells us do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind, that you may prove what the will of God is.

So how do we renew our minds? First of all, we follow Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.” And also 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

God knew we would need a Helper to do this, so He gifted us with the Holy Spirit. The mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the Holy Spirit leads us to servanthood and humility. Not until you wash someone’s feet do you see the mud they’ve picked up and the cuts and bruises they’ve acquired along their journey. When you see them with spiritual eyes you have a better understanding of their raw areas that when touched (no matter how gently) create that defense mechanism where they immediately withdraw (so you won’t see their pain) and retaliate their own pain against you.

What would happen if we prayed for those who persecuted us? What would happen if instead of being overcome by evil, we overcame evil with good? What would happen if we begin to see through spiritual eyes to recognized and shut down the voice of the accuser and replaced a negative thought with a God thought?

When we know who we are in Christ, not only will we overcome a critical spirit, but we will set this world on fire with pure love that flows crimson red from the man who died on the cross and rose again. That kind of love is patient and kind, it is not jealous. His love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. That love never fails. 



1. Cunnington, Havilah. Leap Into Love: Living Present to My Purpose on the Planet. 2019. 32-35.

2. Hunt, June. Critical Spirit: Confronting the Heart of a Critic. Rose Publishing/Aspire Press, 2015.

Celebrating Lasts: The Promise of New Beginnings


This is the time of year when many of us get reminiscent, especially parents as the school year comes to an end.

I have two boys, a fifteen year old and a nine year old. The oldest just completed his freshman year of high school. I have only three more years until he graduates and begins a new chapter at college. In just 8 short months, he’ll start driving. That’s crazy! Wasn’t it just a few days ago, I was picking up a scrawny boy, smile full of braces, waiting for me in the middle school pick up line?

And my youngest just had his last day at the elementary school both my boys attended. He’ll start 4th grade in a brand new elementary school. It’s exciting, but at the same time, as I walked those halls for the last time bringing cupcakes and ice cream to his classroom, I was sad. It wasn’t that long ago, we were reading Pete the Cat books together. Now, he doesn’t want me to read to him any.

All these lasts got me thinking about other lasts that came and went without warning. When was the last time I rocked my babies to sleep or gave them a bath? When was the last time we played cars on the floor or watched Little Bear as they rested in my lap? Had I known it was the last time I would’ve slowed down a little and cherished the moment a bit more.

I realize there are a lot of lasts that slipped past me, but I also have a lot of lasts ahead. The last time I’ll drive them to school. Their last cross country meet or last baseball tournament. The last time I get to tuck them into bed.

Celebrating lasts helps us live in the now and gives us hope for the future. Without the lasts, we wouldn’t have the promise of new beginnings. 

What lasts are you celebrating in your current season of life? Whatever they may be, I encourage you to make the most of every opportunity because our time is limited. In a twinkling of an eye, our last may come. We would be wise to keep proper perspective on things and focus on the things that truly matter.

“Therefore, we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” — 2 Corinthians 5:16-18

Think about it this way. We will spend a lot more time in eternity than we will spend here in this world. Don’t you think we should make investments towards our eternity rather than hop aboard the same rat race everyone else is running? I want to teach my boys to labor for the kingdom of heaven because building their own kingdom here in this world is futile.

“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” –1 John 2:17

One day we will take our last breath. What will all our accomplishments, accolades, and awards do for us then? We can’t use our hard earned money to buy us a mansion in glory and we can’t bribe our way into heaven. It doesn’t work that way.

God says in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “Now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation.” The only way we can have our mansion in glory is to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. And follow Him. We must make it our ambition to be pleasing to Him. For we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Each one of us will be compensated for the lives we lived while inhabiting this decaying body. Be it good or bad we will reap what we have sown.

