FOR AN AMAZING 2021! IT WAS QUITE A YEAR, BUT I PRAISE THE LORD FOR THE GROWTH, CONNECTION, COMMUNITY, AND BRIGHT LIGHT OF THIS GROUP OF INCREDIBLE WOMEN!
AS WE LEAD INTO A NEW YEAR, I’D LIKE TO SHARE MY PERSONAL VISION FOR HOLY BARRE 2022 AND HOW I PRAY THE LORD MOVES IN US AND THROUGH US. THE SPIRIT IS CALLING HOLY BARRE TO SHIFT OUR FOCUS AND SETTLE INTO HIS FREEDOM. SO LET’S HAVE . . .
WHICH WILL MEAN . . .
AND THE RESULT, I BELIEVE, WILL BE . . .
OUR FOUNDATION MUST REMAIN IN GOD’S WORD, AND THESE SCRIPTURES WILL SPEAK LIFE INTO THIS NEW YEAR! I ALSO LOOK FORWARD TO HOW GOD WILL USE THESE TRUTHS TO REVEAL HIS POWER AND PASSION FOR US ALL OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS . . .
EVEN MORE, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CONSIDER YOURSELF A MEMBER OF HOLY BARRE, HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT IN THE COMING YEAR! DETAILS TO COME . . .
AND I INVITE YOU TO BE A PART! WE ARE FORMALIZING VOLUNTEER ROLES, AND I WOULD LOVE FOR YOUR GOD-GIVEN CONTRIBUTION IN ANY OF THESE AREAS . . .
LASTLY, YA’LL KNOW I LOVE JESS CONNELLY, AND THE SPIRIT USED THESE STATEMENTS RECENTLY TO LIGHT A FIRE IN MY SOUL, BURNING EVEN BRIGHTER!
SO ARE YOU READY FOR MORE?! JOIN ME IN 2022 AS WE BURN EVEN BRIGHTER!
This week we complete our four-part series covering Isaiah 9:6 and celebrate our Prince of Peace!
So let’s break this down . . . Jesus is a Prince (just as much as He is a King) because He is God’s Son. And He, only He, brings true peace! There is no plan, law, process, body, relationship, home, job, bank account, trip, what am I missing?! . . . that brings true peace. Because Jesus’ peace is one beyond understanding. It’s one of love, joy, and peace which bears patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Just like 1 Cor 1:3 from last week states, ‘grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus.’ It’s a peace that stirs us to exhale strife and inhale Spirit. Just stand (or lay or sit) and breath. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. We worship. A Wonderful Counselor. A Mighty God. An Everlasting Father. A Prince of Peace. Because for to US a child is born, to US a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. To US. To YOU. To ME. To US. Inhale. Exhale. Prince of PEACE . . .
As you breath, with your eyes closed, picture the scene from Luke 2, beginning with. Verse 13 – ‘Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth PEACE to those whom His favor rests.’
Scripture: 1 Cor 1:3, Phil 4:7, Gal 5:22-23
Here’s the full workout to finish out our four-part series . . .
Regardless of the variety of relationships with earthly fathers in this audience, our Lord Jesus is our Everlasting Father. Whether you’ve experienced pain and trauma in regards to your father or has been the given the gift of being a ‘daddy’s girl’ here on earth, I pray you have an intimate relationship with your Everlasting Father.
Last week we prayed Ephesians 3:14-15, which reads, ‘For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.’ Colossians 3:17 reminds us we bear the name Lord Jesus and reflect God the Father. Jesus also clearly states He is the way and the truth and the life, the only connection to the Father. Yet as His children, He does not desire works and performance but is our Everlasting Father to provide ‘grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ’. (1 Cor 1:3)
We’ve all had seasons when we’ve hugged someone not wanting to let go. This same picture and feeling comes to mind as we let our hearts and minds imagine an Everlasting Father. One Who loves unconditionally. One Who keeps no records of wrongs. One willing to lay His life down for you.
