the greatest love of all

Today in NYC I am reminded of the greatest love of all. His love…

Who else grew up LOVING Valentine’s day! I loved bringing in little cards and candies to school and exchanging them with my friends. I loved coming home to seeing my dad bring flowers to us, and see my little brother write cards for my mom. I loved celebrating LOVE! Because it is so good and so awesome and so worthy of being celebrated!

To read my post from last Valentine’s click here!

I love seeing the color of red everywhere, but this month the color red means something different to me than it did in my childhood. This month the color red has been popping everywhere I look. It’s almost like the father is pointing me back to this color for a reason of remeberance of this month dedicated to love. And then I am reminded of the greatest love of all. His love.

Red.

I am reminded of the color of my saviors blood that was shed out of pure and undeserving love for each. one. of. us.

I am reminded of the blood that washed us to be made clean and pure in the eyes of our father.

I am reminded of the blood that was shed for all of humankind. For every race. For every tribe. For every tongue.

I am reminded of the innocent blood that was shed for sinners like us.

I am reminded of the blood that was shed to make a way for us to enter into eternity with God.

I am reminded of the blood that was shed as the only way to the father, and the grace that he displayed for the world by the sacrafice of his one and only son.

I am reminded of the greatest example of love the world has ever seen.

His love does not pick and choose, it isn’t selfish, it’s perfect and it casts out all fear.

There is no fear in his love, the more we know him on deeper and inimate levels the less we fear because of how great he is, and how much we grow in relationship to trust him at all times, through every season of life.

As we celebrate love today I smile because of the love the father has shown me, his love that makes me whole, that sets me free, that washes away all fears, that instills confidence into me knowing that someone laid down their life, just to know me. Wow, I don’t know about you but that is powerful, that kind of love shouldn’t be overlooked or taken lightly.

His love is so great, he is love himself. I was thinking about our father and his love, and wanting to become more like my father is to become more like his love. Don’t you want to exude love in all areas so when someone looks at you, they know whose daugher you are, whose son you are based purely on the love we become in his image! The love that he himself gives us that grows each day, even when we don’t “feel” it. His love doesn’t end, it isn’t selective and he loves at all times. Today I challenge you to become more like our father, to become his love each and everyday. Even when it is really hard, and when we don’t feel love, let us become love, and show love to everyone!

Become the love. Become his love.

I am changed by his love, set free by his love, captivated in the greatness of his love. If you want this too, then I encourage you to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, the greatest lover of our souls, the one who died just to know you! Because he sees past every mistake, there is no condemnation, he isn’t judging you, he is waiting with his arms open wide for you. He chooses to love us back to wholeness regardless of what we have done wrong.

When he looks at you, he loves you, and all he wants is you! He will never leave you or disappoint you, he will have a plan even when life gets tough, he will hold you close through every trial and storm, he will be the only one that will give you peace and love that will cast all fears of this life away. You can say that prayer today and have him live inside of your heart everyday, changing you into his image as we walk closer and live life with Jesus! It starts by believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth that Jesus is the son of God, he died and rose again, that he is the only way to heaven and he is our salvation!

You are ALL LOVED SO MUCH!

Happy Valentines day!

Love Devon ❤

“We love because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:19

“If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

1 John 4:12

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

-Jeremiah 31:3

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What compels you to be alive? 

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Does anyone else feel like 2018 is moving really quickly?

This year has movement on it, you can feel God breathing a new wind through it.

There is something new that he is doing. I continue to feel the Lord say it is time to step out and step in. I shared this in a past blog post. This is the year to step out of everything that has held you back for too long. It is time to confidently step into what God is calling you towards.

Compel. This is a word that God has placed on my heart, a word that seems to play on repeat through the most recent days.

What compels you to be alive? 

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What compels you to get out of bed everyday? What compels you to stand up for, or fight against? What compels you to be alive?

I pray this is a year that we will be so compelled into God’s heart, and his calling upon our lives, as we embark on new assignments  and journeys, ones that we might have NEVER expected. It’s the new thing he is doing within us! But he needs our action and our yes, he needs our trust and obedience, he needs us to step into what he has waiting for us on the other side. Trading it in for something much better.

Would this be a year of new things, surprises, trust, and faith that walks blindly after his heart, trusting him every step into the unknown. I am praying for all of you that 2018 will be one of your best years yet. I feel like this year especially God is looking for the ones who will walk by faith! Who trust EVERYTHING in his the palms of his great and wonderful hands. He is looking for those souls who are compelled to chase after his heart with every fiber of our beings. This would be a year to leave every fear, doubt, and insecurities in the past and JUMP into what he has, no looking back, just walking confidently into the future he has promised us not by sight but through faith.

