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

Unknown-1

reflecting on 23- welcoming t w e n t y. f o u r

“if the wind goes where you send it, so will I.”

IMG_0607.JPG

23

t w e n t y . t h r e e

I’m writing an honest, and difficult post on what 23 really looked like for me.

Last year I turned 23 in the southern part of the African continent. (details coming soon…I promise)

In a nation I never expected to explore, with a migraine stuck in hours of traffic with my head cupped between my hands staring out the window, wondering what the heck God was calling me into, if this was him at all? Looking at scales of poverty I couldn’t wrap my mind around. Thinking about all the other 23-year-old girls out there, how they might be celebrating their birthdays, around a table of friends, blowing out candles on a cute cake, in nice outfits probably heading out to a bar to drink and meet cute guys. And here I was, with a birthday looking a lot different from most other girls my age. And I can’t tell you that wasn’t hard on me, that the realities I was dealing with head on, where thoughts that probably never cross most minds, there I was in the center of. It’s a sacrifice and a blessing that is sometimes is too complex for words. 

I had so. much. doubt. Wondering if this really was God, directing me to this place, with no clear instruction, just traveling on his word GO….with my father pursuing a vision that God gave me. The funny thing is writing this moment with both tears in my eyes and a smile on my face, admiring that twenty-three year old for what she endured, and how things wouldn’t be moving in such an amazing and God ordained direction had I  not followed him at his word GO. Not even knowing that it WAS HIM, and I didn’t have to doubt, but hey, I am human! lol! 

Looking back on this moment, it almost foreshadowed the year to follow. Doubting, wondering, hoping that I was where God needed me to be, slowly knowing I was exactly there, even if I didn’t full understand it myself.

Here’s the thing, this year God called me into walking more blindly into his will for my life. He held his hand out, and asked me Devon, do you trust me? Do you really trust me with your life. I shook my head, pushing the doubts aside, grabbed on tight, and followed him time and time again into the unknown, even at times where I wanted to let go and figure it out myself, I held tight, knowing my father’s ways are higher and better than mine.

This year was possibly one of the hardest years of my life, I had to really learn how to deal with spiritual attacks, keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, all the time, learn that God never leaves us, and works ALL things out for OUR good, even the really nasty and hard situations, where we feel like saying REALLY GOD?

This year was a year of stark contrasts, of dark realities, to miracles, divine connections, provisions and expansion. This year was a contrast from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. It was a year where I had to choose over and over again to not be moved, or shaken, but to remain unshaken, and unmoved in whatever chaos life would bring my way.

It was a year of taking God at his word, and planting my feet firmly onto the promises he gives us as sons an daughters of the King. Bolding proclaiming authority in the name of Jesus over every dark attack set up to take me out, and diminish the passion within me.

My faith was so strengthened through my time being 23, God really worked everything out for good, and what started as the hardest months of my life blossomed into the most beautiful, fruitful and rewarding months where I could confidently look back and smile knowing that God DOES CARE, and DOES HAVE A PLAN, HE IS WORTHY OF OUR PRAISE AT. ALL. TIMES. HE has a plan, always.

Do you trust me? I held onto his hand as he led me out of the trenches into the valleys, climbing along the mountaintop, and finally reaching the top with the most colorful and beautiful views, where your perspective of it all begins to shift. You can stand besides him and see each lesson he walked you through along the way. I could see how each hardship strengthened my identity and my purpose, my passion and my faith, and my trust.

I could see the purpose of praising him in the “in between” those awkward transitional moments where you just have to praise him, because the victory comes through our praise, the victory of overcoming and breaking through, the breakout into new levels of identity and authority.

I stand at the top and look at my journey, each step, each tear, each smile, and frustration and see my father who lead me at his word, and spoke love and promises over me each and every step. From early mornings in Ghana, to sunsets in Kenya, petting cheetahs in South Africa, to worshipping God until 1 am with an awesome community in New York City, to long train rides in the Ukrainian countryside to the cobble stone streets in Greece, this was the year of adventure!

My life has changed so much since that day one year ago. I am so grateful for this journey that keeps unfolding each day. As I look up from the mountaintop, I can’t see far, I don’t know if I will continue to climb up, down, across, or where he sends me next, but I know adventuring with him is greater than my wildest imagination, and it is worth laying down our wants and dreams at his feet, to trade it in for what he has. That inheritance he longs to give his children, but can’t until we lay ourselves and hearts at his altar.

I find myself standing in front of others, speaking about this crazy adventure God has for you when you say YES! It’s something that isn’t new to me, but I stand there speaking with boldness and authority having really stood and test, and I KNOW that I can take my God for his word, he is faithful, he is good, he is worthy of following into the unknown, always. And that isn’t to say it isn’t easy, and you won’t sacrifice a lot, or at times everything, but it is so worth it. It is worth it all. Standing having walked through it all in such a deep and real way, a way that only God would have gotten me through, and I can stand there with a smile on my face, tell others it is worth it, to adventure and do life with God.