Everlasting means forever, beginning and end, eternal, with no limits of time. He was and is and is to come! And not only that, but He’s our Daddy! Our Abba, Father! And in the purest form of a father, He’s ready and willing to guide you, protect you, show you how to guard your heart, empower you with truth to overcome, teach you what’s right and good, and spiritually hug you when you just need someone to listen. Just read through Romans 8 . . .
Some theologians refer to this title as the Mighty Warrior. I love that imagery, directly following Wonderful Counselor. Our Lord Jesus cares deeply about us just as much as He fights mightily for us! He is our Rescuer and our Redeemer. He’s strong and powerful and victorious over death! Don’t let His humble birth and childhood skew His heavenly reign. The song Marching On by Rend Collective is a favorite in Holy Barre. ‘The battle belongs to the Lord and no one else. We’ll sign hallelujah for all hell to hear. Shout out Hosanna above every fear. Strongholds will crumble like castles of sand. We are marching on. We’re marching on!’
It’s important to note that while we visually see a Mighty Warrior God and even grasp some tangible nature to His power, our Lord looks at the heart. So when we talk about strength and might and power, we’re not referring to bulging biceps and chiseled abs. Nor is this workout’s goal to help you develop your own physique. ‘For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.’ (I Tim 4:8)
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians beautifully and boldly states the power and might of our God through Christ! Read through this powerful passage, absorbing the truth in your own soul while also using it as a weapon to fight for others! Friends, we serve and love and worship as Mighty Mighty God! He’s drawing near as our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace and any other form of power you need!
Scripture: I Samual 16:7, I Timothy 4:8, Ephesians 3:14-21
Here’s a worship-filled workout celebrating and honoring our Mighty God!
During our four-session series this Christmas season, we’re focusing on Isaiah 9:6. And we kick things off with celebrating Jesus as our Wonderful Counselor! Before jumping in, here’s a scripture flow to this true and powerful verse:
He will be called Wonderful Counselor – Dec 2-8
Imagine sitting down with your Counselor, one who knows you better than you know yourself and provides more comfort and peace than you’ve experienced. You’re casually resting on a nice couch. Soothing music is playing. And maybe incense or a candle adds to the calming session. Your Counselor asks, ‘how are you?’. He asks about your day, your week, your family, your work, your struggles, your victories, all of it. He then asks, ‘How did that make you feel?’ And you take a deep breath, asking yourself the same question. As you start to attach an emotion to whatever is on your mind, your Counselor just nods with a smile. ‘I know. I’m sorry. I’m here. I want to help. Let’s talk more.’
The story of Jesus connecting with the Samaritan woman at the well is such a beautiful example of His being our Wonderful Counselor. Despite her sins, society’s stigmas, and culture’s traditions, He guided, counseled, spoke truth, and changed her life in such a way she had to share her experience with others!
Thankfully our generation appreciates the value in counseling. Yet our God gave a Wonderful Counselor through Jesus as well as the ultimate Helper through the Holy Spirit. So get cozy and comfortable. And start talking and praying and sharing. He can handle ALL THE FEELINGS. I promise. He desires to connect with you so deeply and relate to you so intimately that He came to earth!
Scripture: Psalms 73:24, Psalms 119:35, Job 12:13, John 4:4-42
This week we celebrated the amazing milestone of YouVersion (the Bible app) reaching 500,000,000 installs! Rather than attempting to articulate the impact of this history-making, world-changing event, I encourage you to watch (or listen via podcast) to this message from Life Church. And also keep in mind that the Word is alive and active, so this milestone is just the beginning of the spread of Jesus and His love to the ends of the earth!
In addition, this past week’s focus in our Armor of God study was the helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit. I love how God doubled our emphasis on His Word by aligning our study with what He’s doing through YouVersion, and I encourage you to take time this week to join us for our 50-minute full-body workout! Just grab your light weights (and ball if you have one for the end).
