Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Unpacking Confidence

Posted on: March 22nd, 2013 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

Girl sitting on suitcaseI’m so excited and extremely hopeful, I think I’m going to burst! My 6th grade girls basketball team is readying themselves for their Big Dance this weekend in Wausau, WI – the Wisconsin State Invitational Tournament. We are putting final touches on our offensive plays, making their motion offense seamless, their defense unstoppable, and packing up our sneakers, shiny uniforms and…well…hopefully, our Confidence…

That’s where as a coach I’ve seen my players struggle the most over the years: their Confidence level.

Late this season, at one of our weekend tourneys, one of my post players, Special K, was beaten twice down the court against a local team. Her shot was deflected on offense and a guard dribbled past her for two points on defense. The next trip up the court, she drove hard to the hoop, only to stumble and fall on her left knee, and as she was sweeping the ball away from her defender, another stepped up behind her and ripped the ball away from above her head while she was still down. That was her breaking point.

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Let Us Fall More in Love with Him!

Posted on: February 19th, 2013 by Nicole Wood No Comments

heart candles

Let us fall more in love with Him! February the month of love right?  Or wrong?  For most, Valentine’s Day is either a romantic candy coated love fest, or as my good friend likes to call it, “SAD: short for Singles Awareness Day!”

No matter where you fit in this year, happily married, engaged, dating, divorced, or 100% single.  I have even more important questions to ask you?  How in love are you with the one who created you and stretched His arms wide to the pay the ultimate price for you?  Do you know Him?  Do you love Him?  And most importantly do you know how much He loves you?

This Sunday at church my good friend and worship leader Janaque told us that her little girl asked her, “Mommy how much do you love me?”  She replied, “I love you this much!”  With her arms spread open wide from side to side.

Her sweet little girl said watch this mommy as she proceeded to run through the house circling though all the rooms.  Once she made her way back to her mom she said, “I love you that much mommy!”

Such a precious picture of the love and bond that is shared between parent and child.  Can you imagine how much our Heavenly Father loves us, his children?  Truly ponder the fact that God sent His one and only son to save us because of how great His love for us truly is.  He loves us more than we can even fathom.

After Janaque shared her heart we began to sing one of my favorite songs, and I think you will enjoy it as well.  It is called, All Consuming Fire by Jesus Culture.  As we began singing this beautiful song and worshiping God goose bumps covered my skin.

The lyrics:

All-consuming fire, You’re our heart’s desire

Living flame of love, come baptize us

Let us fall more in love with you

We wanna know how high how deep how wide is

Love Love Love

How high is your love

How wide is your love

How deep is your love for us

How deep is your love

I have a challenge for you, from this point moving forward can your heart’s desire be to fall more in love with the author of love itself?  Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you don’t love God or that I love Him more.  I am just reminding or asking you to focus on His great love for you.

To know God is to know love, and to know His love feels like an all consuming fire.  As the lyrics say we want to know how high, how deep, and wide is His love for us?

We already know the answer and it rests in the finished work of the cross.

God let us fall more in love with you! 

I Love Me.

Posted on: February 14th, 2013 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

Romantic bride with a wedding bouquet

I love me when I’m ugly, I love me when I’m sad.

I love me when  the sun goes down and I’m  very, very mad.

When people break me down, and say I’m not enough.

Even when I save too much, and fall amongst my stuff.

When lights are low and the sun is high.

I’ll never forget to love me right.

To forgive myself and receive God’s grace.

If He can love me, there’s no disgrace.

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Recipe to Keep Your Heart in Check

Posted on: November 27th, 2012 by Sara VanWychen No Comments

Oh, the desires of one’s heart. We all have them. But when our desires become our main focus, and we live our lives solely based on them, it can be dangerous, especially when they are of this world.

In the past I’ve made decisions based on MY desires – my wants, my needs.

A good friend once told me a couple of years ago, “All I hear you say is…me, me, ME!!”

I’ve been known to be quite selfish and a little obsessive.  My marriage was in jeopardy and with two small children, I became focused on getting out and showing the world how independent I could be.

