Red Nose Day: An Opportunity to Lend to the Lord
May 23, 2017
One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,
And He will repay him for his [l]good deed (Proverbs 19:17, NASB).
Like I talked about in my last post, Red Nose Day is quickly approaching! This campaign is such a great opportunity as believers to support a cause that is so near to the Lord’s heart, as we find in Proverbs 19, being gracious and lending a hand to the poor and needy, not for our name’s sake but for His.
The organization behind Red Nose Day is Comic Relief Inc. Although Comic Relief is not a faith-based organization, plenty of faith-based and Christian organizations are partnering with them, longing to do their part to see child poverty erased. Comic Relief’s strategy to make this goal a reality is to provide grants to organizations that keep children healthy, safe and educated in the USA and around the world such as Save the Children, Boys & Girls Club, and Children’s Health Fund.
I had the privilege of chatting with Comic Relief’s Vice President of Grants and Philanthropy in the United States, Rick Scott, last week. I was able to hear a little more about his journey with the organization, which started in the UK over 20 years ago, and his mission to see Red Nose Day expand in the US.
Since Red Nose Day launched in the US in 2015, they have seen growth in the involvement and awareness by at least 60%. In Comic Relief Inc.’s first two years in the United States, they have raised over $60 million. Globally, Red Nose Day has raised over $1 billion since its launch in the UK in 1988! I love seeing that kind of money put to a great cause such as helping children!
Between the funds of the red noses that you can purchase at Walgreens or Duane Reade and the donations and grants of organizations, Comic Relief is seeing more and more people, both regular Joe’s and major influential people such as Bill Gates, join the cause behind Red Nose Day.
One of the reasons I believe Comic Relief’s clever idea behind Red Nose Day is catching momentum around the world is the mere fact that comedy is a universal language. Everyone smiles and laughs, no matter what age you are, what part of the world you are from, or how much money you have in your pocket.
“When you put on a red nose, you get a reaction (a laugh) and people want to know more,” Scott said.
You put on this red nose, the walls come down, and we can now start a conversation about the heartbeat behind “the nose,” helping children trapped in poverty.
And since we are all created in the image of God, I don’t think many can escape the great tug on your heart when you see someone in need, especially a child.
So will you join me in bringing awareness- whether that is promoting this great organization so that those who are able to give, find the perfect place for their money, or if you don’t have thousands of dollars at your disposal that you are able to donate, consider at least buying a red nose at your local Walgreens or Duaine Reade?
Consider it a loan to the Lord. It will not go unnoticed to Him.
And most importantly, don’t forget to tune in on Thursday May 25 at 8/7c for a night of Red Nose Day — only on NBC.
Why I Love My Red Nose
May 18, 2017
You may see me wearing a red nose in the next few days. I’m wearing it proudly to support a cause called Red Nose Day which is on Thursday, May 25.
Red Nose Day is about ending child poverty here in the U.S. and around the world, “one nose at a time.”
My family and I have been tremendously blessed. A day doesn’t go by when I’m not thankful for all we have, but we also pray and do our best for those in need, especially children.
We’ve learned that:
- 1 out of 5 children in the U.S. live in poverty.
- Every Year, More Than 2 Million Kids in America Will Face a Period of Homelessness.
- 57% of homeless kids spend at least one day every month without food.
These are heartbreaking numbers! Homeless children and youth in our streets are also in constant danger of human traffickers – something I know so many of our churches and organizations fight against.
Hopefully, you too can join me for Red Nose Day! There are so many easy ways you too can be a part of this including:
- Wear your own Red Nose and post on your social channels to raise awareness. Red Noses are available at all Walgreens locations. Don’t forget to hashtag #rednoseday
- Watch A Special Night of TV: On May 25, NBC will be celebrating Red Nose Day with a three-hour primetime program block that will both entertain viewers and give them an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of kids in need.
- Visit the Red Nose Day website: https://rednoseday.org/ for additional fun ideas and info.
