Valerie Jones

{Live with Purpose. Lead with Passion.}

I am a blogger, worship leader, and speaker who helps worship leaders and team members connect with purpose and passion in life and leadership by offering encouragement, community, and practical resources so that they can thrive in life and leadership, both on and off the platform.

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Filtering by Tag: random musings

{Confront | Day 26 of 31}

Ready? Go.

"I don't like confrontation," she said. I don't like it either! The word by definition implies hostility.  But, what about conflict? Conflict (or disagreement)  is an expected part of human relationships. We can't all agree on everything one hundred percent of the time. That's fair, right? It's certainly not something we should stir up (see Proverbs 6:14, 19; 10:12; 15:18; 16:28; 29:22). When it comes, though, we ought to address it.

Disagreement doesn't have to disintegrate into a confrontation. Conflict can be handled well through honest, gracious conversation. But, I don't know if we've done that well in the church. Here are a few things I try to remember in the midst of conflict.

Words matter. Use them wisely. Carefully. Perhaps, even sparingly. Listen first. Then respond. If there is a gap to be filled in, ask a question before making an unfair assumption. Always, always extend grace and mercy. 1 Corinthians 13. Always.



{Five Minute Friday | Lose}

It's Five Minute Friday. That means unplanned, unedited, straight-from-the-heart-to-the-paper writing. Yep, you just write whatever comes out based on a word you're given. If you have five minutes, you should give it a try!  Find out how here.

This week the prompt is {LOSE}.

Ready? GO.

"What do we have to lose?" Before the words fully landed, I had a list of a dozen things. I didn't want to take this next step because it felt more like a crazy, insane leap into nothing. It felt like we had everything to lose.  I know what you're thinking. Thankfully, my sweet husband finds my flair for the dramatic endearing; and so, he smiles his sweet smile and nudges me along in the conversation to a point where I'm more reasonable than dramatic. But, still. Taking this step was hard. God knew. I was afraid, unsure, tired. He was asking me to say yes anyhow. He was asking me to do it afraid. He wanted to hear a yes even though I was unsure and tired. And so, I said yes.

 The Lord confirmed my yes with well-placed encouragement and perfectly-timed truths. One after the other.

Psalm 139: 5 jumped off the page during Bible study: "He hems me in before and behind - He lays His hand on me." And, then there's the verse of the day: "If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" (Romans 8:31) A few days later, a Bible study workbook took me to Psalm 27. "The Lord is my light and my salvation -- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life -- of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1) Just yesterday, my brother sent me a link to a sermon packed with challenging truths like this one: "Why do we limit ourselves when we have a promise from God?" And, I can't overlook the words of wisdom spoken over our lives by godly, trusted friends.  

Before I realized it, my feeble "yes" had grown into a brave and bold "YES!" It wasn't because I realized there was nothing to lose in taking this next step; and, it wasn't because I felt confident in my abilities. Not at all. it's because I made a choice to believe that being a daughter of the Creator of the universe was enough. Besides, anything I might lose along the way was His from the start if I'm living life with open hands. Here's the thing: it isn't really about winning or losing; it's about BELIEVING God.

May I encourage you today, sweet friends? If God's asking something of you, trust Him. Believe what Scripture reveals about Him. Believe that He can and will do what He says. And then, leap. Just. Go.