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Bold Truth Blog

abundant life verse

Have a seat. This is where we get real. Welcome to the Bold Truth Blog.

Give yourself permission to drop the poser and work on the real you that wants to speak and choose and live a meaningful life.

We must deal with the stuff inside and the issues outside so that we can live boldly, walk in truth, and have a fulfilling life that knows love. That kind of effort, that kind of growth takes work. But it’s possible!

What about now?  {Right where you are…  Does your life feel full or empty?  Do you know your incredible value, or has it gotten lost somewhere along the way? The storms of your life have either anchored you in fear or love. Your true home is found in the One who made you. He created you to live an amazing life characterized by strength, peace, and joy.} 

You’re made to be a person of influence. There are parts of you that need a deep breath. The only thing holding you back is the belief that you can’t really change your life. To overcome limiting beliefs, we replace them with liberating truths! Doubt is always a liar and fear never tells the truth. Don’t listen to them. Instead, join me on the  journey here and let’s explore the truth you need together! As always, “When we intimately know the truth, it will set us free!”

You can get comfortable with mistakes. You can grow to face the things that challenge you and get bold and confident! Let’s grow roots outside our comfort zone and deep into bold truth and love! So scroll on down to see the latest blog posts or search by topic, but find what you need. For Spiritual Life Coaching, email me at robinlewiswords@gmail.com.

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” ~Colossians 2:7


Welcome, friend. I’m glad you’re here.

~Robin

From the desk by the window where hope rises in hearts and the life we live makes a bold difference every day.open, coffee

(c) Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, 2016

 

Why We Should Run from Popular Thinking

 

I recently submitted a softer version of this piece for publication in a local newspaper. I like to get readers thinking about their lives. This one is about that very thing: thinking.

knowledge, thoughts, journey, truthPopular thinking is defined as thoughts and/or beliefs regarded by the general population to be true and acceptable. Popular thinking is the lazy way to carry an opinion, but it gets worse. When we submit ourselves to an ideology, to a belief, to a culturally accepted standard, we are spiritually submitting ourselves, almost like we’re bowing down to it. We will become like what we bow down to – in thought, words, and behavior.

Things in your life are either expanding or shrinking depending on the focus you give them. Genuine growth, creativity, and achievement depend on new ideas, but what happens when we can’t escape the “good enough” ideas or won’t let go of the old ones? What happens when we believe we can’t change our lives or make them better? We grow stagnant, traditional, and while withering, we live our lives as a mere shell of the person God created us to be. The traditions of people can be very things – unless they are contrary to what God wants.

Personal growth is not automatic, but must be pursued. The way we think and believe will determine the outcome of our lives. Where is a reliance on popular thinking or tradition holding you back from what God wants for you?

Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.” John Maxwell says, “If you value popularity over good thinking, then you will severely limit your potential.” In speaking to an audience recently, I talked about the power of one’s potential to achieve more, exceedingly more than most of thoughts, popular thinkingus can imagine. Those of us, who pursue growth, end up pursuing broader, deeper thinking.

Whether you are part of a business, church, or family, traditional thinking can lock up your potential and cause problems that may go unidentified. It’s only when we stop and do the work of thinking do we solve problems with new creativity. When we do the work of personal spiritual growth, we learn to solve problems with the help of the Holy Spirit, not “What is everyone else doing?” or “What have we always done?”

Paul wrote his letter to the Romans encouraging them to not take on the thinking of the world, but to be transformed by having their minds renewed by the truth (Romans 12:2). When he said “Do not be conformed to the world” the original Greek word is schematizo from which we get our English word schematic, meaning design or blueprint. The root word actually means to twist together. If we are not supposed to model our lives after the blueprint of popular thinking (which models us after the image of society), then that requires we engage in better thinking that leads to greater discernment. Without strong discernment or astuteness, our thoughts and lives can get so twisted up with what is not true that we begin to believe it. Someone said, “A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by the majority.”

mind set thinking thoughts resultsToday our world is plagued with many rumors, contrary beliefs, and mixed philosophies. Do you find yourself wondering what is true? So do I. We need to pursue personal growth, deepen our relationship with God, and ask Him for greater wisdom and discernment. In Ephesians 4:23-25, Paul is exhorting us to untangle ourselves from what corrupts our lives and be renewed in the spirit of our minds; to push aside the false and speak only what we know to be true. This comes from growth! If there’s no renewing of our minds in Biblical truth, then we grab whatever is believed in our culture and it becomes ours. The same old thinking always brings the same old results.