Some of the charities that will benefit include: Save The Children, Feeding American, Boys and Girls Club and these two Christian-based charities – Covenant House and charity: water. All of these organizations work tireless to make a difference here at home in the U.S. and around the world.
Whenever, I pray with gratitude, I also think of this passage below:
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
I believe that we can all raise awareness, support Red Nose Day, and end child poverty – one nose at a time.
Check out the video below of Ed Sheeran helping raise awareness of Red Nose Day:
From Brokenness to Restoration
April 21, 2017
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6 NKJV).
The work God has done in my heart can definitely be described as one big (de)construction project- from tearing down walls that were erected from what I experienced as a child to restoring the brokenness created by my six year prodigal journey running away from the Father.
And as long as I am breathing in oxygen on this fallen planet, this heart of mine is a total work in progress.
In the process, the Lord has built patience in me- that in and of itself is a total miracle for this sometimes stubborn and driven personality of mine.
I believe God can change us in an instant, but chooses the longer, sometimes grueling and painful road, because it requires us to trust Him in the waiting and allows our history with Him to deepen in such a beautiful way.
I have talked quite a bit about “seasons of soul” on my blog because it amazes me to see how the Lord proves Himself faithful in the valleys and the mountain-top experiences of life. Instead of focusing on the crashing waves that may try to overwhelm us, when we choose to fix our eyes on Jesus, we trust that He won’t allow us to sink and won’t leave us alone in our storm. The same is true when everything is butterflies and rainbows. He’s still the same Jesus standing by our side: rejoicing with us, mourning with us, and cheering us on as we run the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).
Shortly after I gave birth to my son in the Fall of 2014, it seemed as if the Lord was whispering to my heart that I would be entering a “season of restoration.” This was a glorious promise because there had been numerous occurrences in my life where the enemy had stolen more than enough from me and my family. In the midst of this promise of restoration, I had no idea that I would experience one of the darkest “night of the soul” seasons in my entire life that would last for well over two years.
I experienced both natural depression and spiritual depression at the same time and because I was isolated as a new stay-at-home mom, it felt even darker for me. I can tell you that I held onto that promise of restoration with each passing day, but some days were just plain hard to keep hanging on, if I can be honest. I’m thankful to Jesus for standing by my side, as well as my husband Paul, who was so faithful through it all. There also have been friends who have been such a breath of fresh air of God’s grace to me, sharing words of encouragement and love that helped me face the day and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Their prayers were so evident in my life!
And here I am today, knowing that my dark night of the soul season has lifted. Knowing that God has been bringing my brokenness to full restoration and I’m living in that promise now!
The joy I am experiencing is overwhelming! The peace I continue to rest in surpasses anything the world can offer.
I share this with you to let you know God sees you. He knows the pain is very real. And He’s with you in the midst of your storm. Your trial has a shelf-life….even if it may be years, and even if you don’t experience relief until you see Jesus face to face, as hard as it is to say that. The Lord is forever faithful and will never leave you. Hold onto hope! Hold onto your faith in the Father! He is working behind the scenes and is faithful to complete this work that He has started in you, just like the Word promises us.
Here Comes the Sun
March 28, 2017
I have decided to say “No!” to depression. Not to sound too…well, depressing, but since December, I have felt its noose slowly begin to tighten around my neck, and I was passively allowing it.
I believe it was a combination of the effects of stress and bad eating choices, winter blues, extended sleep deprivation, and just lies bombarding me from the enemy. I was also in the midst of working Christmas retail chaos for the first time in my life, so I guess you could say I was a tad overwhelmed and a little disappointed with the lack of creative outlet in my life.
But the clouds are parting and I’m beginning to experience the sun again!
I have felt in my spirit for quite some time that I am approaching transition into new territory. Like I wrote in my last post, I have been holding onto that hope with all of my might. I have been in survival mode for far too long, and I am ready for my life to thrive again. And not just for me but for the sake of those God has entrusted to me and who He is now sending my way.