” I will walk by faith even when I cannot see.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

So, what is God compelling you towards? Take the jump, take the leap of faith!

You are all loved, have a great weekend 🙂

Dev!

here i will be, until he calls me to go

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It has been two months, since I have called this place my new home.

New York City

and until the Lord calls me out, or to go , here I will be, here I will stay.

I trust him, even when I didn’t want to,

getting to this exact point wasn’t easy.

From red dirt roads, to shining lights and busy streets, this is where I will be.

I too had to learn again to let go and trust him, even when it was really hard.

I remember saying “goodbye” to the kids until I returned a few months later, and will always go to and from Africa, but in that moment, on my end it was the closing of my year living in Africa. A significant and sobering moment for me. 

Holding myself together as the kids each wanted to roll my luggage and throw it into the back of the van. Climbing in asking if they could come with me to America. Holding onto my hands, wrapped themselves around me, goodbye. Looking into their little eyes, sparkling with life and joy, radiating light. Hearing their little voices say “Auntie Devon, when do you come back?” 

As hard and devastating moment that was, I saw a glimpse of why God even called me to this nation years ago. The prayers I prayed as a young child, each standing before me, a name, a face, a story, a salvation, a future. A nation changed stood before me in the form of young faces and bright eyes with hopes to become something they once never imagined. 

The faces of tomorrow, the dreamers, silence breakers, world changers. There they stood. God’s children who were once lost, and now found, there they stood. Healed and transformed through his love.

I caught a glimpse of this purposeful life I speak about, seeing a small bit of the fruit of a year loving on children who became my own when there was nothing I could offer but love, and knew that if this is all God had called me here to do, I was amazed, but I know there is more, a lot more! 

Being strong for them, waving to their little faces until the car drove up the hill and turned on the main road, I started sobbing the whole ride to the airport with my face cupped in between my hands. Gazing out the window to see the sun rise and give the orange dirt roads a golden glow, the very dirt roads that felt like home the first time I stepped foot on them 7 years ago. My heart was breaking, it felt like it was being ripped out and torn apart, telling myself this, God I trust you.

God I trust you.

I trust you.

I trust you with my life, even when it doesn’t make sense to me.

Trust you into the unknown.

I’d like to think I had a back and forth with God about this. I wanted to hold onto each and every memory and moment. Wanting them to last forever, which they will, but he needed me elsewhere and I needed to be obedient to what he was calling me, because there is NO place I would rather be than the center of his will for my life. That doesn’t mean easy, or it doesn’t make sense sometimes on paper, but if God calls, he needs our action, he needs our movement. He needs our yes.

So here we go,

Moving, again.

I went to Africa with this mindset. I will be here as long as the Lord needs me. It could be a month, it could be 2 years. Either way I am here until he gives me a clear signal that it is time to go home, until he sends me out again.

That sign, it came in July.

For months I prayed, and waited, waited upon the Lord wondering when he would answer this question. I felt overwhelmed, and didn’t want to figure it out on my own. I didn’t want to make a decision in my own strength. I wanted this to be clearly of the Lord.

I was in Kenya in July, that was a hearing trip for me. I heard clearly from the Lord it was time to now go back to New York City. This was confirmed by many others.

I struggled at first because I wanted to hold onto my time in Ghana, but I felt the grace that he had given me for this part of my life was lifting, it wasn’t as “easy” as it once was. I felt myself getting annoying sitting in hours of traffic just to get a simple task done, I found myself not being able to deal with the lack of power and constant humidity, when there were months I didn’t even think about it or seem to mind it. I started to get frustrated that I couldn’t just pick up the phone and hear my parents voices when I felt I needed to. These things that God had given me grace to was starting to lift. What that means is he is starting to shake you out of where you have been because he is bringing you somewhere brand new.

Somewhere different. I look back on those days, the most joyful and challenging days of my life. I know that was not something I did in my own strength, that was all his grace that was made perfect in all my weaknesses.

Grace is simply this, a simple person doing what they could never do through God’s strength. This is what it all comes down too. Grace.

So then what?

I bought my plane ticket and started to prepare for my last few weeks living there. This isn’t something I have closed the door on, in my eyes this is a season, a chapter that the most perfect author has written, God needed me there in that exact time frame for a reason, he was preparing me for where he has placed me now, and until he calls me to go or move, here I will be, waiting and trusting his ways are higher than mine.

I had different things presented to me but I felt strongly that New York City was where God was calling me. That is all I knew and I trusted him.

