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Last Christmas a friend gave me a picture with words from a song we used to sing as children; ”With Christ in the Vessel I can Smile at the Storm” Little did we know how appropriate the picture was for this year!
At the end of January I closed a “Let’s Get Real” Conference with the question “Are you ready for the unexpected storms this year?”. It seems I’ve been writing about storms every since. “Storms within and storms without” as Paul writes. What we have just experienced in Florida was definitely a storm “without” but one that triggered storms “within” too.
I’ve lived in Florida for 21 years and been through several hurricane warnings and some actual hurricanes. I’m probably too cynically British about storms having grown up with “gale” force winds and storms often tearing down trees and ripping up roofs across the UK. But Irma caught everyone’s attention, including mine as we watched it destroy Caribbean islands before turning to Florida.
An uneasy air of impending doom fell across Florida as hourly reports showed Irma heading our way with an expected catastrophe, and the State raced to evacuate and prepare people.
On the morning of the storm I walked around my neighborhood wondering what it would look like the following morning. People asked -”are you prepared?” But what does that mean? How do you know if you’re prepared? How can you be totally prepared for winds and rain over 150mph? Reports from the Caribbean showed the power of Irma destroying 90% of Barbuda, sweeping a 2 year old boy out of a woman’s arms to his death, and completely destroying airports, homes and livelihoods in St Martin, the Virgin Islands, Cuba and Puerto Rico. These people had prepared to the best of their ability but nothing could stand against the power of this storm.
Three days before Irma hit Florida, I read two scriptures which took on a whole new meaning for me in light of the storm:
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.””Matthew 7:24-27
“But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” Genesis 6:18
It struck me there was no indication in either passage that the storms and floods would not come, but rather that they would come – and they would be bad! I had a sense too that we were not going to avoid the storm heading to Florida, it was not going to blow out to sea like Matthew last year. But scripture gave the assurance that whatever the outcome, with Christ in the vessel – we could smile at the storm.
A woman who lost her home in the Caribbean testified to News reporters “We have lost everything but we are still here. We are trusting God and He will take care of us.” The woman had a smile on her face – the wind and rain had beaten her house and destroyed it, but she had built her life on the Rock and she could still smile at the storm. The power in her was greater than the power in Irma.
As Irma headed through Florida the rain beat down, the floods came up, the wind howled and eventually the power went out; the lights went off, the TV was silent and the internet shut down. Sitting in candlelight listening to the wind and rain beating against the windows, a brighter light filled my home. Without the light and noise of the outside world, God’s presence and His light shone brighter. I suddenly felt overwhelmed with thanks for peace in the storm, to Him say “be still and know that I am God”. I think I slept through most of the storm smiling, thinking of being with Noah’s family in the ark:-)!
Thank you to all who prayed and sent encouraging words for us before, during and after the storm. I lost power for only 24 hours and have no apparent damage to my home. We did have to postpone a Workshop but it is re-scheduled Lord willing for Sept 22 – 24 but our LUV Center sustained no damage.
I think all of us in Orlando feel un-deserved favor that we came out of the storm lightly compared to many other areas. But friends and neighbors have lost roof tiles and sustained some water damage, and many are still without power. Please pray for them especially during this time of high temperatures and humidity. Pray for the men working hard to get power back to everyone.
We thank God for His mercy in stopping a catastrophe in Florida. But perhaps the experience with Irma will cause us to pray with more more urgency for those who are building their lives on sand, and to pray with compassion for those affected by other recent disasters; in Texas and Louisiana; in the Caribbean; in Mexico – (those without food and power after the 8.1 earthquake); in Bangladesh where 1/3 of the country has been under water from Typhoon Mora, and in India where over 500 died and 3 buildings collapsed in Mumbai from flood damage.
Prayer: I covet your prayers for us individually and as a ministry:
To be available to pray with and minister to those affected by trauma in this and similar crisis situations.
That we will pray more urgently and fervently for those who are building their lives on sand – Not on Jesus Christ.
That we will continue to help women build their lives on the solid Rock so they need not fear the future.
Pray for our Workshop, Sept 22-24 and the women who come hungry to grow in knowing God and making God known to others.
Pray for Rhonda hoping to complete her 6th workshop on Sept 22, but whose husband is recovering from a staff infection which needed special care during the storm.
- Pray that with Christ in the vessel we will all learn to smile at the storms
to comeThank you for your love, your support and your prayers that help us grow in faith and not faint in the storms.
In His love
Nevertheless I have this against you that you have left your first love – Revelation 2:4
Thank you for praying for our Workshop last weekend! The focus of our Workshop 4 was “Equipped and Empowered to Multiply the Kingdom of God among Women.”