As we celebrate His Word and its power, I want to remind us all, myself included, that it’s most alive in us when we not only read it but also meditate on it, pray along with its truth, and live it out each day. Maybe that’s why Paul closes the Armor of God description with a call to pray. Or why scripture states to pray without ceasing and to meditate on His word day and night. Join us for our upcoming YouVersion reading plan, When Women Pray, that begins Monday, November 15. While the Bible is alive, let’s make it alive in our hearts, bodies, and lives as well!
‘To meditate on His word’ just means to contemplate, process, ask, listen, pause, breath, etc. It doesn’t have to be fancy or formal. But rather than just reading His word to absorb the knowledge, as if studying for a class at school or a business meeting, let’s dive deeper. For you it may be praying as you read or reading more slowly or picking one word or phrase on which to focus or just pausing and listening or singing along. The Spirit is alive and active as well and longing to connect with you through His Word. Hence maybe why the Bible is called the Sword of the Spirit.
As you read, meditate, and pray, I invite you to move as well. Whether it’s moving your heart and lungs with deep, deep breathing or it’s moving your body through stretching or even a workout. Engaging your body ignites your mind and heart, resulting in a fiery movement deeper than just calories burned.
My son correlates the Thanksgiving holiday with giving away his toys. Part of me giggles each time he says it, but I also appreciate the relationship he’s learned about thankfulness and giving. I’m sure his association is tied to the memory of my having both children donate lots of toys and such over a Thanksgiving break. While my main motive was to clear out space for the abundance of items they’d be receiving from family for Christmas, I did pray their seeing the excess of toys in our home and learning how many kids only have a few would initiate a child-level sense of gratitude. We also talk about how so much of this stuff doesn’t really matter or have value that lasts. Regardless, every Thanksgiving I now provide empty boxes and trash bags and ask my children to separate, sort, and release tons of toys. And it’s a time of thanks and giving.
In a recent Revelation Wellness podcast, Alisa Keeton challenged listeners to do the same thing. Yet instead of tangible stuff, she challenged us to take empty boxes and trash bags into our hearts and minds. Separate, sort, and release the items that fill our thought closets and feeling drawers and ultimately don’t have lasting value . . .
As we kick off a new month, which happens to contain Thanksgiving, let’s do some giving away (or even throwing away or maybe straight up burning at the altar) of worthless stuff that’s just taking up space. I’m not sure what junk that might be for you, but examples might be anxiety about holidays, feelings of not being enough, shame from past choices, worries about health issues, addictions to sugar or social media, obsessions with to-do lists, struggles in relationships, debates about masks or vaccines, desires to physically look a certain way . . . or maybe there’s too much ‘good’ stuff that it’s preventing any ‘great’ stuff from taking up space.
Let’s keep the Main thing the main thing. Let’s clean out our hearts, souls, bodies, and minds and fill them with everlasting truth of Who He is, Who we are, and Who He’s called us to be! As this month goes on, a simple soul check question is to ask yourself if what you’re currently thinking about will matter in 1,000 years. If the answer is ‘no’, take a deep breath, grab the trash bag, and throw the thought in! If the answer is yes, then keeping marching on and ask for His Spirit to help!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
When we breath out junk and breath in Jesus, we’re living equipped, empowered, engaged in the Armor of God. We are marching on as holy and victorious soldiers and moving forward in the powerful rhythms of His grace. We are armed and dangerous.
We are armed and dangerous in He alone. Ultimately, we stand firm in Jesus and are equipped by His Spirit. This month we are studying the Armor of God. I invite you to check out this page and follow along on Instagram.
Don’t believe the lies, which lead to shame, that you need a new plan or a new diet or a new exercise calendar or a new method to bring control or comfort into your life. Believe the truth that you just need Jesus and His Spirit today. Invite Him into your thought closets and feeling drawers.
For November, we get to thank God and give love! In response, let’s keep marching on, removing anything that hinders us, and keeping our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls free and firm in Christ alone.