Thankfully, God had a different plan for my family.  He fired up the Holy Spirit in my heart, and now I have a really hard time living this life for myself.  Truth is, it isn’t all about me anymore and I am so thankful for that.  Life is so much simpler letting God take care of it all.  When I do revert back and lose my focus, God’s got that covered too!  God is at the center of my family’s lives and we are constantly seeking out His guidance and way for us. (more…)

NO MA’AM!

Posted on: November 20th, 2012 by Nicole Wood No Comments

I do not know about you but from time to time it is as if the word NO has been completely erased from my vocabulary!  Zip, Zilch, Gone!  Then replaced with, “Yes. I can do that,” or “Sure. No problem,” or the ever reliable, “No worries. I’ll just fit it into my schedule!”

Why is it so hard for some of us to say no and for others so easy?  For one thing, I have learned the hard way that good is the rival of best.  In other words there are so many good things we can do with our time but those good things can often distract us from spending our time on the best.

As women I think most of us can agree that we have schedules that are so jammed packed we hardly have the time for one more thing.  Let alone the unexpected that God might send our way. There are many good things we can say yes to, but we have to learn to start saying yes to the best and starting saying the word NO more often.

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We Won’t Give Up by The Afters

Posted on: November 14th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

I was defeated until I leaned forward in the blocks and my cross hit my chin and reminded me I have the most powerful spirit in the world at work in me, and so I never gave up.  I ran and claimed my second national championship that day.  Never, ever, ever give up.

Why Some Dreams Succeed and Others Fail

Posted on: November 13th, 2012 by Alaina Pompa No Comments

I am a dreamer and visionary. I love making plans. I love schedules. Organizing makes my heart beat faster, in a good way. Let me rephrase that. I should say – I love reading, organizing catalogs, being in organized environments and shopping at IKEA.

While I have a great schedule plan and cool calendar app I often have a hard time sticking to either.  Sitting on my shelf is an extra large 3-ring binder that contains a subject-by-subject outline for homeschooling my children. I spent three months one summer putting it together and I look at it every day when I rush out the door to pick them up from public school.

In spite of these quirks I have managed to get a few things right.

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Success: Don’t give up

Posted on: November 12th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

You will only succeed if you get up more times than you fall down. – Alaina Pompa

3 Ways to Guarantee You Vote Correctly

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

God and Politics.  My two favorite topics – that I’m never afraid to bring up in public when I meet someone new.  These are great ice-breakers!  Don’t you think?  I get so excited every time God or politics comes up in conversation.  I’m like one of those wide eyed children in a candy store every time I open my Bible or when the mid-term and presidential elections come due.  I love to hear what other people think about our country, God, and life.

There is less than twenty four hours before the 2012 Presidential Election.  Every time the season comes around, I spend more time reading about our American history.  Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Lincoln, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI and WWII.  I believe it is just amazing how far our country has come in the last five hundred years since the landing of the first European explorers, and how our Founding Fathers were able to establish a new country.  Amazing.

It’s hard enough starting a new business, a new program, or new family.  Can you imagine having the vision to pull together all peoples from one side of the ocean to the other and unify them?  It didn’t come without blood shed, sleepless nights, or tears.  I am not glorifying war or death at all; only the mere fact we have made it this far.  Our country has a very rich history and the fact that we stand here today as free Americans, able to work to provide for our families, attend the school of our choice, worship God without fear of imprisonment,  and vote to elect those we desire to represent us in government shows God is still blessing this country.

So in 2008, when I spent time preparing to make an informed decision as to whom I would vote for, I was stunned to find there are American citizens who could vote, but don’t vote.  Really?  People choose not to vote?

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5 Reliable Resources for Fact Finding

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

November 2008.  I was heavily researching McCain and Obama’s views on life and government, so I could make a well educated decision when voting.  What were their beliefs?  What did they stand for?  There were so many debates, so many arguments, so many false stories.  I was tired of all the negativity.  All I wanted was the facts.  What was the truth?  I wanted to find out.

I started doing research myself.  I hated relying solely on the media which tends to be biased.  FOX News must counter balance MSNBC.  ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and affiliates of each tend to steer their headlines to appease their viewers.   I couldn’t judge these organizations.  They were taught that if you want to be successful in your market, you have to know who your audience is, and feed them what they want.  It’s how they believe they must survive financially.  But that’s an unfortunate view, because for folks like you and me, we just want the truth.

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