The Bible verse that has been on my heart lately comes from Isaiah 60:1:
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you (NKJV).
This verse is displayed in my son’s room because it is one of my favorites found in the book of Isaiah.
What it says to me is that there is an action required for me to see the glory of the Lord rise upon me and that is I MUST ARISE! I can’t just sit there passively and let the devil continue to beat me up with his stinkin’ lies! I must rise up! I must stand up and most importantly, stand upon God’s truth and promises!
*Edit 4/4/2017- Shortly after I wrote the words above, a decision was unexpectedly made for me regarding my current evening schedule. God pretty much closed a door for me in an area of my life that was causing strife, stress, and strain in my marriage. Ha! How about that alliteration for ya?!
What seemed like something the Lord had asked me to do for quite some time, turned out to be a very short season for me in the end. Eight months later (8 symbolizes “new beginnings” in the Bible), I’m finding myself facing another “new beginning” in my life. Suddenly all this unnecessary weight I was carrying has been lifted off of my shoulders, and even though I could sense God’s grace carrying me through this last season, I still feel lighter in some way.
And now that my physical circumstances have rearranged to help alleviate stress and tension, I know that I still must hold onto hope and stand upon God’s truth because the enemy isn’t going to stop his dumb tactics to steal my peace and joy. This new change will require trusting God in a greater way regarding our physical needs because it has taken some of the control out of our hands and we have no choice but to trust that God will provide no matter what.
I just love how God cares about all aspects of our life instead of just our spiritual health. He will move on our behalf so that we can experience the life Jesus died for us to have. The more we look to Him to fulfill and satisfy, the more we discover how great a Father He is to us. He never disappoints!
Even if you can’t see it, He is working behind the scenes always. Even if you don’t feel the sunshine just yet, know that the clouds are going to part. Hold on! Stand up! Trust and believe!
Holding Onto Hope
March 17, 2017
“Hold onto hope!” were some of the last few words I wrote in my journal as I reflected over my current circumstances.
I had no idea how much the word “hope” would become even more tangible to me as it has bubbled up inside of me these last few weeks while Paul and I have been discussing our future.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
Now, I understand that many Bible scholars and Bible thumpers HATE when people quote this particular verse to apply it towards any given circumstance in life. Many agree that it is widely taken out of context.
I understand that the Lord is talking to Israel through His prophet Jeremiah in this passage, and I also understand that the Israelites would have to endure seventy years of captivity in Babylon before they began to see God’s promise of a great future come to pass.
But does that mean that God’s plans towards us are not good or that we should not remain hopeful of a glorious future ahead?
Of course not!
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, NKJV).
God’s character has not changed and He loves us just as He loves His chosen people, Israel.
Yet, we definitely need to remember that our definition of good and God’s definition of good could be two completely different things and those plans could possibly involve some suffering and challenges on our way to that glorious future.
And the Lord knows Paul and I have endured some of those challenges and suffering over the last few years that have tested our faith and shaken our hope in the Lord’s promises to us, especially as it concerns our desire for debt freedom- a dream we have had since very early on in our marriage, which has always been accompanied by very limited time together from all of the jobs we have had to take on to see that dream become a reality.
Although those difficult and sometimes painful experiences seem to have loomed over our heads these last two years, they have most definitely become more intensified these last six months or so.
Our son Isaiah has always seemed to have sleeping issues since he was born, but in late September until early February, he was waking up every single night (no exaggeration), multiple times, into the early morning hours. This just so happened to be around the same time I started my new part-time job in retail where for almost three months (well over 20 hours a week) I wouldn’t get home until close to one o’clock in the morning (thanks to those lovely extended holiday hours). All I wanted to do was sleep during the day, and I dreaded having to do it all over again that night, not to mention hating all the time I was missing out on with my family and friends on the weekends as well.