There was a time where I really reconsidered not coming back, and staying there. My love for the nation and children hasn’t left, the calling is still there, but I want to share with you a little secret, you can be called to Africa, and that calling doesn’t mean you have to drop everything and move there forever and ever and ever( and if you do that is wonderful too)  you can be called to Africa and never even step foot there, but God has placed a burden so strongly on your heart where even your prayers are changing nations and people’s lives.

Callings look so different. Don’t think you can’t be called somewhere if you don’t permanently move there. I think of people like Katie Davis, who is called to Africa, I think of my dad who has never lived there but has a strong calling placed upon on his life with a heart and burden for orphans in Africa. I’ve learned that those burdens and hearts are the fathers, he gives us his heart for what breaks his, and he will give you a heart and burden for what he needs you to do, because if you weren’t moved, you probably wouldn’t care, and not caring is not doing or taking action! So God calls to different nations and cities and places, because his light needs to shine in the darkness! He needs to reach everyone, so we all have a heart for what he has given us! It is a blessing 🙂

So, I really had to trust him with what he was calling me back to. I needed a heart for this new place, this new city, I needed a heart because I know He is always going to use you wherever he sends you.

Last year, I was in the city, and said to the Lord, “God if I never get to live here, its okay, I surrender even this dream to you.”

Here I am, a year later, and NYC is my new home, I love following his steps, he never gives us the full picture, but he calls us, and he wants us to step out, again and again and again.

I think about all that God has done in my first 2 months in the city, and I think about how I would have missed out if I choose in my own strength to stay. I know God is growing and expanding this to change even more lives both in America and Africa and beyond for his glory.

So right now, on this day, he needs me here in NYC for such a time as this. There is a lot that I will be praying about to share with you!

If God is calling you and he only gives you a little bit, take it and trust him for the rest. I love how grand things can only start with small steps of trust and obedience. Big things never start with big things, they start with small steps and complete trust in who is directing their steps!

Obeying his will and knowing our father has the best for us in mind, better than we can imagine, even when we aren’t sure. It is easy for us to doubt but when God says go, we go in his name! Because when we know who our father is, we trust him with our lives.

“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:19

 

Have a wonderful weekend

you are all loved,

Dev

 

 

will you join me?

A new year, another year of surprises of all that it’ll bring.

It’s a humbling and sobering moment to think and reflect on how far the Lord has brought us this far.

I’m deciding to be intentional about this one thing for this year, and I challenge and encourage you to join me.

Will you join me in completely surrendering everything that you planned or expected this year to be and all that it will bring at the feet of Jesus.

Will you lay every hope, dream, worry, concern to him. Giving it over to the author of creation , the lover of our souls, the king of all kings. The one whom our souls yearn for. Lay each desire unto him, and say have your way in me. Have your way in my life. Have your way in my job, my finances, my dreams, expectations have your way in my family, have your way in my life!

I’m deciding to trade it all in for what HE has in store for me! I’m trading in dreams that are limited to a limitless God. I’m trading it in to a God who cannot be outdone. I’m trading it in believing that he will expand, multiple, increase and breath life into every aspect.

I’m giving him everything. I have counted the cost, this isn’t something I do lightly. But the more in love I fall with Jesus the easier it gets to surrender it all to the one who gave me it all.

It’s gets easier to give and lay my life down at the feet of my savior who gave me this very life that I have.

He gave me what I didn’t deserve. I deserve to pay for the sins, my wrongdoings, the consequences of my action is death. The wages of sin is death, rather we have life that is offered to us, by the one who died just to know us, to set us free, to break chains and set captives free. And heaven isn’t just opened but now heaven come come to earth through us. Let heaven come down through us and how we will be used.

Free in Christ. I’m declaring that this is a year of freedom, freedom that we know we will be cataylysts to be used to unlock freedom in others lives in the mighty name of Jesus.

Who is bold enough to give up everything and lay it down at the feet of Jesus and say have your way! I’m trading it all in for something even greater than I can even imagine.

I’m trading it all in just to know you even deeper because Jesus you are that beautiful. And even if my life is just is to know you that is worth giving up everything.

I have lived with access to a lot, and I have lived with the bare minimum and I can tell you none of that matters as long as I have my Jesus.

Will you dare to surrender everything to the one who gave you everything. Watch what the Lord will do when you submit yourself unto him and say Lord here I am! Use me, take this little life of me and do the extraordinary with someone as ordinary as me! You alone are worth all my praise and adoration.

Who but God can change a nation in a day? Who but God can spilt the sea?

Who but God can melt a mountain like wax before him?

