In the Palm of God’s Hand

Written by: Anita Carman

 

I don’t know why God allows us to lose our safe friends? It takes so long to find a friend we can trust so why would God remove our emotional support? But through my losses I also learn who God wants me to lean on. He is my forever friend that will never leave me or abandon me. His Holy Spirit lives inside me and no matter where life takes me God’s Spirit goes with me. God holds me securely in the palm of His hands. Because He is with me, I am never shaken. What about you?

Living from Faith to Faith

Written by: Anita Carman

When I look back over the years and think about how I ended up founding and leading Inspire Women, the answer I arrive at is: “From faith to faith” I served as a substitute teacher in a Sunday School class for seven years. The main teacher, Beth Moore, used to say to me, “Anita, if it’s not me it’s you.” I was determined to be the best substitute teacher Beth ever had. But one day Beth told me she felt God was calling me outside of her ministry. With her blessing and encouragement I followed where God led. I was scared to death to leave the comfort of my mentor’s wing but I trusted her and stepped out in faith by leaving her class. With the counsel of one of the pastors at my home church I followed God to seminary, my next step of faith.
Reflecting back, I see how God moved me along in his plans. I lived my life through the open doors he provided and tried to obey what he spoke to me as we moved together. By living this way God continued to confirm his direction and reinforce my belief in his masterfully crafted plans. When God makes plans for us he reveals them to us in stages. I am so glad that he did just that in my life, because seeing the whole picture might have scared me! Before you demand the blueprint for your life, ask God for the next open door and live his plans for you from faith to faith.

Transparency from the Heart of Anita Carman

I was thinking…each of us struggle with something we need. But God chooses the crosses we will carry. Why does He ask for the sacrifice in the area of our greatest need? Does He call us to walk where it’s hardest for us and requires a surrendering of what we think we need? And then to cope, we distract ourselves with external things in order to forget the pain for a little while. We use distraction to block out the sufferings from the cross we carry. But the pain is always there and it surfaces it’s ugly head. And life comes to a head once again. So we go through this pattern feeling like we have wasted one more day of our precious life without making any progress. Till one day we decide to stop repeating the pain. We decide we don’t need it anymore (whatever that need is, be it a relationship or a thing) and we let our feelings catch up with our decision. We make changes to act like we don’t need it anymore. And just when we truly don’t need it the very need we have wanted to meet will be given to us on a silver platter. And we find ourselves either accepting the gift or we say thank you gracefully but it’s too late.

What would Jesus do? He would get his heart filled with God. He would not be angry or resentful. He would keep an open heart to those who do not love him today but who could love him some day in the future. But he would not keep begging for a crumb. He would stop knocking on the door of a hardened heart but give it time to soften. These were my thoughts as I was pondering relationships and how so many suffer from wanting someone to love them in ways that person is either unwilling or incapable. There is a big world out there. We need to stop living in such a small world.

Praying for Assessment

Written by: Anita Carman

Usually when people start assessing each other it has a tendency to go one of two ways: the person was unfair in their assessment or they might have given too much credit. But when Jesus assess us, he is never wrong. He is a perfect discerner of who we are on the inside, no matter how we appear on the outside.
Now, imagine you are face to face with Jesus, what would his assessment be? For myself, I fear God would say, “Great heart, great commitment, but needs to rely on me more for her emotional support.” I know I need a lot of growth before my review can sound better, but I pray that one day I will be at that place where God can say, “Great heart. Great commitment. Great emotional fortitude.” What assessment do you need to start praying for today?

Question of the Month

What tools do you use to engage in deeper faith and identity in Christ?

Anita Carman: In addition to having a confidence in their genealogy, some people view themselves as “belonging to God” through their religious activities. But when God looks at our outward appearances or the activities of our lives, he is not impressed when our heart is disconnected from Him! I used to be in awe of those whose parents had religious credentials. I saw them as being spiritually superior to me. But godliness is not transferred by birth, it is an individual choice. I can’t borrow my parent’s spiritual life. Are you living off a pastor’s or a parent’s relationship with God? Are you going through a checklist of religious activities? When was the last time you and God shared a one on one heart to heart conversation?