I didn’t know how quickly this would all catch up to me- my health definitely took a turn for the worse, which was difficult for me to experience since I was in the best shape of my life after working out for an entire year straight, eating clean, and taking supplements. But in December, I began experiencing severe bloating, fatigue, and issues with my menstrual cycle that culminated in a chemical pregnancy, which is a type of early miscarriage, because my hormones were extremely imbalanced from all of the added stress. I was having panic attacks in the middle of the night and arguments increased between Paul and I because of the sleep deprivation and utter exhaustion from dealing with a child who would inconsolably scream for hours through the night. Did I mention we live in an apartment complex? I’m sure our neighbors just adore us. 🙂
But thanks be to God…and to friends who have been praying for us continually!
We have seen great improvement in Isaiah’s sleep and in my health this last month! I have had no choice but to hold onto hope. I have had no choice but to fight to hold onto my peace and joy and to fight for my marriage.
I’ve held onto it all with a death-grip, really.
I refuse to sink. I refuse to let the enemy win because frankly, he’s a loser and has already lost the battle.
My Jesus has already won the war!
I know this sounds kinda cheesy, but it has such a deep truth:
I don’t know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future.
God does.I will hold onto the hope that God is holding onto me. Click To Tweet
Whatever you are facing today, know that God is holding you. He’s got this and He’s not going to let you down. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9) and His plans are greater than you could ever ask, think, or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
HOLD ONTO HOPE IN JESUS TODAY, FRIEND! He is your anchor and won’t let you sink!
I’m holding on to hope
I’m holding on to grace
I’m fully letting go
I’m surrendered to Your ways
The anchor for my soul
Father You will never change
I love You, I love You
–From “Anchor” by Bethel Music
Take Me Back
January 17, 2017
When I was about seven or eight years old, I remember being asked to do a visualization exercise in Sunday school. The teacher asked the class to close their eyes and imagine being with Jesus.
“What do you see? How do you feel? What are you and Jesus doing?” she asked rhetorically.
I closed my eyes and saw myself wearing a white dress, standing in a field of wildflowers with Jesus. He reached out His hand to me, as if to ask me to run with Him. With my tiny hand in His, we ran through the flowers laughing.
As I write these words, tears form in my eyes because that little elementary girl had no frame of reference for that vision and had no idea what it was like to be close to Jesus like that, yet God downloaded this prophetic picture into my young heart.
It’s not just that fact that tears begin to flow, but the amazing news that the little third grader grew up, heard the glorious gospel for the first time and met that Jesus personally at sixteen years old and would finally grab a hold of His hand and run with Him at 22 years old. Although it may have taken awhile to finally run with Jesus, what matters is that I am now and that I haven’t looked back.
It’s crazy to think that over twenty years have passed since that memory in Sunday school, yet it is still etched in my mind, and recently the Lord put His finger back on that encounter with Him in a very divine way.
I reconnected with a dear sister in Christ over coffee last week and she began to share a very special memory of her and Jesus when she was young, living in the country- enjoying being alone with Jesus in the middle of a field. Immediately, my mind revisited my vision that I had many years ago.
I am still trying to wrap my mind around what God has been speaking through this similar encounter. There may be many layers to it, but one thing I have been focusing on is what that vision I had 20-something years ago means to me and to the Lord.
Innocence. Purity. Peace. Rest. Joy. Intimacy with Jesus.
Why a field?
We can stand in the middle of a wide-open field with Jesus and experience total freedom from all of the cares of the world.
No distractions. No burdens. No earthly possessions to possess our affections.
So I am asking for the Lord to take me back to that place that He showed me when I was young. It’s in Him that we can live in that kind of peace and rest. I know that. But of course, it is so much easier said than done, and I know I have definitely drifted and have entangled myself in the distractions of the world.
Noises caused by materialism, worldliness, and worry.
My desire to turn from those distractions doesn’t come from a place of self denial for self righteousness or religion’s sake, but from a place of love for God.