This year had so many amazing and beautiful moments so powerful they changed my life as I know it today. God has brought more like-minded people into my life to love and support me than ever before. People who have hearts like mine who live to see heaven on earth and inspire me daily by their walks of obedience. This year was a year that God broke my heart for the nations. Devon what do you mean… the nations? I will explain. I got to chance to travel around the world and meet so many amazing people, children and hear stories that I will hold as treasures close to my heart forever. These are the keepsakes from each trip, a story in my journal, a testimony I wrote about, a photo I have or a memory that I can see when I close my eyes.

From meeting gypsy children in the streets of Greece which propelled me to travel to Ukraine to spend time in gypsy camps which broke my heart. Heart is the word that sticks out from my time in Ukraine, God’s heart is surely found in each face of this nation.

Spending time with orphans in Kenya who completely shattered my heart and I saw such hope, love and freedom. Freedom is the word that sticks out for my time in Kenya.

My time in Ghana, with my kids, loving them, watching them blossom into future leaders of Africa, bonds that will never break and bonds that will last a lifetime. Whenever I feel down, or discouraged I look at what God has done and what he continues to do in the lives all around me, it brings a smile to my face, and instills hope into the deepest parts of my soul, it reminds me of what we are called to do. Live and love for others, the way Christ lived and loved for us. The word that sticks out for my year in Ghana was BREAKTHROUGH. This was a major year of breakthrough for me, the children, staff and project. It is amazing to watch it grow!

I went to the Call and RISE UP in DC and that weekend impacted me ways I can’t explain. wow! It was so amazing, meeting new friends and being ignited with the fire of God for this revival we will see on earth! The word that sticks out for that is NATIONS, and RISE UP.

For all the chances I got to speak the word that sticks out is PURPOSE. God has a purpose for each and every one. A story different and unique for all of us. We are each called to live higher purposes and my desire is to see a generation chase after God’s heart wholeheartedly into HIS purpose for us.

This year God really placed certain nations on my heart and he gave me such a burden for my generation.  I have a heart to see my generation passionate about God and about chasing him into the unknown, giving up everything that is keeping us from his heart, that we WOULD be a generation that would rise up into the fullness of who God is calling us to be, ignited by the fire and love of God!

For me here are the words that stick out for my growth this year.

BREAKTHROUGH. OVERCOMING. DAUGHTER AUTHORITY. NATIONS. FULLNESS. PURPOSE. DESTINY. REVIVAL. GENERATION

but the word generation rings the loudest in my ear…

23 was a year of transition, a year of hearing God on louder and clearer levels

a year of increased dreams and visions

a year of renewed passion that has ignited my soul on fire

a year of new callings

a year of heart breaking for new nations

a year of expanded vision

a year of adventure, life changes and wonderful surprises

a year to treasure

a year to remember

a year to thank God, and to never forget

a year where I grew more than I would’ve imagined.

a year that was made beautiful by many faces, stories and people God has added to my life, beautiful people I cherish.

a year where I took his hand, and followed him up to the mountaintop appreciating each beauty and the climb it took to get there.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

What if I gave up? What if I threw it away, and wanted to do life my way, because it got hard, then I wouldn’t be entering into the fullness of who I was called to be. I would have missed the blessings that followed the obedience of walking and trusting him. I would have missed the view at the top, and all the intimate conversations and times in my secret place, with new revelations that strengthened my faith.

I want to encourage everyone that God will work it out for your good, take him at his word, and follow him into the unknown, adventure with the greatest King of all, and delight in the peace that only he can offer, not the peace the world offers, the peace that will make you unshaken and unmoved in the chaos of this life.

I want to thank each and everyone reading, who made 23 so special for me, who encouraged me each step whether it was a hug, a prayer, an email or phone call. Thank you for adventuring with me, thank you for reading along the way and supporting me!

Let’s see what 24 will bring, I look forward to bringing you with me through this crazy adventure with God, who knows where I will celebrating in a year from today, what lessons I would have learned, and where my feet would have stepped!

 h e r e ‘ s

t o

t w e n t y     f o u r 

may this be another year of following God blindly into the unknown!

“I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky
A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I
So will I
So will I
If the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I
If the wind goes where You send it so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times”

– So Will I, Hillsong United.

IMG_0614

What compels you to be alive? 

image1

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? 

….

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

image2.png

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

 

 

impact, legacy and love

Impact. Legacy. Love.

These three words keep resurfacing to my mind. They remind me of what truly matters in life.