From the beginning, we sensed the Holy Spirit’s call to return to our first love as we considered Jesus’ words to the Ephesus church in Revelation 2:2-4; I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
Andrew Murray wrote; “we find this same lack of zeal in the church today. There is zeal for the truth, there is continuous and persevering labor, but what the Lord values most is still missing: the tender fervent love for Himself.”
Our hearts were challenged to ask – are we as in love with Jesus as we are with the work we do for Him? It’s easy to leave Jesus behind as we move on with our good plans to serve Him. Yet the power to multiply does not come from our busyness and plans – it is birthed in the secret place of intimacy – in relationship in His Presence – for without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5.)
Jesus called the Ephesus church to repent and do the first works. So our time was spent in the secret place pursuing and practicing the “first works” – prayer, repentance, fellowship, worship, tears, pouring into His word, letting the Holy Spirit bring fresh revelation of Jesus, seeking His face, waiting on Him. It was a sweet time of intimacy, conviction, growing, renewal, equipping and empowering in His Spirit and truth.
Our Butterflies, who had been in the presence of Jesus left our workshop renewed in their first love, their wings stronger and open to His call to serve and multiply in Japan, France, Orlando and wherever the Holy Spirit leads. Pray the Holy Spirit will empower and multiply His kingdom through Masako, Marie Carmen, Anne, Lisa, Shelly, Tina and Theresa as they stay in intimacy with Him.
News from France:
- Churches in France joined together to host a Youth Crusade for 1000 young people last month. On the last day 10,000 adults joined the crusade and heard the gospel! Praise God – this was a first in France! God is on the move! Pray for revival and awakening in France!
- Marie Carmen and Anne are hosting another women’s Butterfly conference, Avec Z’elle in Marie Carmen’s home town in France, next February. Pray for the conference!
- Anne has almost completed the French translation of LUV Workbook One Transformation curriculum which Marie Carmen will share with the women. Please join us in praying for Anne to be able to complete the work and have the books printed on time.
Please Pray for Workshop 2 tomorrow; Friday through Monday;
August 11-14 group, from Orlando and South Florida are returning for Workshop 2. Like our previous group, they have experienced great challenges in the 6 months since we met, in their families, their health and their ministries. They are on the front line of battle in ministry overseas, in jail ministry and in the business world. They need this time of healing and refreshing:
- Please pray for a fresh out pouring of the Holy Spirit on Linda, Kathy, Tanya, Renee, Shelly, Theresa and Jennifer.
- Pray for healing, transformation, and deliverance from strongholds which hinder full freedom to serve the Lord.
- Please pray that each woman will grow in the knowledge and fullness of God and will be revived as we “draw joy from the wells of salvation” by spending this time in His presence, in His word and in worship and prayer.
- Please pray for complete healing of my mouth after oral surgery and two bone grafts last Thursday. Pray my mouth will not hinder my ability to lead and teach this weekend. I am trusting that once more, in my weakness He is strong.
- I had a first love heart check this week while reading 1 Peter 2:7; “to those who believe He is precious.” Is Jesus precious to me? Is He precious to you? Dear friend, Let us pray that Jesus will become more precious to all of us!
Thank you for your love, your support and your prayers! May He be glorified in all that we do. May His power and His blessing be upon you and your family. May His precious blood cover and protect you from all the schemes of the enemy. May He keep us all daily in love with our first love.
Yours In His very precious love,
Dear friend and partner,
I love you and so very much appreciate your faithful support in giving and praying for me and for Love UnVeiled through the summer months!!!
I confess this has been a difficult and challenging summer. I’ve struggled to find words to write to you during the turbulence of the last few months. When Paul describes his fears “within and without“ that’s how I would describe this season.
I could tell you “all is good!” – and yes it is good, and God is working in amazing ways. He is a good good Father and has been so faithful in the trials. But Paul also wrote “we don’t want you to be ignorant brethren of our trouble which came to us….that we were burdened beyond measure… but God in whom we trust, does and will still deliver us…you also helping in prayer for us.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-11
I could tell you “all is good!” – and yes it is good, and God is working in amazing ways. He is a good good Father and has been so faithful in the trials. But Paul also wrote “we don’t want you to be ignorant brethren of our trouble which came to us….that we were burdened beyond measure… but God in whom we trust, does and will still deliver us…you also helping in prayer for us.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-11
So my heart is to share a little of what’s been going on, to ask for your prayers for myself and for our leaders, and to give God glory and thanks for His keeping power in the storms. I am deeply aware of so many of you who are going through some very real and difficult storms and I join you in praying that God’s power will keep you and will see you through whatever you are facing!