To know Him more. To be close to Him. To experience His love alone that fulfills every aching need to belong and find my rest.
So here is my prayer:
Take me back…
…back to the beginning…
…where my heart desired just being with You, Jesus- in a field of wildflowers, running hand in hand with You.
I never had that kind of peace or purity when I was young that I can remember.
It’s what You always wanted for me and still desire for me to have whenever I want.
To run away with You and escape from all earthly distractions.
To breathe You in. To feel Your peace and rest.
Time may have passed, but the way You see me, the way You love me has never changed. And it never will.
In the day we live in, especially in America, it is so intensely difficult to find that “field” and stay there for awhile. So much is pulling at us for our hearts and attention. It is so easy to get distracted from His gaze and break free from holding His hand even for a moment of self exploration.
I have come to realize that as children of God we must fight to find that “field” and fight to stay there. It is imperative. It is absolutely crucial for our souls and for our spiritual development. The devil wants nothing more than for us to stay as far away from the “field.”
But I have a resolve so deep in my heart that nothing is more important to me than going back to that place with Jesus that God showed me as a little girl.
I am finding my way back and it is so beautiful.
Discovering My (Mis)Identification
December 5, 2016
I figured most of you wouldn’t mind if I just wrote very “stream of consciousness”-esque today.
It’s much easier for me these days, it seems.
Little sleep and working long and late retail holiday hours have left me a tad burnt out for much creativity.
I’m hoping that this writer’s block season is almost over because, jeezo peet, I miss it.
A part of me was willing to say “good-bye” or at least “see ya next time” because it has seemed like such a struggle to even sit down with any ounce of writing inspiration. I have been wondering if my writing season was coming to an end and the Lord wanted me to focus on using another gift.
But what if there is no outlet for any of my talents?
Man, it’s been like this for awhile. At least I’ve always had a place to write. My blog gave me somewhat of a platform and influence, even if it was small.
The more I reflect upon this void feeling, the more I wonder if this is the working of the Potter as He molds me and changes my heart’s desires even more to sound like His heartbeat.
But it seems quiet around here.
The question that I can’t seem to escape has been:
What if this whole time He has been stripping me from identities that were not how He truly sees me?
I know that because of my lack of productivity I have had to learn to just be and most importantly, just be His daughter. This is a lesson that has come with many tests, and I admit that I have failed several times. The Lord just keeps the opportunities a’coming to pass and move onto the next level. But when will that ever happen?
Formlessness is what this is called. I’m in process. I’m on the wheel. I’ve been on the wheel. For a long time it seems.
I haven’t been able to hold onto any label or (mis)identification for many months, you guys.
I used to be Emily Rose Mollet- actress, singer, dancer.
Then I became Emily Rose Massey (seven years ago today, actually)- worship leader, writer, youth pastor, singer/songwriter, author, speaker
Besides my often forced hand at writing and occasionally leading a women’s Bible study once every 6-8 weeks or so, I don’t do any of those things anymore.
I’m not really any of those things anymore.
But here’s the kicker…
…I NEVER truly was any of those things. I am a daughter of the Most High God! That’s the only identity that matters, right? That’s the greatest position I will ever stand in, right?
Although I would have told you straight to your face that my identity is not in what I do, I don’t know if I whole-heartedly believed that.
And that is why I think the Lord has had to strip me down where I do none of those things, with absolutely no opportunities in sight to even attempt them, or having very little desire or passion left in me to attempt doing any of those things at all and not much grace to accomplish them.
I’d love to tell you that because I haven’t been allowed to busy myself that I have had powerful encounters with Jesus every day during my quiet times while my son napped. Sometimes that was the case. But more often than not, I wrestled with this issue of mis-identification, asking God why, when, how…
…wondering what this sense of void really was all about and if it would ever go away.