Who but God can save this world?

Who but God sits on the throne of heaven and earth and sees each one of us, and has the numbers of hairs on our heads numbered?

Who breathed this world into existence but God?

When we have this full revelation and we decide to be radical about our salvation and faith, we grow to be bolder and trust the life we have into the one who gave us life. When we trust our father we trust our lives in his hands because he is worthy!

I attended a conference in DC this weekend and I am leaving now on a train back to New York. Taking each moment in, soaking in each word that was spoken and pray it continues to echo inside my soul.

This morning as the sessions were wrapping up I sat next to a young man who didn’t have arms. I watched him praise God, there I stood near him with two arms lifted high praising my God. And it hit me, we have been GIVEN life, to praise Jesus! And this isn’t new, but it hit home, on a deep and real way. It is so real to me, and I pray it deepens all the days of my life.

With all that we are, and some times we take it for granted, we become complacent or ungrateful. Here is a young man praising God in a way that was so beautiful and touched me. It hit me that I never want take for granted everything the Lord has given me, even as something we don’t think about, like our arms. To praise him with all that we are, for all of our days. To him the glory. I think about the people being persecuted for their faith. They are giving up everything just to know him. That is how real and beautiful Jesus is. That these people lay down their lives just to know him. I think about them meeting in secret, hiding their faith, just to know him. And we have the chance to worship and praise Jesus in freedom, this is a privilege and honor that I never want to take for granted.

I encourage you to spend time in his word, in prayer, invite the Holy Spirit to do life with you, to help guide you and give you wisdom in all areas of life. Seek Jesus in all that you do and you’ll find him. Everything will start to pale in comparison to how beautiful he is. This world and what is offers and throws your way will fade away. Once you look into his eyes, know your worth, know your savior everything changes. You’ll never want to do life apart from abiding in him. Your desires and dreams will change and you will be used to glorify the Lord Almighty, so when people see you they see Jesus, they are drawn to his love inside of you and we get to be his hands and feet in this life. To praise him with all that we are and lead others by love we know through Christ to set captives free.

We are each flaming arrows in the hands of the Lord and we shouldn’t be concerned about where we will end up because we can’t imagine! We are just along this journey with God saying take me father, take me deeper, I’m available and I want to be used for your glory. We can’t even compare our small dreams or hopes to what we will do with our lives when we say yes! All we know is what we will do when we land and that is to light fires for Jesus wherever he sends us. To carry the gospel and share the love with people around us, whether it’s India or Washington DC in the capital building. We are carriers of the gospel and we desire to spend our lives for the one who gave it all for us!!!

I am so excited to continue to surrender it all and watch and see what God does best with our lives! Even more so than we could ask, seek or imagine! To him be the glory both now and forever more.

So will you join me in the greatest adventure of life…knowing Jesus!

You are all loved!!

Devon

recap on 2017- new wine

Last year I sat by the water in Ghana writing a post on my phone about all the lessons I learned in 2016, and how much I had grown, and how much I had changed. It feels like so long ago. Isn’t that what we all do each year? Or at least hope to?

I sit now in New York City, on a much colder December day writing and thinking about all that has happened in 2017.

To refresh I celebrated my first holiday in Ghana last year away from my family, rang 2017 in with high hopes and celebrated with the kids. It seemed that I was entering into the new year with the highest of hopes, and the biggest of dreams. I wish I could say that 2017 was one of the greatest years of my life, and I learned so much, and grew so much, but to be completely honest that isn’t how it all went.

2017 was possibly one of the most difficult years of my life. I endured some of the hardest and darkest months of my life, I questioned everything, I had doubts, I had to overcome situations without fear, I had situations happen that didn’t seem to make any sense, that I couldn’t understand why God would allow to happen.

I came to wanting to give up, in so many areas of my life, I endured a lot. And I don’t want to get in detail because this post isn’t supposed to be a venting session where I complain and tell you how terrible my year was, because that wouldn’t be entirely true.

In the pressing of the hardest year of my life, I see how God was making new wine. And trust me this isn’t something I realized right away. Stay with me. I am not blaming God for what happened this year, and as tempting it is to point our fingers back at him, and say why me God! We are better to praise him in the storm. And I know this sounds cheesy or maybe some are reading this and think that is easy for me to say, but it isn’t. Because I had to walk through it and learn it myself. I had to hold onto the promises and words spoken over my life even in the hardest of times. I had to remember that he is still good, when that was the last thought I wanted to speak out. I had to walk through a path of remembrance with him and write and remember all that the Lord had done in my life at such a young age. I had to look at all the answered prayers, miracles and God sightings throughout my life. Not just look but grasp onto.