Florida summer storms must be among the most violent in the world! They certainly feel that way if you fly in or out of Florida in the summer. I flew out of Miami through one of those epic summer storms on my return to the UK in early June. Climbing through the storm in the back of a “747” metal tube carrying 500 people, I felt as vulnerable as a cork on a raging ocean. I gripped the seat arms as the plane shuddered and dived crying “Jesus!” with each drop into an air pocket! Reciting every “promise” I could think of out loud drew attention but my desperation for God’s help greatly outweighed what people thought of me! I truly wanted to be calm, asleep in the storm with Jesus – but instead I was right there with the disciples trying to wake Him up to calm the storm!
Nine hours later we landed safely in the UK. Thankful but weary, shaken and stirred, I realized what shook me most was that I could be so badly shaken! My wings which may seem strong on terra firma – were weak when it came to this violent storm in the air. I felt very vulnerable and my faith tested and found wanting.
The flight felt like a picture of my life over the last few months, a series of storms bringing spiritual warfare, unexpected changes, uncertainty, physical pain, emotional pain, damage to my home, trials in my family, trials in ministry, loss, trauma, heartbreak and sadness. Compared to many who are suffering, these storms are small, but coming all together, they can be overwhelming. They have caused me to consider Peter’s words on storms and trials –
“that the genuineness of our faith which is far more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus.” 1 Peter 1:6
I was thankful for a sweet time with my family in the UK, traveling, visiting relatives and attending a family wedding. Yet my family have also gone through some heavy storms this year. They are a testimony to God’s sustaining power in a very difficult time. Mum, a strong prayer warrior has suffered physical pain in many parts of her body, and though her faith is unfailing, it is hard to watch. During my visit my brother and I were in a car accident. My brother’s car was totaled (a write off) leaving both of us with ongoing neck and back pain, and my brother without a car. We were thankful the Lord protected us from worse injury in this storm.
Across the UK there was a somber spirit as people have been shaken by the nationwide storms; the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, the terrible fire killing 89 people, and turbulent elections which divided the country. The terror attacks struck close to home when my sister’s community lost an 8 year old girl in the Manchester attack. Hundreds of bouquets of flowers covered the town center in memory of the young girl and the many others who had lost their lives. My heart hurt for those in my country who are hurting and afraid – and lost.
I returned to Orlando on another turbulent flight earlier this month feeling that my wings are somewhat shredded and bruised, vulnerable and in need of repair – flying feels a bit “wobbly.” Yet through it all God continues to prove that His power is made perfect in weakness. He is training us to have “eagle power” in our butterfly wings – we need that for the days ahead!
In this our 10th year of ministry, I’m taking some time in these next two weeks for rest and healing, and to seek God’s Presence and direction. I am grateful for this time alone with Him – away from the storms, to hear His still small voice.
I covet your prayers for wisdom and renewed strength, for more of His power and His love to lead and equip our leaders and groups around the world. The battle is greater than ever. We desperately need the Holy Spirit because people need God’s love like never before! We will never be out of work sharing God’s love, His truth, His healing and His freedom in a world shaken by storms on every side.
Please also pray for oral surgery on August 3. It involves cutting into the bone and gums to remove infection. I’ve had several dental treatments this year and been in considerable pain with my mouth. Please pray the surgery will go well and allow me to carry on teaching our workshops in July, August and September.
Ministry News and Prayer Needs:
- Praise from Columbia: Our beautiful butterfly Gloria from Orlando, recently rededicated her life to Jesus. She joined our leader workshops for training in discipleship and has also been attending two Butterfly groups every week since last September. What a transformation God has done! Last month she led a conference for 40 women in her native Columbia, S. America telling them about their value and freedom in Jesus! She writes “God showed up in amazing ways!! The Holy Spirit showed up in an amazing way!” Praise God, He uses women totally committed to Him!.
- Urgent prayer need! Butterfly Jail Ministry: Please pray for Tanya in S. Florida daily. She has been experiencing storms and spiritual warfare as the enemy retaliates against the freedom she is bringing to women in jail. She writes: “Liz I really need prayer. A lot going on. One of my jail girls in this class tried to kill herself. One in the last class tried to kill herself. Half my class got in a fight and in a lock-down. A lot of serious prayer lately. Friday night I talked to a girl (from Class 1) who is out now and having demonic manifestations. I’ve been feeling physical pain and anxious since then. I met with her yesterday and prayed with her. Please pray for me and for the girls.” Tanya is standing strong but she needs prayer support.
Please pray that spiritual strongholds will be broken in the girls’ lives as they hear the truth from Tanya. Pray for deliverance for the girls who have been involved in occult and demonic practices. Pray for spiritual protection for Tanya, for spiritual wisdom and discernment. Pray for healing from her physical pain in her neck. Pray for renewed strength and boldness to bring God’s love and His word to these broken women. Pray the Holy Spirit will bring complete transformation and deliverance to every woman Tanya is ministering to.