Maybe today is the day I stop resisting His hand and yield to it. Funny I say that, considering the title of my book, Yielded in His Hands.I know who I am called to be. And most important, whose I am called to be. Click To Tweet
Yes, I’m in process on this Potter’s wheel, but I know the end result is quite a masterpiece.
Until then, I’m on a search to discover this true identity as God’s daughter and allow Him to rid my heart of any mis-identification.
And I can say, it is quite the journey.
Aggressive Expectation: Preparing for 2017
November 16, 2016
Photo courtesy: J&H Creative
I don’t know about you, but I am a list-maker.
I have always been ever since I learned to write, I think. There is just something about writing down your thoughts that helps relieve tension in ways that I simply cannot fully explain. Obviously, says the writer.
The list-making goes hand-in-hand with journaling for me too- it’s funny to think that I have kept a diary since I was in grade school. My earliest memory of one I owned had a tiny lock and key and Tweety Bird on the front cover. I can only imagine what top secret words my heart needed to pen that I had to make sure to lock the diary. 🙂
It wasn’t until I became a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ that I realized how important my passion for writing things down was in my walk with the Lord.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 (NKJV) says:
2 Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.
In context, I know this was a promise and prophecy for the prophet Habakkuk, but if God (Jesus) is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), there is truth to be found in these God-breathed verses for everyone’s life. If the Lord found it important enough to tell Habakkuk to write down what He was speaking to him, then the same is true for anyone whom the Lord is bringing vision and revelation to.
I believe this instruction from the Lord to write down the vision is especially important during times of transition in our lives.
Although God does not run on our timeline or (Gregorian) calendar, I do think He wants us to prepare our hearts and incline our ears to Him for the new year ahead.
Crazy to think that 2017 is only less than two months away at this point!
As I sat and reflected over 2016 the other day, I could only find one word to describe a majority of it for my family- disappointing.
I don’t find it a coincidence that the cover of my journal for most of 2016 was a picture of an anchor and this verse found in Hebrews:
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:19a, NIV).
My circumstances may have been disappointing, but I had a hope that kept my soul secure in the joy of the Lord. Sure, it was extremely difficult to hold onto that hope and not let the enemy steal my joy on a daily basis, but I kept coming back to the arms of Jesus, knowing that His joy would be my strength.
This hope stirred within me as I reflected upon 2016 and looked ahead expectantly at 2017.
This is where I began making a list. Not just a list of resolutions or even goals, but a list of all I believed the Lord would accomplish in and through my family this upcoming year.
I guess you could say it was a list of prayer requests of sorts, but mostly, it was a list of declarations full of aggressive expectations rooted and anchored in faith that my God will come through as He always does because He is so faithful!
One of the biggest declarations I am believing will come to pass is for our family to find a church body and family to be a part of. It has been a long and winding road for my husband and I since 2010. 2017 will be seven years that we have been on this journey to find our place of belonging- and not just temporarily or for a season, but a place to firmly plant our roots down, flourish, and raise our children for years and years and years to come.
Seven just so happens to be the Biblical number for divine completion and perfection. Yes, Lord. I believe You are faithful to perfectly complete this journey for us! Whatever that looks like!
I moved homes a lot growing up and have had family and friends consistently come and go in and out of my life for many years, so I’m pretty conditioned to change and transition, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me that we have not been able to find not just a church home, but our church home.
2017 will be the year we find our belonging. Our tribe. Our peeps. Our pride. Our God-ordained place and calling in the Body.
2017 will be the year God makes all things new and brings total restoration in all areas of our life.
I believe it. With all of my heart, I believe it.
So here’s to seeing an end to the disappointment and discouragement of 2016 and looking into 2017 with hope and joy, ready to see God’s faithfulness!
What about you? What kind of aggressively expectant, faith-filled declarations are you making for the new year? Write it down. Pray over it. Believe that it will surely come. I can tell you God will do exceedingly, abundantly more than anything you can ask, think, or imagine!
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him beglory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever (Ephesians 3:20, NKJV).