But this is our hope! For those of us who are in Christ, “He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us.” (1 Peter 1:3-4) And “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

Our hope is our anchor. It brings promise of new beginnings. Even if you feel like a failure or think you’ve ruined your life – THERE’S HOPE. Repent of your sins. Give Jesus all your mistakes and failures. He is quick to forgive and He is redeemer of all things lost and broken. He makes beauty from our ashes. In exchange all He’s after is your heart. Your whole heart.

“And He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” –2 Corinthians 5:15

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone and the new is here! Dear children, this is the last hour. The clock is ticking. Now more than ever we need to live for Him!

Because Christ in us IS the hope of glory!


If you’ve never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, would you make the most of this opportunity right now? Heaven forbid, it may be your last.

If you want to commit your life to Him today, a simple prayer is all it takes to start your journey pursuing Him. It doesn’t come through eloquent words, but from a heart bent towards Jesus. You don’t have to straighten up your life first either. He takes you just as you are and, as you behold Him, He will transform you into His likeness.

You can start with this prayer if you like:

Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Christ, Son of the Living God. I believe You died and rose again on the third day. I believe that one day You are coming again for Your Church. I repent of all my sins and ask You to forgive me. I ask You to come into my heart right now. Wash me and make me clean. I dedicate my life to You and from this moment on I will follow You wherever You may go.

In Jesus name, Amen.


If you prayed this prayer for the first time, congratulations! This is the BEST decision you will ever make. To celebrate, I would like to bless you with ‘Next Steps: A Guide for New Christians‘. Please submit your information below and I will email it to you asap. In the meantime, find a Bible and dig in! (I recommend starting with the Gospel of John.)


The Missing Ingredient – Taste and See that the Lord is Good

We want to transform the world for Christ – to witness people flooding our altars, saved, delivered, and set free. We attend church every week, sing-along with our favorite Christian music blasting in the car, and assure desperately hurting people that we will be praying as we give them a quick hug and walk away to our own lives. At the same time, we bicker with one another, find fault in trivial matters, and tear down what we are called to build up. Reality is, our Christian lingo has become cliché and we have been inoculated with the gospel just enough to become immune to what it truly means.

I just finished two semesters of Bible Study Fellowship’s (BSF) Romans Study and was once again taken to the heart of God. The gospel message is LOVE. One our most quoted scriptures, John 3:16, is all that is needed to completely transform the world. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Our salvation was conceived from love and our purpose is to grow up in this love. “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16)

This message has been preached to us over and over. It has been pounded into us, but has it transformed us? Paul understood this message and he became the epitome of the love of Jesus. What really drove this message home for me was what he said in Romans 9:2-3. Paul is speaking of Israel and the “great sorrow and unceasing grief in (his) heart” he expressed on their behalf. He took it to the limit when he said, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren.” What kind of love is this that one would give up heaven so another would experience heaven?!? This is the embodiment of the love of Christ.

As I pondered this I was cut to the core. It is one thing that the Son of God loved me so much He would leave paradise for me, but it is entirely a different thing that a naturally born human being would exemplify this same sacrificial trait. Then God showed me Moses had said something similarly. In Exodus 32:32 Moses says, “But now, if Thou will, forgive their sin – and if not, please blot me out from Thy book.”

We know this isn’t how forgiveness works, but if we could get this love – this authentic love of Christ – inside of us, the world would be transformed! It is more than preaching a good word. It is more than gifts of prophecy or hospitality. It is more than the best apologetics have to offer. Love accomplishes more than any of these! It is time for us to sacrifice our comfort and desires and truly love people. Not for what we can gain, but from a heart of giving.

Listen! “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-2) People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Paul’s “message (was) not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” (1 Corinthians 2:4)

Our culture has tainted love so much we don’t even know what it looks like. For starters…

  • Love doesn’t give up on a hopeless situation, but it gives until the last drop is gone.
  • Love bolsters others up the mountain even if it means it’s left behind.
  • Love sees past the leprosy and embraces the soul God destined for greatness.
  • Love basks in the glory of God, never seeking its own spotlight.
  • Love forgives those who nail it to the cross.