Journey with God’s Word

Written by: Anita Carman

In my life as I encounter new opportunities I find there is never a shortage of people who want to weigh in on my decisions. As I ponder how to deal with certain opportunities I am forced to ask myself, “What voice should I follow?”
The Bible tells us Jesus is described as the “Word”. More than that, He was the “Word” who was with God at the beginning. The more I ponder Jesus being the “Word”, I am able to realize every word out of Jesus’s mouth is connected to God the Father. Therefore, I can trust it for direction as I make decisions. I can also trust that if Jesus’s voice was present at the beginning of time as we know it, I can ask him to be the voice at the beginning of all my journeys. When you make decisions, what voice do you follow? Are you choosing to take advice from people who are solely speaking out of their own wisdom? Perhaps there is a divine friendship in your midst or Scriptures God is impressing on your heart. Choose to use the sources God has given you to have his “Word” guide you as you journey forward!

Freedom in Obedience

Written by: Anita Carman

Someone asked me this question and I am still pondering it. What would you do if you were truly free? A question like this helps me to identify what I have allowed to become my limitations. Is it a resource? Is it staff? Is it needing someone to support what I am doing? But why would I allow my freedom to be controlled by someone or something else? Am I not truly free when I am doing what God asked me to do? No matter what might change around me my freedom is in my choice to obey God. And as long as I am living in obedience, I am pleasing to Him. In fact, obeying Him in the midst of changes or limited resources is my way to honor God. He is worthy of my obedience in both good times and bad times. What would you do if you were truly free?

Secured in Jesus

Written by: Anita Carman

When I was a child, I relied heavily on the promises of my mother. I believed her more than anyone else on earth. She represented God to me. She made promises to always be there for me and I took it as the truth. No matter how challenging life was, I held on to my mother’s promises as my security. One day when I woke up to find my mother had taken her own life, I was devastated and in shock. I felt betrayed and upset that she had lied to me. She had given me false security. As I continued to grow up I found that, like my mother, other people lied to me by breaking promises they made. The absence of true security in someone left deep scars in my spirit and a longing for something permanent.
I continued to search for something to fill the void. Until one day I realized the Bible tells us Jesus fills the voids of insecurity. Anytime I feel myself falling into the pits of insecurity, I remember that Jesus is true security I can cling to.

Align Your Heart with God’s to Bring Him Glory

Written by: Anita Carman

As we serve together, I always try to remind my staff that more than anything God wants our heart. As we produce events, especially the ones that target large audiences, we often feel the pressure to recruit attendees. After all the hours, time and effort we expend prepping the event, we long for an event full of people. However, event attendance is an aspect of our planning that can be influenced but not controlled. One year, a national tragedy had occurred just as invitations for a large conference went in the mail. It was no coincidence that the response to the mailing was poor. We recognized that people were in shock and needed reassurance. So we gave out guest passes to the women we serve and ultimately decided to waive the conference fee. We knew more than anything we needed to trust in God’s provision. God, in turn, packed the conference.

Today as you serve, how are you serving? Are you forcing results you cannot control? Instead of forcing a certain outcome, align your heart with God’s for results that will bring him the most glory!

God as Your Safety Net

Written by: Anita Carman

I once worked for a boss who didn’t care about me as a person. All he cared about was whether I made the goal. If I did, I had his approval. If I missed it, I felt his wrath. I felt I could never soar because I was too afraid to fail. I was on a performance treadmill that kept me nailed to the ground and unable to reach new heights. Then I served under a boss who encouraged me to excel while providing a safety net in case I fell short of the goal. I found freedom in trying new ideas and reaching new goals. As you function in the purpose God has given you, he is the kind of boss who provides a safety net of grace and truth allowing us to reach new heights! Have you taken advantage of working with God as your safety net? As a daughter of the King embrace the challenge to conquer the world with your Heavenly Father’s commitment to cover our imperfections with his grace!