- Germany: Pray for our new group of Brazilian butterflies in Germany who Marli is discipling from Brazil by Skype.
- Brazil: Pray for Marli’s Brazil butterflies leading a prayer campaign for schools in Brazil. Pray for doors to open to reach children in the schools.
- Orlando: Pray for our new weekly group of 12 women led by Shelly and Lisa in our LUV Center in Avalon, Orlando. The women are already experiencing greater transformation and spiritual understanding as they learn about their freedom and identity in Christ.
- S.E. Asia: Pray for believers as opposition increases. Pray for our coordinator who faithfully leads our ministry, training leaders and discipling women helping them experience God’s transforming love in increasingly difficult circumstances. Pray for God’s favor to approve her visa to attend our Global conference in Oct!
Dear friend and partner, as much as I don’t like flying, the storms have been a reminder that we can’t fight the enemy on the ground! We have to take the fight into the air – for our real battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers of darkness and principalities in the heavenly places!!
If you’ve been gracious enough to read to the end of this long update, I hope this impacting 1 minute video will bless you! –
“The Battle is not in the flesh and blood”
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your love, your support and your prayers!
The Lord bless you!
Yours humbly in His love
The article “Prophetic Word: The Lord Says ‘You Are Not Alone in Your Metamorphosis'” written by Dawn Hill in Charisma Magazine, perfectly and beautifully describes the heart of the ministry of Love UnVeiled. The story of the Butterfly appears so simple, so light, so feminine, so childlike – not the meat for “mature” believers. But the process of accessing that freedom and simplicity is not light, simple, feminine or childlike. It is a freedom and simplicity found only in death. The “cocoon” season, where we all must go who long to experience deeper intimacy with Jesus, can be ugly, painful, fearful and lonely – until we learn that in that place of death and surrender we meet Jesus as we never saw Him before, we experience His deep love and healing, we shake off the boundaries of religion and knowledge of God, to deeply knowing Him in an intimate way. He becomes our all in all, the only Way, the Truth and the Life. We come out singing “To worship You I live – nothing else matters.” Are we willing to yield to death in order to experience His beauty and freedom – to be who He created us to be – transformed into His image, from glory to glory.
Here are a few excerpts from Dawn Hill’s article as it originally appears in Charisma Magazine:
God desires for the new creation to come forth in His beloved. When we are in Christ, the old passes away, and the new creation comes forth (2 Cor. 5:17). We are equipped for full transformation in the process of sweet surrender, as we are broken down to come into the fullness that is Christ. Yielding to the process of metamorphosis culminates into a state of accelerated transformation.
….Becoming more like Christ sounds glamorous, but the kingdom of God is not the same as any other kingdom. Death is our gain when it comes to Christ, and ascension is found in bowing low. It is easy to praise and to worship God when you have wings. It is easy to praise when you are intact and grounded in comfort, but it is the praise in the gloriously ruined state that rings the truest.
The Lord wants to know, will you praise Him in the process before the promise manifests? Will you still have a song in your spirit when you, as His masterpiece, are in a state as a fluid canvas, lacking visible and vibrant colors for others to see? If you are in the process, count it all loss that you may know Him (Phil. 3:8). It may seem that you are ruined and things will not come together, but in His presence, all that is needed for transformation is there…….The point of becoming the butterfly is not to soar unto ourselves, but to soar for His glory.
I have loved you with an everlasting love, with my loving kindness I will draw you. I will rebuild you and you will be rebuilt. Jeremiah 31:3-4
My word for this year was “hope.” But it took only three days into the New Year to be reminded that hope requires endurance.
Hope is expecting something that you cannot see when everything that you can see tells you the opposite. On January 4th I heard a Christian speaker say “we are butterflies who need to be eagles.” It was prophetic. The first 5 months of the year I’ve experienced intense challenges in every area of my life: ministry, family, personal and health. I have certainly felt like a butterfly facing storms that require the power found only in eagles’ wings – power to fly higher with greater hope, greater faith, greater wisdom and greater endurance. I know I am not alone! In these days of intensified spiritual warfare we all have need of endurance to press on to do what God has called us to do!
My passion grows daily to help women experience freedom – freedom to be who God made them to be, so they will fulfill His purpose to multiply His glory and bring the fragrance of Jesus to those in bondage.
Speaking to women at a recent Let’s Get Real Conference I had the impression the Holy Spirit was saying, “I am not here to give a makeover but a break-over.” I believe God is rebuilding His people to equip and empower us for ministry and to endure through the storms so many are facing now, and for the raging storms that are to come.
