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PPN is a gathering place for women who are living ministry! We have been in existence since 1998 and have been a blessing and encouragement to women all over the world. We provide free resources such as articles by our PPN writing team, message boards and conferences but more important you'll find women sharing openly and honestly about the journey.

What drives them crazy about you?

Think for a minute about what drives your enemies crazy about you. It will tell you a lot about your strengths. You are headed somewhere, woman of God!

David was anointed and Saul tried to kill him. Joseph was the favored son so his brothers tried to kill him. Elijah was God’s anointed prophet and Jezebel tried to scare him to death, drive him crazy and get him to commit suicide. Saul, the evil brothers, and Jezebel were threatened and insecure. They acted as many people do when they come up against movers and shakers.

Your enemies have tried to throw you in the pit, but God is turning around and blessing you with the palace...and they hate you for it. (That's okay, move right in, baby.) Your enemies have tried to get you to sit out under the broom tree like Elijah, but instead you've decided to start Broom Tree Ministries, make your pain your platform and leave your enemies in the dust!

This makes them want to scream. Sometimes, just like Saul, Jezebel, or the evil brothers -- people will attack and try to destroy you too. Amidst your success, (no matter how sweet it is) you never relish the fact that somebody is out to get you.  

I know sometimes you feel like giving up or quitting because you get tired of criticism. What a yo-yo life the ministry is. I remember years ago on a specific day, somebody told me how anointed I was, how blessed they were to have me as their pastor, how incredibly caring I was. On the same exact day, I received a lambasting from somebody telling me what a terrible pastor I was, how uncaring I was, etc.   I thought, "Wow, do these two people realize, they are talking about the SAME person?" If only they knew. To one congregant, you are the angel that God has sent them. Others are convinced you might just be a demon.

If you ever do something major in your life, it will cause criticism to arise. There’s an old saying, “Say nothing, do nothing…be nothing.” As one of the pastoring partners in our network, Ronnelle Thomas-Brunswick ("Flow" on the message boards), says, "if you don't make waves, you'll drown."

When you begin to really pursue God’s purpose in your life, you will be talked about – I guarantee it!

You can either drown by staying still because you’re scared to do anything because of fear of criticism, or you can step out and get even better.

When you decide to pursue the call of God upon your life,  you'll give 'em something to talk about. Facing criticism or the whisper of gossip is not an "if" it's a "when." It's a given, if you're ever going to get something done. I remember years ago someone really criticized my preaching style. At first I got angry. Of the person who spoke it, I truthfully thought,"you are just so jealous, because you only wish you had the opportunity to speak to people as I do."   This person was trying to be my clone, which further made me think this.  Although I was convinced it was jealousy, I did began to ponder their particular criticism later on and thought, "I wonder if there's any truth to that?" I began to analyze my preaching tapes. Although I did not find their particular criticism justified, especially after taking the matter to two close pastor friends and asking them to evaluate me -- I did find a lot of other things I noticed that I needed to improve on! And, I began to diligently work on the list of things that came to my attention. I became a much more effective speaker as a result. That experience brought about something else that has been very beneficial in my life -- the habit of evaluating my messages on a regular basis. Now, I strongly evaluate every message I ever bring. I'm determined to not be static, but strive for more, always. Evaluating every message helps me in honing skills and further becoming what God wants me to be. All of that came through an unjustified criticism that turned out to be just what I needed to propel me to a new level. I now THANK GOD for that critic!

Anyone who experiences a lot of successes also experiences a lot of failures. Abraham Lincoln tried for the presidency sixteen times before he succeeded. A couple who are among my husband and my circle of friends are entrepreneurs who have several very successful businesses. For their few businesses that have brought them great success, they have probably tried fifty different ventures over their lifetime, the majority of which have failed but a few that have been extremely successful and made it possible to live the very blessed life they now live. It drives this couple’s critics absolutely crazy when pondering how successful they are. They’ve been laughed at and scoffed by many of their critics over the years when they have failed, but nevertheless, they have gotten back up and tried again.

Has someone been laughing at your attempts...or your failures?

Have you been living under a drone of criticism?

It’s not time to turn around…not time to quit…not time to retreat. It's time for you to go FULL STEAM AHEAD.

In Joshua 1:6,7, and 9, the Lord tells Joshua three times, ‘BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS.” He says the same to you today. Woman of God, He has called you to greatness. He has a divine purpose for you and it will be fulfilled despite your critics…if you continue to step out and take God at His Word, and seek His face. The gifts and calling of God are resident within you.

There was once a mule who fell into a dry well. The farmer had meant to close off the well many times but just kept forgetting. Finally he got into a fix because the mule landed down in the well. "What in the world am I going to do?" he thought. How do you get a mule out of a well? Regretfully he decided there was no way he could get the mule out, so he he had to bury the mule alive. He began to shovel dirt down into the well. Each time he threw a shovel full of dirt down in the well, the mule would shake it off and stamp on it. The farmer kept shoveling, and the mule kept on stomping. This went on repeatedly for several hours. Finally, the dirt got high enough that the mule walked right out of the well!

What is the point of this story? When somebody throws dirt on you, shake it off, step forward with determination and walk right out into your destiny. When people throw dirt your way, let it propel you right on into your next level! Thank God for your critics! Without them, you'd never get to where you need to go. Where would Elijah be without the prophets of Baal? Where would David be without Goliath? Where would Joseph be without those evil brothers of his? Learn this -- an enemy will be used by God without even knowing it to lead you straight into your destiny.  An enemy will be used of God to move you to a new level when the benefits of your current situation have run out.