So how does a post entitled ‘Cars’ fit into the mission and mindset of Holy Barre?
Let me explain . . . 🙂
Last week in our fall Wellness Revelation Group, one member mentioned how she met a professional athlete who said, ‘My body is like a Ferrari. I’m going to treat it that way.’ We all chuckled at his analogy and arrogance but then started discussing the truth in his statement.
What if we viewed our bodies as fancy sports cars? Or whatever ‘dream vehicle’ you love?
In the Wellness Revelation, we talk about how food is fuel. Literally the fuel that allows us to love and live healthy, whole, and holy lives. Our culture and generational struggles have screwed up that view. But our Good God designed food to be delicious, high quality fuel for our bodies while He is the Living Water and Bread of Life for our souls.
If we viewed our bodies as a Ferrari, we’d probably have a heightened awareness as to proper maintenance. We’d regularly consult the manual. And ultimately we’d put our value in the Maker and our unique model. I bet you’d enjoy driving your Ferrari, taking it for a spin but also letting it rest.
While my original response to this analogy was one of ‘wow, that’s bold’, I realized the Lord views us as beautiful creations and masterpieces. Not much different than the Ferrari’s place in the car world.
So what’s your ideal car? Try to find a gif of it and send to a friend to hold you accountable. Mine is a Ford Mustang with all the flare! 🙂
Fast forward a couple days from that conversation, and I’m home with my son watching the movie Cars. And there’s a statement Sally makes to Lightning McQueen when they are out for a drive. She’s referring to the impact I-40 made to Route 66. As a born and raised Oklahoman, I’m very familiar with both highways as they run right through our great state. But what Sally said about the shift in culture stuck with me. I’m unsure of the exact quote, but the gist was people started caring more about making good time on I-40 rather than having a good time on Route 66.
So I challenge us all with two things:
Apply these ideas to our daily lives, our view of meals, and to our approach to exercise. Beyond that, let’s apply it to time with our family and friends, our work interactions, or to-do lists. I love the pic above with my son as he’s growing fast and such memories are precious. But I noticed later that there’s a pile of clean towels on the counter in the background. Because I chose to have a good time rather than make good time that afternoon. I’m sad to say I too often lean toward the later, but I’m trying to enjoy the ride, trusting my Maker, following the manual, and taking care of my ‘Ford Mustang’.
As with every Holy Barre session, I hope your muscles burn, but I more deeply pray the Lord ignites a fire in your soul! As we burn bright, let’s do so in our God-given strength, power, and beauty, with a fierce passion for unity and freedom! Let’s love bigger and pray bolder. Let’s be intentional with our rest as well as our work as we move about our days graceful and grace-filled!
Like in Alicia Keys song, be a girl on fire. Stand firmly on holy ground and keep your head in the heavenly clouds! Burn bright, Friends!
Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times. Romans 12:12 TPT
My heart is on fire, boiling over with passion. Bubbling up within me are these beautiful lyrics as a lovely poem to be sung for the King. Like a river bursting its banks, I’m overflowing with words, spilling out into this sacred story. Psalms 45:1 TPT
I’m writing to encourage you to fan into a flame and rekindle the fire of the spiritual gift God imparted to you when I laid my hands upon you. For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control. 2 Tim 1:6-7 TPT
This week, our focus in Holy Barre is unity. During our one hour together on Thursday mornings, I’m often overwhelmed as I see a diverse group of women moving their bodies in unison as we work out together and worship our Lord. Within Holy Barre, I also know we have a variety of beliefs on all the ‘hot topics’ of this season. And frankly, I love that. And I love that we chose to look past our differences when necessary as well as celebrate our differences to bring Him glory!
Because at the end of the day, we’re better together. We need relationships that encourage, support, AND challenge us. Unity requires such humility and selflessness that it’s a daily choice to pursue His love rather than our love of being right.
I pray the unity we experience through Holy Barre burns bright and spreads into the community around us.