It’s been challenging to compose this much overdue update because as I sorted through all my notes about the many events, and happenings from our Butterfly Leaders around the world I realized it would be impossible to convey the countless stories of how God is transforming, equipping and empowering numerous incredible women to serve Him. Women who are being broken and rebuilt. Here is a glimpse into some of what God is doing through LUV and these incredible Butterflies …
Tanya, South Florida Jail Ministry: The Holy Spirit is using Tanya powerfully to transform women’s lives in this jail. So much so that the Sheriff has nominated her for a 3 year grant for Tanya to continue teaching Love UnVeiled in the jail!
Tanya led a second group of women through 12 weeks of Love UnVeiled. These were a few of their testimonies after graduation:
- This program is incredibly inspiring and comforting. It has given me a fresh new outlook on my life, transforming anger, frustration and depression into love, patience and joy. I now possess a new found confidence in God’s enduring words that reveal the limitless and lasting degree of His love.
When I first started the class I was very hurt, and looking for love in all the wrong places. Now I know that I was stuck in a dark place and crawling around as a caterpillar. I have been working on myself and sensing when the Holy Spirit is trying to speak to me or through me. Because I learned that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. I do not have to be captive in the chains of my bondage anymore. Christ has set me free and I am learning how to enjoy that freedom. As I keep in the word, and pray for guidance and discernment, I will be more like a butterfly spreading the fragrance of the Lord. Like Ms. Tanya told us: Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come!
- Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, fear not I will help you.” Right before I got arrested I remember crying out one night for God to just help me, to just make the chaos that was my life stop. And while my 1st choice for a stopping place isn’t county jail, I wouldn’t have changed this experience for anything. While I have been a believer for many years, I most definitely haven’t been a follower of Christ recently because I thought I could do everything in my own strength. This time in jail, because of Ms. Tanya & the Love UnVeiled class, it has blessed me and changed my life irrevocably. Through Tanya’s unwavering dedication and this amazing curriculum I have been able to gain freedom by His love and forgiveness, and peace I had only heard about. While my immediate circumstances haven’t changed, and I don’t know what the outcome will be, I am grateful for every moment I have spent here. God has turned my trouble into victory and in Him I find my rest. Thank you Ms. Tanya for teaching, and Ms. Dickson for creating this curriculum, it has been a life changing and saving experience.
This April I led a new group of leaders through Workshop One. This is our sixth leaders’ group training in Orlando. All of these women come from Central Florida. They are women who have been in ministry for many years and came to be equipped and empowered for ministry to women.
Once again the Holy Spirit began rebuilding! Not a “makeover” but a “break over.” He opened their understanding to allow the scriptures and principles they have known in their heads for many years to come alive by the Holy Spirit bringing revelation and understanding to their hearts.
Testimonies from April Orlando Workshop One:
- It was life changing!
- I was saved 30 years and went straight from salvation to service. No-one told me about intimate relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit which bring freedom. This is the first time I have understood how much He loves me!
- May God continue His work of using every part of who we are and every circumstance we go through to be redeemed and transformed for His Glory! Reclaiming the salty marshes in my life and asking Him to let the cleansing river flow through every part of me. Thanks for your prayers for me, some difficult circumstances have not changed but freedom and peace has increased!!!
Brazilian butterflies find their wings in Germany! Marli, our butterfly leader in Brazil spread her wings and flew to Germany this month where she started a new butterfly group with Brazilians living in Munich. She met up with Bridget our Orlando butterfly who moved to Munich last September. Together they are spreading the fragrance of Jesus in Germany.
Today Marli has arrived in Orlando to join the rest of the Butterfly leaders in her training group from Orlando and Moldova for their fourth leaders’ workshop.
Our leader in Indi@ held refresher workshop to encourage our Indi@cbutterflies who I had the privilege of meeting with for 4 years. She taught on Workshop 6, the Bride which had a deeply profound effect on the women. They have never considered that we the church are the Bride of Christ waiting on our Bridegroom. Most of them have never experienced a wedding in the way a bride deserves, or have a husband who rejoices over them with singing. It is so important that we encourage, equip and empower these women in the word of truth and the power of the Holy Spirit as the darkness gets greater in Indi@with increasing abuse against women, and escalating persecution against believers.
Let’s Get Real – last month 75 women came to experience The Divine Exchange at our women’s conference at Avalon Church. It was another powerful time to experience the Holy Spirit releasing women from past wounds and lies as they exchanged the lies for truth, the brokenness for healing and the bondage for freedom in their lives. The altar was filled with women responding to the invitation desperate for the Holy Spirit to heal, and fall afresh filling us with His power and His love.
Poland Jagoda completed Workshop 6 with the first group she started in 2014. Many of these leaders are now making disciples among women, many of them in the Catholic Church in three different cities. Please pray the Holy Spirit will continue to empower these women to bring freedom and truth to women in Poland – a critical country in Europe at this time.