And it will drive them absolutely, undeniably, incredibly bonkers as they see the favor of God on your life!!!! If they knew the anointing of God that is being released in your life they wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I'm telling you, they would wish to God they had an anti-depressant cocktail when they see how God is blessing you.

Give 'em something to talk about. Then shake it off, stomp on it, and walk out into your next level. God hasn't called you to drown, or to be buried alive. He's called you for a divine purpose. Keep splashing and stomping to the next level.


I ain't got time to bleed!

These are the infamous words uttered by Jesse Ventura in some action movie or another that he was in…and later, was also the title of his memoirs after becoming governor of my beloved home state [Go Twins and Vikings!!!].

I ain't got time to bleed.

I wish I did. I have had some challenging and difficult ministry experiences, and there are times when I wish I had the luxury of time to go off and lick my wounds for awhile – maybe find a monastic retreat center somewhere and seclude myself – just me and God, in a cabin out in the woods [with all the proper amenities, of course - I really only like the idea of camping, not the actuality of roughing it!].

However – bills need to get paid. Work needs to get done in order for those bills to get paid. Besides that, I am doing what I am called to do and I thoroughly enjoy doing it. So what if I'm pretty much booked through the beginning of March? I'm loving every minute of it!!!

On the down side, it is a challenge to get in quality time with Jesus or my husband at this time of year – now through the beginning of March is “crazy-busy time” for me, with the Mpact sleepover/kids' ministry room remodel/Christmas play/holiday season/winter camp/Kidz Blazt/annual business meeting/national children’s pastors’ conference. Wow. Say that five times fast!

Still, I need to remember that JESUS is my first love. My husband is the love of my life. We make time for the things that mean the most to us, and I cannot afford to blow either of them off for the sake of the ministry. I am tired of reading about ministry couples who were so focused on all the “stuff” they were doing, that they drifted apart. I am tired of hearing about pastors who got so burned out on working for God, that they forgot ABOUT God and crashed and burned. I am determined not to be either of those people.

There is no balance; only order. Jeff Vanvonderen explains it well in his book Tired of Trying to Measure Up. I’ll see if I can explain it clearly without his nifty diagrams…Ideally:

*God is always at the center.
*Your relationships with each other should be the next “ring” in the circle.
*Everything else is free to, and does, shift around.

FOR EXAMPLE:

In the end of November/beginning of December, our lives pretty much center around the Christmas play. Our meals are determined by how quickly they can be prepared and consumed [and we allow for a certain amount of fast-food runs, trying our best to make healthy choices!]. Our workdays are structured around what needs to get done for the set, etc. Plans are made based on whether or not we have accomplished certain tasks. Once we have children, they will get to be part of this grand adventure as well [lucky kids!]…

On the opposite end of the spectrum…last April when we got the call that my grandfather had passed away, that was what mattered. Work was of little importance. We called our bosses that night and told them which days we would be gone that week. My husband [awesome man that he is!] saw that I was flustered and in shock, and he contacted all of our leaders and made sure Sunday morning was covered. For that long weekend, our lives centered around family and nothing else.

Vanvonderen’s point was that as long as families keep God as the absolute center, and maintain excellent relationships with each other, everything else can shift around based on the situation. And if your relationships with God and each other are where they need to be, the whole family rallies around each other to accomplish what needs to be done – and this is perfectly healthy.

God gives us the grace to accomplish everything that He has called us to do, and he provides us with the support we need to get it done. We can rest in this, and our lives can be peaceful and Christ-centered, even when we "ain't got time to bleed."

The two are not the same

I see this confusion quite frequently in the body of Christ.

The man or woman of God has somehow accepted condemnation as Holy Spirit’s conviction and nothing could be further from God’s truth.

Jesus said He didn’t come into the world to condemn it but to save it. John 3:17-18. Jesus even told the woman who was caught in the act of adultery that He would not condemn her and to go and sin no more. Then the Apostle Paul tells us, there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

Scripture details one of the functions of Holy Spirit as the one who convicts the world of sin. John 16:7-9

What is the difference you ask?

Conviction says this is where you are wrong; this is where you erred. Condemnation pronounces judgment with no way to make it right.

When I counsel abused women, condemnation is one of the biggest enemies to their deliverance.

Condemnation says:

  • You are such a failure
  • You blew it…again
  • You are weak; you’ll never be able to. . .
  • You better not leave or you’ll go to hell
  • If you did this better, things would be better
  • You will fail without him
  • See, if you had done this (or not done that) then he would not have…

Condemnation is a hard taskmaster and is successful most times in foiling attempts to unseat it from its place of power within the believer.

Condemnation never travels alone either; fear always rides shotgun.

Between condemnation’s lies, and fear’s paralyzing ability, deliverance is often a lengthy process.
So how does one unseat condemnation? How does one release fear’s grip?

It starts with prayer and then replacing condemnation with God’s word. I teach that you have to watch what you tell yourself about yourself. Your thinking must line up with God has already spoken. God’s word will expose any lie. That is why is so important when under condemnation’s grip that you rehearse and stand on the Word of God.

An inward deliverance occurs when you and God agree with His Word; it is a freeing of the mind and spirit. From that point, you are able to hear Him clearly and walk out His plan for your life.
Condemnation and conviction are not the same.

Conviction if heeded brings about change; condemnation only wants to imprison you.

Today you can be free from condemnation.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

Believe it.