I had to tell myself this is just a season, this too will surely come to pass. I had to. I had no other choice. It was around 7 months until I felt things changed, I wasn’t myself, and after months and months the Lord restored me and got me through such a hard time. I am sharing this and “putting it all out there” so someone, even if it is just one of you can relate or see that whatever you are going through will surely pass. Whatever valley or trench that you are currently “stuck in” I pray that you soon climb to your mountaintop and see the vibrant colors and see the lush view from the top. I pray you receive your victory, and see things from this new and beautiful perspective. Keep climbing and praising even along the way to the top. Even in the in between.

This year was a year of overcoming, and receiving victory through our praises. Sometimes we are taught to put ourselves before the Lord and say oh God why me? Instead of praising him in the “in between” even when it doesn’t look as planned.

I was at a church service in Nairobi, Kenya and this was right before things were about to change, and we were praising God through the worship part of the service. During this service I praised God with all that I had left in me, and right at that moment I felt something lift off me, all the sadness, hopelessness, darkness, all the “stuff” that had been over me for so much, just broke off me through the praise. I was restored in an instant, I felt like “Devon” again. I’ll never forget that moment or what it felt like.

He makes new wine in the pressing.

Looking back from this point, of where I am today I am able to know that I came out stronger in my faith, having endured something I never expected. Even through that season the Lord gave me dreams and visions and everything I would need to get through and still help me do what he sent me out to do. I can say that I am even more in love with Jesus today than ever before. It isn’t based on a feeling, it is based on knowing who he is in my life and what he is doing, always doing, and how the “fuel” we need to get through this life comes from a place of intimacy and relationship with him

I got the chance to travel around the world and had time with other people who were in a dark place. I could know having come out and see from the other side pour into these people, lay hands and pray for them and tell them that this was just a season that the Lord will bring them out of, you just have to praise him and trust him!

There was so many big moments and things that happened that we could only say THAT WAS ONLY GOD! More to share in months to come, that God was still working on my behalf, he was still fulfilling every word and promise, that he was even doing a new thing in me! That he was doing abundantly more than we could ever hope or dream for the ministry in ways I cannot begin to explain! He was connecting me with individuals who are apart of this story and there is so much to celebrate and share over this new year.

2017 was a year where dreams grew, expanded, vision was refreshed, hope was restored, lives continued to be transformed, God is glorified, God is faithful and fulfills his promises. This was a season of new wine, through the pressing he makes new wine.

I am not writing this from a place of hurt looking back, no I am writing this from a place rooted in purpose that can look back and I don’t see pain. I see God’s faithfulness, I see God’s hands actively at work throughout all the days of my life, I see how he even protected me in places I didn’t realize. I see that even through the hardest of days, and darkest of hours he did not waste one tear, he even used that for my good. I see that HE IS GREAT and he is going to use this for his glory! He has a plan for my life! He always has!  The same goes for you!

I am not the same girl I was writing this same blog post a year ago. I did not know what was in front of me, I didn’t know what was about to happen, I was hopeful and I sit here even more so. I was full  of dreams and vision, and I sit here and I still am. But I am not the same girl who wrote this post last year. I’m here with a new perspective on things and I see and hear my father in such a real way. My relationship with God is so much deeper and I have so much more appreciation for him now more than ever, and I hope to say that every new year! My deepest desire is to never stop growing in relationship with Him.

I am hopeful to see where God will take me this year. I am hopeful and excited. I am full of new vision and excitement that he has placed inside me. I am thankful that even in the pressing of life, God is making new wine.

My prayer is that 2018 would be a year like no other, a year of advancement, acceleration, growth and change. A year of all unfulfilled promises to come to life! A year of expanded dreams and restoration. A year that we have been waiting for. A year to celebrate our overcoming! Another year to give glory to God and seek him in all that we do. I think I came to a place where I set aside all “my” hopes, dreams and expectations for the new year and just let God do what he does best! I wait in expectation for what he will do this new year! I am ready for the unknown like never before and I can’t wait to bring you along with me! In the right time I will have so much to share in 2018!

What was 2017 like for you? There was so much amazing things that happened this year! There is always something to celebrate.

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Another PNN Vision Trip

 

 

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Traveled to Kenya with Orphan’s Promise

 

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Welcomed new children

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Traveled to Ukraine with Orphan’s Promise and got wrecked for the nations like never before.

“Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”

Ephesians 3:20

“Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” 

Matthew 9:17

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:19

You are all loved,

Dev

and happy new year!