- This weekend’s Workshop Level 4 – for leaders from Brazil, Moldova, and Central and S Florida – Liz (Friday, 5/19 – Monday, 5/22)
- Orlando area Quarterly Butterfly gathering – Liz – (Saturday, 6/3)
- Tanya – Jail ministry …ongoing, pray for funding
- Karen leading group for Moms with children of special needs.
- Shelly starting new weekly group in Avalon June 7th
- Safety and wisdom for our butterflies in Indi@and Asia.
- Visas for Indi@/Asia Coming to Global Conference, October
- Pray God will provide financially for all we need, especially October conference.
- My trip back home to the UK Leaving on 6/5
You’ve heard the prayer/song “If you can use any thing Lord, you can use me.” But evangelist Reinhard Bonnke suggests a more powerful prayer – “Lord make me usable!”
Asking the Lord to “make me usable” is far more dangerous in my experience. Praying to be used focuses on others, but praying to be made usable invites the Lord’s intervention in my own life to change me from the inside out, to transform me and conform me into His will.
And that usually involves pain through a process of brokenness.
We may run from brokenness, think it a cruel word, or think brokenness is only in those poor souls living in grass roots, survivors of abuse or any unbeliever. But brokenness often occurs to those willing to be used by God – for when we are weak, then He is strong. God’s purpose in brokenness, is making my life no longer about my glory and all about His glory – a process He takes us from glory to glory by His Spirit.
Lloyd John Ogilvie, chaplain to the US Senate wrote “Whatever happens that breaks us open to a deeper invasion of God’s Spirit is a blessing in disguise.” When we learn that brokenness is a blessing bringing us into deeper intimacy with God, greater dependency on God, and a life of freedom yielding to the Holy Spirit, we more willingly accept God’s pathway to “make us usable.”
This weekend, Friday through Monday I will be leading a new group of women through Workshop One of our disciple making journey, Transform and Multiply. These women have answered God’s call to join us in our mission to “Reach as Many As We Can.” Most of the women are from ministry backgrounds, but the courage and core of each woman’s heart is to “be made usable.” I believe God is going to move powerfully in response to their desire for Him.
Here’s a taste from the hearts of women coming this weekend:
One Butterfly recently started a jail ministry and is returning for her second time to Workshop One to be better equipped to disciple women in jail, coming out of jail, and to train others in what she is doing. God transformed her from brokenness to freedom and now she is setting other women free. She shares:
Being part of Love UnVeiled has been the greatest journey of my life. It is my privilege and honor to be part of this family. God has used this ministry, and the amazing women involved in the ministry, to forever change my life. Every day I continue to grow in my personal relationship with Christ. I hunger and thirst for more of Him, and more wisdom, understanding, knowledge, discernment etc, so that I can walk in the fullness of His plan for me and help other women find Him in a deep and meaningful way as well. God Bless!
A new butterfly joining Workshop One for the first time shares:
I feel called to deeper personal spiritual transformation. God has been awakening in me a fuller understanding of the impact of my past and the strategies I use to make life work apart from God. I want to root out my “caterpillar tendencies” and live fully as the butterfly God intends me to be – and take other women where God is taking me.
God is calling more women to minister into the deeper “lost”ness, deception, hardness, wounding and brokenness of women’s hearts. We cannot help these women in our own strength, our noble desires, programs or tools. We need a fresh invasion of the Holy Spirit and Truth to first fill our own hearts and make us usable! This is my prayer for our group this weekend! Would you please pray with and for us?
Pray for our workshop this weekend:
That in my own weakness I will be made usable, that God will use me to minister to our group in the power of His Spirit.
That God will makes us usable by shining light and truth into our brokenness and transforming us by His healing power.
That we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and the intimate time in His Presence.
That He will break us open to a deeper invasion of His Spirit.
That each woman will surrender and yield to the Holy Spirit’s healing, deliverance and freedom in their lives, to be vessels through whom the Holy Spirit can flow in power, to set others free.
Thank you for covering us in prayer!
Founder & Executive Director
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.2 Corinthians 4:7-11
There was a time – years ago – when I thought world missions was a heroic and noble calling, a spiritual adventure to win the lost and claim territory for Jesus. In my naivety, and by God’s grace the Holy Spirit led me to pray “God break my heart with what breaks Your heart.“
He led me to places of unimaginable pain and poverty, of darkness, evil and injustice, of hearts broken, deceived, enslaved and crushed by Satan. He showed me His pain. It was unbearable. There was nothing heroic. I wanted to run. I felt weak and helpless. In the face of such darkness, evil and pain – good motives, noble causes, admirable intentions were indeed weak and helpless.
I learned that being on mission with God is both glorious and terrible!