Popular thinking sometimes means not thinking at all, and at best only brings average results. Our thoughts have the power to create what we experience, and whatever we focus on grows larger. If you’re tired of your own “stinkin thinkin” holding you back, here are some steps to consider:

  1. Stop and think before you follow popular thinking
  2. Include strong believers (who know how to hear God’s Spirit) who are innovative thinkers in your circle
  3. Continually question your own thinking; what worked yesterday might not be best for today – Does what I believe line up with God’s truth?
  4. There may be something new to discover so ask questions and seek options
  5. Even if uncomfortable, make decisions based on what is right according to the Word of God rather than on what is commonly accepted

Author, Mark Twain is noted for saying, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” God designed our minds with the ability to be renewed which means we can change the way we think. If you want to change your life, you must change the way you think!

Be more than a follower; become a strong leader who exercises good thinking, births innovative solutions, and shares new ideas. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Know your values and let them be your guide. Remember, everything begins as a thought and our thoughts determine our destiny. It takes nothing to join the crowd, so before you follow popular or traditional thinking, think!

For help or suggestions, send me an email! I’d love to hear about your thinking!

Loads of grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window where possibility and creativity are in the air!

Robin L. Lewis is a certified life coach, speaker, and writer who challenges others to grow and achieve. For more information, email Robin at robinlewiswords@gmail.com and get free updates at www.sozolifeleaders.com/blog.

2016-08-20 19.26.36Where I do some of my best thinking! Fishing and beach combing with my husband, Jeff.

 

 

Coffee Can Be a Spiritual Experience

laptop coffee old tableI live again in the little town in which I grew up, a small farm-to-market town with a few stores and a great sense of community. After having lived away and been exposed to “big city things” I can sometimes find the local grocery store a bit of a challenge, but that’s OK. Except for the coffee.

My younger daughter worked as a barista at some great coffee shops when we lived in Tampa and Greensboro. That’s when I realized there was a lot more to coffee than the Maxwell House I’d grown up knowing. I learned about the power of the bean! The organic, fairly traded, and freshly roasted bean from Kenya remains my favorite. The oils on top of the French Press cup, the deep aroma, the earthy flavor with notes that linger, combined with honey and half and half make for a satisfying and rewarding cup of coffee. I’m spoiled – been called a coffee snob – but I know what I’ve experienced!

I’ve found it’s the same in my spiritual life. The God I grew up knowing in the same small town was taught about with faithfulness from the pastors who shared all they knew, but it wasn’t until my own relationship with God began to deepen and grow, until I experienced more of the Holy Spirit for myself, and had more real peace and joy did I understand that there was more to know and hold.

I have sought after God finding that He alone is my source of wisdom and revelation, and I’ve discovered an intimate relationship with Him where I can tell Him anything. Seriously, anything. After experiencing different forms of abuse and trauma, I find He has set me on my feet with a life of purpose. You may ask why I think I need more than what I was given as a child. That’s where the Kenyan coffee compares to the Maxwell House. To experience God is to find that life has more flavor and a sweet aroma, and just when I think He can’t show me anymore, He always does, speaking to my heart in a way I can understand and then encouraging me to share the truth about Him and all that unconditional love He has ready.

So now that I’ve come to know that God is more than a Bible story, and Jesus is more than a Savior, I am just beginning to live the restored, fulfilling, “Sozo” kind of life that was supposed to be mine all the time.  And I know what I’ve experienced!