At the dedication ceremony the night the Village of Hope opened Terry Meeuwsen shared something I will never forget and I quoted her in this blog post. And just like I said in that blog post I will say it again, it will truly never leave me. And I will share it again today. The best investment we can make…

 It’s not enough to make a lot of money, it’s not enough to live in big houses. You want to leave your mark on the world and I admire that, that is a God call on your life. 

The world will have loud voices that will try to deter you from that, don’t listen.

Because the only game in town that matters, is the game that touches lives. You see none of these things we have not our clothing, not our houses, not our possessions, we don’t get to take any of it with us. There’s only one thing we get to take, other people. So you have the opportunity to invest in something of eternal significance. Not everybody gets that. 

This is what it all comes down too, leaving an impact for Jesus and leaving a legacy for Jesus and what he has called us to do. To play our small parts in this earth to fill it with his glory. To love others, and spend our lives sharing the love of Christ with everyone he leads us too. We don’t all have to go to Africa, but we all have the chance to love, create impact and leave a legacy. We all have the chance to invest in what truly matters.

image1

I think of my father and the love he has for people. He just radiates love, and everyone loves him back. It is so natural and so inspiring to see. He embodies Christ’s love and he already has made such a powerful impact on this world for the kingdom, I am excited to continue see God use him. An example and mentor that I am blessed enough to call dad.

 

IMG_1513

This women and her heart. Her love alone has left an impact that rings throughout the world and continues to change and uplift so many vulnerable lives for God’s glory.

To fall more in love with Christ is to become more like him, and when Christ is love, we become the love of Christ and other’s will see that inside of us. Each one of us has the ability and chance to create impact somewhere in our world, even our own homes and families. We have a chance to leave a legacy for his glory and kingdom and a chance to spend our lives loving the one who gave everything for us.

Be blessed today.

you are loved! you WILL create impact and leave legacy in his name!

Dev

all it takes is one encounter

All it takes is one encounter to experience Jesus, and be transformed through his radical love, all it takes is one encounter.

I don’t believe this is by a “feeling” and if you do feel something that is wonderful but the bible tells us it is by faith, not feeling.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

I think of Paul, what Paul experienced was a radical encounter with Jesus Christ that changed his life FOREVER, and our lives as we know it.

Paul wrote so much of the new testament and his knowledge came from that personal revelation through person relationship with Jesus Christ and knowing and experiencing his love!

Paul actually was persecuting christians…. can we stop for am minute here! He was in a position to kill other believers, KILL THEM …and then he has ONE encounter with Jesus and EVERYTHING CHANGES!

Talk about RADICAL TRANSFORMATION!

One encounter, changes everything! I love how after that encounter Paul spent his life seeking the Lord, expanding his kingdom and preaching his word to everyone he could, because he knew his savior and had a deep knowledge of his love. That one encounter and he spent the rest of his days following and leading many to Christ.

Jesus appears to Saul (later Paul) in a vision!

” Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?” Who are you Lord? Saul asked. I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting, he replied. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what to do.”

Acts 9: 4-6

That deep knowledge of love changes everything. Because when we KNOW we are changed forever.

When we have knowledge of who we are it is SO POWERFUL!

I am praying this is a year of RADICAL encounters that will change everything for us.

I think of a boy in our home in Ghana. He was treated terribly his entire life, people spoke curses over him, they told him what he would never become, he told him he would never amount to anything, he was hopeless and lost. He was angry and confused. One Sunday he has an encounter with Jesus and surrenders his life to him. He is saved, and he is a new creation. I see how one encounter with Jesus has not just changed but TRANSFORMED this young mans life. He speaks of becoming a pastor, and he is a natural leader and people are drawn to follow what he does or says, what used to be something bad, God tuned to good and now at the age of 15 he is walking in love, leading in compassion and sharing the love he once NEVER knew and now freely SHARES with ALL of the people who cross his path.

He is the one to ask the tough questions being lead by compassion to help others. It is so moving. When I look at this young man, I see a man of God who carriers love and compassion. He is a new creation through one encounter of Jesus Christ.

He is made a new creation, just like Paul. Radical love, and knowledge that we are so loved by a savior who died just to know us, and not just to know us and make a way into heaven but to have heaven living inside of us, so that we carry his spirit, love and light and bring the kingdom of heaven down to earth.

TRANSFORMATION

change, alteration, mutation, conversion, metamorphosis, transfiguration, transmutation

These words also help draw on how we are made new creations once we invite Christ into our hearts and surrender our lives to him, through an encounter.

I am praying this is a year of radical encounters where we are changed and transformed by the power of his love. I feel God moving so powerfully swiftly this year, he is doing a new thing and he is turning hearts back to him! He is calling names back home into his kingdom. This is a year of GOD!

And christians can I challenge you to bring that love with you wherever you are, wherever you go. Would you stop for a cleaning lady, a taxi or an uber driver, would you share the love of Christ with waitresses or delivery men. Would you not let anyone cross your path without having a chance to know and experience his amazing, life changing love. I am praying for you that God would even use us in our day-to-day routine to make time for that one that we might pass and not consider. That these encounters would not just happen in churches but in our day-to-day routine. I am praying for you and waiting to see what God will do this year. He is on the move big time!