In my bible, I love the title over Paul’s testimony in 2 Corinthians 4:4-11, “Cast Down but Unconquered.” So much hope in that statement! I’ve written alongside “The butterfly life.” Spreading the fragrance of Jesus comes at a cost, our wings get battered and bruised – but we are unconquered. Knowing the power of God in us we can continue to fight from victory not for victory.
I’ve continued to learn about being on mission with God – awareness of the cost and the pain – but more importantly about His power – His power alone which is able to overcome the darkness, to heal the broken hearted and set captives free. His power alone which I was reminded again this week – is able to keep me when I am weak, tired, sick and beaten down. More more often than not, it’s when I am weak and weary that He steps in do to His greatest work for “We have this treasure in earthen vessels,that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
Many of our “Butterfly missionaries” around the world are living the “butterfly life”, struggling with opposition, sickness and physical tiredness they continue ministering to the broken hearted and setting captives free in God’s power.
Here are two powerful reports of Butterflies being “cast down but unconquered” in Moldova (Eastern Europe) and Ohio, US.
Moldova: Angie is struggling with health issues and extreme tiredness every morning. But she faithfully continues to meet weekly with a group of women in prison. She also started a new group on March 2. Women from her church invited friends to the group who are not believers. She shared this glorious news…
Hi Liz, just wanted to let you know that today at our butterfly group most women invited Jesus in their lives! They decided to fly! There are other women here who want to be in Butterfly class.
And in the prison God is working too. The last time the message of the gospel was accepted with great interest. They have lots of questions. Please pray for all these women.
Ohio: Butterfly Christy is struggling with health issues, fatigue and financial set-backs, but continues to meet with women every week where God is moving powerfully. She victoriously writes:
The ministry has exploded here! Women’s chains are falling down and they are soaring in Jesus! The Enemy is experiencing defeats as Jesus gains more territory. I’ve never seen so much rapid spiritual growth before!
Women are being freed and empowered through the Holy Spirit! So, I know God is using me in my time of greatest weakness. As these things have been falling off the women I teach, so be it with me. “I am fully His and He is mine! His banner over me is love!”
“We have this treasure in earthen vessels,that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
In Peru, Becky I am sure is even now helping those suffering the effects of the terrible floods. In India, Martha is crying to the Lord for more wisdom, power and strength for our Butterflies to help women caught in the increasing violence and abuse against women. In S.E Asia there is an explosion of our Butterflies who have multiplied 100 fold since we began disciple making in 2010. Our leaders there have been faithful and committed despite opposition from government, families and personal health.
Paul in his suffering and persecution said, we who live are always being delivered to death for Jesus’ sake – strange as it sounds, this is the life of freedom. Paul went on to say “therefore we do not lose heart – even though our outward man is perishing, the inward man is being renewed day by day. (2 Cor 4:16).
Please pray for myself and for our Butterfly leaders and missionaries in Peru, Brazil, France, Poland, Moldova, S.E Asia, India, Cambodia, Kenya, UK and US.
Thank you for praying that our strength will be renewed, that the word of God will go boldly and swiftly from our mouths to women who need freedom, and that our faith would not fail!
Yours gratefully in His love
Founder & Executive Director
In the last 2 months my family has experienced considerable trauma, pain and loss in business. It has been a very difficult time. Other friends and family are experiencing attack and intimidation for living out their faith in the work place. One of our Orlando butterflies lost her husband very suddenly and tragically. Women I speak to at home and around the world are experiencing stress and strain on many different levels as we battle against the spirit of this world who is trying to “wear out” the saints.
In the turmoil I have been drawn to David’s words of comfort in Psalm 73:16-17 “When I tried to understand this it was too painful for me…until I went into the sanctuary of God.” In the midst of turmoil God has surrounded us with His love and His peace in the sanctuary of His Presence.
I found one of those moments in the sanctuary of Avalon Church, my home church in Orlando where I am blessed to belong to a warm and supportive church family. On January 21 we had a beautiful time in the sanctuary with 100 women joining our women’s event, Let’s Get Real to experience God in “The Heart of the Matter.” You can taste what God was doing in the sanctuary in this 2 minute video link – https://youtu.be/KqwgbpyUQiI
The following day, Sunday January 22 was my birthday. My pastor surprised me by asking the whole church to sing happy birthday! I was highly embarrassed but I felt deeply loved at just the time I needed it. It was sweet to be in the sanctuary of Avalon Church that weekend!
In February I experienced blessings in the sanctuary of our partner, Lighthouse Church in Longwood, Florida. Entering into the sweet time of silent worship in the sanctuary before the service, I felt the powerful presence of God healing pain in my heart and washing away my stress.
More treasure was waiting for me in the sanctuary of Ardella Baptist Church, Lakeland, Florida. The former pastor of Ardella, a long time friend, had recently retired. I didn’t know the incoming pastor but he graciously invited me to speak at their Sunday School and in the Worship service. Pastor Mark and missions pastor Andrew told me they had read our ministry website in detail and were excited that our LUV mission to Transform, Equip, Empower & Multiply was their vision for Ardella. They reaffirmed their commitment to our partnership and pulled out the red carpet to make us feel welcome.