Be satisfied with a “Maxwell House God”? Sorry, I can’t do that now. When I have been exposed to more richness and fullness in my soul, more identity and purpose about why I am here, when I’ve learned to hear God’s voice, why would I want to return to the way things used to be? Why would I ask for less than what is available for me? I want all the flavor, aroma, and purpose for a life that is mine to live well.

Don’t you have a responsibility to yourself to learn how to live your one life well? No one can do it for you, but…

You can have it, too! For more about how you can live a fulfilling life of significance and worth, send me an email today at robinlewiswords@gmail.com. My brand of encouraging life coaching and speaking topics can help. Your one life is worth it! Contact me today!

Loads of grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window on a Monday full of sunshine and a tender heart for you.

banner cropped for constant contact(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, August 10, 2015. (Reposted August 18, 2016)

 

A Thirsty Land, A Thirsty Soul

strength to the weak

My desk by the window with coffee in hand is the first place I land after waking, stretching, and thanking.  The mist hangs low and veils the pines across the road after last night’s hard rain.  Two of the three horses in the pasture are visible, and I imagine are enjoying the dew-heavy grass.  Our land has been thirsty.  These rain drops that fell will soak into soil and bring shriveled corn into fullness again, encouraging the shriveled hearts of farmers as well.

We, too, can become thirsty in soul.  Made to need the One who made us, without receiving from Him, we become dry and the living out of our lives can become shriveled like the corn in nearby fields, not producing much.  A thirsty soul is a good thing to have as it draws us to God.  We learn not to fill ourselves with other things as they don’t long satisfy and we find ourselves needing more of a temporary solution.  Jesus said to the woman at the well, if you knew who was speaking to you, you would want what I can give.

“Everyone who drinks this  well water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”  ~John 4, The Message Bible

In the Saturday stillness, remember to get all you need for refreshment that satisfies and brings peace and new life within.  It will feel good to your soul and you are worth it.

Grace & peace,

Robin

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, August 2016

From the desk by the window on a day of rest. May you get filled up and may your rest be sweet!

 

When Faith Is Under Pressure {Stay the Course, Trust the Process}

book, journal, computerIt’s not one of  my favorite scriptures. In chapter 1, James is writing to Christians who are being persecuted and telling them how to think and live in order to win. He tells them to see difficulties as a gift.  Did you know that when we come into relationship with Christ it places a target on us? Yes, we are “saved” by believing, but then we have the same enemy that Christ had who wants to “steal, kill, and destroy” everything good the Father has planned for us. While Jesus defeated death and hell, we still have conflict over our lives today until He returns.

In His Name we pray, stand, speak, and live by His Authority that He won by His finished work on the cross. Through the trials we face in life we are changed, strengthened, and grown in maturity in our faith and love. The word Christian means anointed one. Yeah, that’s you if you believe in Him. Don’t feel anointed? Well, sometimes I don’t either. Sometimes it feels like my faith is under attack and the external and internal pressures of life are great. What then? Here’s that verse:

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. (James 1:2-3 MSG)

Tests and challenges are a gift? Yes. And not only are they a gift, we have a choice as to whether we receive the gift or not. We can stay the course or leave it prematurely. Many people leave their church as soon as their feelings get hurt. Some quit a job when they feel it’s too hard or they weren’t invited to the office party. There are others who agree with an abusive person to avoid conflict, allowing their lives to be controlled. And most of us struggle with even the basics of letting God lead us through life’s choices and decisions. We need to learn to stay the course!

While growth is not easy and sometimes quite painful, we need it! Without that personal growth, we flounder where we are and end up a complaining, weeping, mess of a person in bondage to the very things from which Christ came to set us free! So how do we choose to grow? How do we find the gift in the trouble? We stick with God!

God will make a wayStart making a daily choice to become determined in your faith that no matter what comes, no matter how difficult the circumstance, you are going to stay the course and trust the process for the Lord is going to use it for your good. There’s a gift inside every problem. There’s an opportunity for more faith in every difficulty. Growth and maturity are woven into every moment of your life and is yours for the taking…IF you stay the course and trust the process of who you are as God’s dearly loved son or daughter.