And if you are new here, and you are wondering what I am talking about, and how someone like Saul could be forgiven for killing christians, that is the reckless love of Jesus Christ our savior. His blood was shed for each person, all over the world, he actually became our sin, so that when he took it to the grave it would stay there, so we would be made clean by his blood and we do not have to pay the price of sin, rather have eternal life, because we are blames and holy in his sight. When we pray the salvation pray we are made new just like Saul, we are forgiven and we are loved! P.s. you are loved even before you pray this prayer.

You are loved, you are loved, you are loved, God loves you!

Today is the day for salvation, do not wait another day, you can have the relationship with Jesus TODAY!!! Start by asking for forgiveness of your sins, declare with your mouth by believing in your heart that Jesus died and rose again and is the way the truth and the life, that you can enter into eternity today because he made a way for you. If you prayed this prayer you are a new creation!! Praise God.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Blessing and love,

Dev

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.

IMG_0653

IMG_0721

IMG_0740
Another PNN Vision Trip

 

 

IMG_3100.jpg

IMG_4835.jpg

a655b4e9-b78c-4b09-a009-9450c1da242b
Traveled to Kenya with Orphan’s Promise

 

fullsizeoutput_4ce0
Welcomed new children

DSC05203.JPG

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!

a burden for the nations

I have felt a burden placed on my heart and in my spirit over the past few months for the nations. For the forgotten people groups around the world. The people groups that are being sold into slavery today in our modern word, the groups that are being innocently massacred by evil and unjust people. I feel the desire to just go. I know this might not be the right time, I trust my God. I will stand in the gap and pray for them. I might not see them with my physical eyes, but my God does. He sees his children, in every nation, in every tribe, who speak every tongue. He is close to the broken-hearted. I don’t know what the Lord is calling you to. I don’t know what God is stirring up within your heart. Maybe it is the modern-day slave trade in Libya, maybe it is the refugees in Syria, or South Sudan. Maybe it is the millions of people who go hungry everyday. Maybe it is the Rohingya people group that are getting innocently massacred in Myanmar that have to flee as unwanted refugees to other nations. I don’t know if this something you even care about. I believe that many people do, because God is calling them to.

” Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God.” Psalm 62:6-7

Today was one of those days where you just want to go. You know you can’t so you pray. You pray without even having words to phrase what the spirit is moving you too. I prayed with such a burden for these forgotten people groups. We might not see them, but God does, we might not hear their cries, but he hears them, he sees them and one day he will bring justice to them. I believe that we are moving into a new year where God is pouring out a desire and heart for the nations for his people. Whether he calls us to go or stand in the gaps praying for the rights and salvation, and freedoms. I believe that people are having “new things” placed within their hearts. These desires, and dreams are being unleashed from heaven. We are being called to the nations, to pray for the nations. To be aware of what is happening to our brothers and sisters around the world. You might not think your prayers matter, you may not think praying for people you haven’t seen or met will make a difference, but it does. Your prayers have power and your prayers can change nations! So pray if you feel this burden, don’t underestimate the power of prayer that God has given us. If God has laid a nation in particular or almost highlighted it to you, pray for that nation. If God has done that with a certain people group, pray for that very people group. We have the honor to come before the throne of Heaven and lay down what  the Lord has placed on our hearts, even if it is nations, that are oceans away. There is no distance in the spirit, we can pray and stand besides these people and say no more. We can pray that the enemy be removed from these places because Jesus has died for the nations. He has already won for the nations, it is already done, so can we pray with this in mind. That is already done and we have the victory.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

As I prayed with this burden for the suffering and forgotten in the nations not knowing if God is calling me to go, or just to stand in the gap and say I see them too. I feel the father’s heart for his children even though if I am not physically with them. As I prayed I was led to read Psalm 10. This Psalm almost explains how I was feeling and what is happening to these innocent people around the world.

Psalm 10 17-18

“You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that merely earthly mortals will never strike terror.”

If you feel this way, or just want to say I may not see, but I am committing to pray alongside my brothers and sisters around the world because I believe God’s love is the same for all. I believe this breaks our fathers heart and this is not what he wants. I am committing to set aside time to remember and pray these forgotten people groups. Thank you for allowing me to be open with you, I really appreciate it and am praying this post inspires just one heart to have a desire to pray for the nations, to stand in the gaps and to speak justice, light and freedom into the darkest, most dangerous places in the world, knowing that our prayers are heard and will be answered even if we do not know in this lifetime. One day we will, and we will have the honor of knowing that God called us to be apart of that. If you liked this blog post and want to read a similar one click here.

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you; for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:9