I was overwhelmed by the loving response and sense of anticipation in the Ardella Sunday school where 120 men and women gathered to meet us. During the Worship service I noticed a display of red and white balloons on the platform in the Worship sanctuary. In the middle were two huge balloons forming the number “10”. Tears followed as I realized the balloons were for Love UnVeiled, in honor of our 10 year anniversary. It was the pastor’s way to demonstrate their love for us. After the service the pastors prayed for us, honored and blessed us. My heart was full as once again God poured out His love in the sanctuary!
So in the midst of pain and trials and the turmoil of the world around us, I am thankful for the shelter and love of God I have experienced in the sanctuary. No, we don’t have to seek God in the sanctuary of a church building but I thank Him for the many blessings He has poured out through His people who meet to worship Him in buildings.
And I thank Him for our pastors and shepherds who faithfully and sacrificially pour into us, lead us, protect us and guide us with truth, love and encouragement in the sanctuaries they steward for the Shepherd of the sheep.
I treasure your prayers for my family, and for the events and women the Lord has planned for us to minister to this month and next
- Women’s Retreat, CRU “Stint” Ministry, Sat March 4 – Liz
Workshop Level 1 Training, March 2-4, Ohio, led by Christy
Workshop Level 4 Training, March 10-12 in Orlando – Liz
Workshop Level 1 Training new group, April 7-10, Orlando – Liz
- Workshop Level 6 Training, April 22-24, Poland led by Jagoda.
- Workshop Level 1 Training, April, India led by Martha and Urmila.
- New Group starting March 3 in Moldova led by Angie.
- Visas for Martha and Urmila, India coming to Global Conference, October.
- Visa for Eva, Kenya coming to Global Conference, October.
- My mother suffering with Trigeminal Neuralgia meeting with Neurologist March 8.
- Ministry Partner Sandel going through cancer treatment.
- Butterfly Shelly – MRI scans March 4 for extreme head and stomach pain
Thank you dear friend! I love and appreciate you.
May the Lord bless you and send you help from His sanctuary just when you need it!
“Each one reach one” continues to be a powerful way for our Butterflies to multiply – and that is what is happening in Ohio.
Today I spoke by phone to Patty, a beautiful believer in Ohio. I’ve not yet met Patty in person, but tomorrow Patty will begin disciple making training under Christy, one of our two trainers leading women to freedom in Ohio.
Patty is involved in many areas of ministry – helping 18-22 year olds with disabilities; teaching 4th and 5th graders in her church because she and her husband are passionate about helping young people know their identity, and weekly they minister to inmates in the local jail. I asked Patty why she felt she needed LUV training when she is already so involved in ministry. She shared “I need it for me, to grow in the word, to grow in my relationship with Jesus, and I want to be better equipped to reach others and to equip others to make disciples”
Christy who will be discipling Patty asked specifically for our prayers. She and her sister Jody experience heavy spiritual warfare in Ohio. Pouring into women’s lives so that they can experience healing and freedom means giving of ourselves. Christy is under great pressure with school studies and emotional stress working in a hospital where staff and patients are dealing with increasing trauma. Christy writes:
A Christian nurse and I got to pray with an overdose patient to receive Christ on Sunday! We laid hands on him in his room and poured God’s love into him. EMS crews have been bringing in OD patients found thrown into car washes, on the sides of roads, etc. It has been a nightmare epidemic here in Western Ohio. I will start Love Unveiled with this Christian nurse in a few weeks. She has never been discipled and came to me crying and asking for discipleship. She is the nurse who I often pray with over patients. Pray God continues to give us favor among ER staff to be able to lead so many hopeless to the Lord. Also, pray for major break through with the nursing staff. There is a pretty tough resistance to the Lord among them as many have become emotionally hardened and calloused from all the trauma they have seen.
Christy and Jody are being the heart as well as the hands and feet of Jesus – and they need our prayer support. Patty told me they radiate the love of Jesus where ever they go.
- Please pray for the young nurse who is hungry to be discipled by Christy.
- Pray for Patty, also hungry to grow and be equipped to reach young people and those in jail in Ohio.
- Pray for Christy to be renewed in physical strength and the power of the Holy Spirit in all wisdom as she serves the Lord with her whole heart among nurses and patients, and her new disciples.
- Pray Jody will also be renewed in strength and vigor and hope that God is with them and their efforts are not in vain.
Thank you for your praying that the Lord will shine His light and truth brightly and spread His fragrance in Ohio through these butterflies!
Yours in His love
Founder & Executive Director