Kicking the Shudder to the Gutter
January 2013


'Take away assertion, and you take away Christianity.' - Martin Luther

Hi Friends:

There is one group, one fraternity if you will, one association of like-minded Christ-followers . . . that the Enemy is hell-bent on keeping you away from . . . especially at a time of new beginnings. It is that first week on a job, that first year of marriage, those first few days in a new leadership assignment, those first few weeks in a new church or new home group, those first few days on a new campus or in a new classroom . . . yes, even those first few days in a new calendar year . . . when you are seeking to "set the tone" for weeks and months to come . . .when you are seeking to put convictions, commitments and resolutions to work . . . those are the moments when the enemy will spare nothing to keep you from the "27:14" . . . the place where waiting precedes working . . . where listening steps in front of lobbying . . . where assessing trumps amassing . . . the place where you . . .

"Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage ; Yes, wait for the LORD."
- Psalm 27:14

And if the enemy is successful . . . he knows he can hold you hostage to fear, uncertainty, reservation, doubt, unbelief, cowardice, tentative days . . . he knows that if you are on the outside looking in at the members of the "27:14", then he knows that you will likely be stammered, sidelined, slowed, stalemated . . . yes, so stuck on being you . . . then the enemy knows that the confidence and courage one finds from being "in Christ" in the moment . . . especially in those first moments, those first hours, those first days and weeks . . . will seem forever far away from reach and reality.

Lizzie's Story

Lizzie Velasquez knows such a battle, such a fierce temptation . . . a fight for survival and life unlike what most young women will ever face. Once called "The World's Ugliest Woman" on a viral YouTube video while a junior in high school . . . and subsequently the ongoing target of cyber-bullying . . . 23 year-old Lizzie Velasquez was born with a medical condition so rare that just two other people in the world are thought to have it. She weighs just 58 pounds, has no adipose tissue and therefore cannot create muscle, store energy or gain weight.

Velasquez consumes 5,000 to 8,000 calories a day -- eating food every 15 minutes. But because of the condition, the Texas State University student has never weighed much more than 60 pounds. Doctors believe she may have something called Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome, a condition that leads to premature aging and is characterized by wrinkled skin, not much fat, a large head, a face that looks aged and visible veins in the scalp.

To get a clearer picture about Lizzie's life story, check out the following . . .

Lizzie Velasquez inspired women all around the world last year when, during an interview with CNN, she stated that people "should stop staring and start learning". Since then, she's been flooded with speaking requests and supportive emails.

"Be Beautiful, Be You", her second book, which came out in September 2012, shares her advice on being unique, how to make and keep good friends, how to deal with bullying and negativity, how to set realistic goals . . . and guess what . . . how to talk to God in your own words. Lizzie found her own "27:14" and now carries one core theme in all of her motivational speaking and writing: to confidently and courageously love yourself as the gift of God you are.

Your "27:14"

So just what does the "27:14" look like? Is it some dark prayer closet void of light and inspiration? Is it a secret self-help pool of good energy and karma waiting deep within yourself? Hopefully not!

Your "27:14" can be a place of solace . . . but it can also be that place where you come together with your best friend . . . it can be that place where you bond with your entire family or a group of your closest friends . . . it can be that place where you congregate with thousands . . . thousands of like-minded Christ-followers who desire to change gears . . . Christ-followers who often come together to wait, listen and assess . . . yes . . . but even more importantly . . . come away from business as usual and come together to DECLARE that to be in Christ is to bow to no other influences before God Himself . . . influences, opinions, activities, interests . . . that will lessen, reduce, restrict or confine the courage and clarity of a GRAND LIFE OFFERING of SACRIFICE and PRAISE. It is the company of the "27:14" that first and foremost affirms in heart and mind . . .

"I am the LORD your God. . . . You shall have no other gods before Me." - Exodus 20:2,3


. . . but beyond meditation, quiet reflection and mental agreement, the company of the "27:14" first and foremost asserts, announces, proclaims in spoken word . . . yes, declares with boldness and confident tongue . . .

• "God, You are the only true and living God" (see Exodus 20:2-3)
• "God, You exist as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and are worthy of all honor and praise as my Creator, Sustainer and Beginning and End of all things" (see Revelation 4:11; 5:9-10; Isaiah 43)
• "Jesus Christ, I recognize You as the Messiah, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us" (see John 1)
• "Jesus Christ, I believe You came to destroy the works of Satan and that You disarmed the rulers and authorities, having triumphed over them" (see I John 3:8; Colossians 2:15)
• "God, I believe that You have proven Your love for me, because when I was still a sinner, Christ died for me" (see Romans 5:8)
• "Jesus Christ, I believe You delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me to Your kingdom, and in You I have full redemption, the complete forgiveness of sins" (see Colossians 1:13 -14)
• "I believe that I am Your child God, saved by Your grace through faith as a gift and not the result of any works on my part" (see I John 3; Ephesians 2:8)
• "I choose to be strong in You Lord and in the strength of Your might, putting no confidence in the flesh, for the weapons of my warfare are not of the flesh" (see Ephesians 6:10-17; Philippians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 10:4)
• "Jesus Christ, I believe that You have all authority in heaven and on earth and I resolve to stand firm in my faith and resist the evil one" (see Matthew 28:18; Colossians 2:10; Ephesians 1:19-23; James 4:7)
• "I believe that apart from You Jesus Christ I can do nothing so I declare my dependence on You and choose to abide in You in order to bear much fruit and glorify the Lord" (see John 15:5-8)
• "I choose to present my body to You God as an instrument of righteousness, a living and holy sacrifice, and I renew my mind by Your living Word in order that I may prove that Your will is good, acceptable and perfect"
(see Romans 6:13; 12:1-2)

Will you make space in your year ahead for a "27:14"? . . . weekly, if not daily . . . as a gift to your spouse, your children, your parents, your friends your coworkers, your enemies . . . as a gift to yourself . . . for the glory of God?

To come to such a place with fierce consistency and determination . . . to boldly announce such timeless truths about the identity you share when you are in Christ . . . to take spiritual possession of all that God has and desires to perform in and through your life . . . to find yourself early and often, both alone and with others in the "27:14" . . . is to make space in your life this day, this moment, this new morning, this new year . . . for courage that can only come from heaven . . . courage that will find you . . .

. . . kicking the shudder to the gutter.


" But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."
- I Peter 2:9

Artists' Corner

"New Year's Inspiration" by SteeleHouse Media,

"All I Need is You" by Hillsong Live,

Left my fear by the side of the road
Hear You speak
Won't let go
Fall to my knees as I lift my hands to pray

Got every reason to be here again
Father's love that draws me in
And all my eyes wanna see is a glimpse of You

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord

One more day and it's not the same
Your Spirit calls my heart to sing
Drawn to the voice of my Saviour once again
Where would my soul be without Your Son
Gave His life to save the earth
Rest in the thought that You're watching over me

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord

You hold the universe
You hold everyone on earth
You hold the universe
You hold
You hold


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