Why? Because love never fails. It rises from the ashes and breathes new life again. LOVE IS CHRIST.

May this be our deepest desire. To imitate Christ by taking love to the limit. Moses could not be a deliverer without the love of Christ. Paul could not be apostle without the love of Christ. You and I cannot be obedient (even unto death) without the love of Christ. We cannot bring transformation without the love of Christ.

Lord, I ask You to reveal to each of us what Your love looks like. May Your love empower us to lay down all selfishness and truly love as You love. And may the love we have for others wet Your people’s appetite so they can taste and see You are good. For it is the goodness of God that leads men unto salvation.

May we never neglect so great a salvation.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Naked Beauty


Imagine for a second you are naked. Completely exposed, Nothing hidden.

How would you react if you were seen like this by a stranger? I’m sure most of us would try to cover ourselves or hide. We may feel shame or embarrassment, awkward or uncomfortable.

On the other hand, how would you respond if you were seen like this by your spouse, someone who knows you intimately? Hopefully, the exact opposite. There’s no shame, awkwardness, or fear of rejection. Rather than hiding, there’s an inviting. This is the beauty of intimacy. 

Now imagine it’s Jesus you are standing before naked. Every deed you’ve ever committed, good and bad, laid bare for inspection. How do you respond? Are you hiding or inviting?

Your answer reveals a lot about your relationship with Him. If you’re hiding, take comfort in this: nothing is hidden from His sight. He sees everything about you, even the dark places, yet still He calls you altogether lovely. The sin isn’t lovely, but who He created you to be is absolutely… breathtakingly… lovely.

And He invites you to draw near to Him.

How do you respond? When we receive His invitation and, in turn, invite Him to come closer with nothing hidden between us, He brings light into all our dark places. This is repentance. And in our vulnerability, Jesus smooths out all our rough places, perfects all our weaknesses, and purifies all our blemishes.

This is your true beauty.

I absolutely love that He sees all of me and loves me anyway. But it’s more than that. The exposing is sanctifying. The revealing is making me holy just as He is holy. The inviting is creating intimacy between me and my Lord.

Nothing is hidden from Your sight.

Wherever I go You find me.

You know every detail of my life.

You are God and You don’t miss a thing.

You know me…

…You’ve memorized me.

Hebrews 4:13

Empowering Word for the Weary…


If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll try to make you
busy, tired, and/or distracted.

It seems many followers and dedicated lovers of Jesus are just plain old worn-out. Has this been you in this past season? I, for one, can totally relate. Especially as school is coming to a close and life has become super busy.

As I was praying for people battling this weariness, God revealed to me three different pictures. In the first picture, one was stuck in quicksand. The more they struggled, the more they sank. In the second picture, one had been traveling and came up against a large brick wall in their path preventing them from going forward. In the third picture, I saw a marathon runner. They’d been running a very long time and had become thirsty and weary.

You see, the enemy’s tactics are to sink you, stall you, and prevent you from crossing that finish line. But the hope of glory is this: If the enemy is trying so hard to wear you down, then there must be something incredibly amazing for you just around the corner! Also know this: Your making is in the wilderness!

It’s in this season where you are going to realize the supernatural strength of God as you rely upon Him. God is inviting you to a place of rest in Him. REST IS YOUR WORSHIP! As you cease struggling and start abiding in His presence through your worship, you will encounter a fresh anointing from Abba, your heavenly Father. It’s in the ENCOUNTER with God where you will be EMPOWERED to overcome all obstacles. It’s in your worship where you’ll be pulled out from the quicksand. It’s in your worship where hindering walls will crumble. It’s in your worship where you’ll get your second wind to keep pressing on.

What looks and feels like a trap the enemy has confined you in, is really a cocoon God will use to transform you in! And as you break free, you will begin to fly into all the possibilities God has in store for you!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” –Galatians 6:9