Stop accepting what is unacceptable to Him. You are here for a reason – to know His love, yes, but for more. So when the pressure comes, when conflicts arise, when your heart is troubled, take it all to God. He has a way for you through the difficulty and promises to lead you through the fiery trial you are facing. Call someone to pray with you.

Suffering brings God’s presence near in a way nothing else can. – Timothy Keller

Learn to follow Him in the small things and then you’ll be able to follow Him through the big things that want to shatter your world. Build relationship with Him now in order to remain close in trust when things go dark.

His love for you really is perfect, lacking nothing that you need, and your trust in that love makes the darkness run! Fear cannot remain when we grow in trusting God’s love.

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. (1 John 4:17-18 MSG)

We typically relate God’s love to our own limited, human love. His love is deeper than the ocean and wider than the universe. Paul’s desire in Ephesians 3:18 was that we all would come to understand how wide, how high, and how deep the love of Christ really is! It’s a supernatural, all-enveloping, everything-you-need kind of love!

There are many who have been a Christian a long time who still aren’t well acquainted with God’s perfect love for them. Fear has a crippling power in their life. They are weak in the face of trouble. (That’s been me more times than I want to remember!) But “our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s” so that we are able to live an effective, powerful life with God while we are here. As long as we are depending on His love for us.

Allow Him to grow you up in your relationship with Him. Make the decision daily that you are going to grow in knowing that love and allow it to grow you. Then when your faith is under pressure, you will so trust in that love that you are able to stay the course no matter what and receive the gift hidden in the problem. Your true colors will be displayed to a fearful and hurting world and others will be inspired by the life you live.

There’s so much grace for the journey,Robin 12

Robin

From the desk by the window where the morning mist is floating gently through the pines.

Want more info about book Robin to speak? Or maybe some info on her Spiritual Life Coaching program for women? Robin does individual and group coaching and her clients are simply amazing! Email her at robinlewiswords@gmail.com and visit the here and here for more info.

2 Minutes of Self Awareness

journal believe
Journal – If I am not aware of what I’m actually doing in a day, then it’s very hard to change my life consistently. To become more aware, it helps to examine my time. I can remember that God is involved to help expose any false or unbalanced responsibility I may have placed on myself. Then I can take steps to remove it so that my life can become more productive and peaceful.

I can become more aware of His work in me by stopping to examine my thoughts and emotions, asking Him about it, and trusting Him to do in me what is needed for growth.

I can become more aware of how I’m walking through a day by measuring something. What we measure, we improve. Not a measuring stick of judgment, but of love that increases what I want in my life.

I can make and keep appointments with myself to accomplish my goals instead of just hoping something happens. My real life example…

Read & understand a Bible passage or devotional
Spend 10 minutes with the Lord with an open heart

Walk 30 minutes
Read 20 inspiring pages
Record 5 God gifts in my gratitude journal
Work on my current writing project, measuring progress
Connect with 3 people

These are things that help build me, encourage my heart towards God, and help me become my truest self as I walk with Him each day. As false things are removed, my truest self is uncovered. With a more solid personal foundation, I will produce what is authentically me. That leads to more personal freedom.

Always comfortable? Of course not. Growth is not automatic and isn’t easy. Pursuing growth of who God created me to be is always worth it. This is how we come to thrive. This is how we come to live a more simple but fulfilling life.

“Grow my spirit, grow my soul,

Dig in deep and make me whole.

Nurture every living part

You created from the start. “

The grass is always greener where you water it. What steps should you take, what goals should be in place for you to become more of who YOU are created to be? Keep it simple, but kick it up a notch. You want to reach your goals so eliminate from your life what doesn’t need to use up any more precious time and get serious. And most importantly, remember you are greatly loved.

Loads of grace,
Robin

From the desk by the window where I am feeling incredibly thankful.

(C) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership LLC August 2, 2016

Keynotes, Workshops, & Certified Life Coaching are available – send an email to robinlewiswords@gmail.com for more info and visit my Services page.

Blessings on your day! Remember, to be self-aware is to know how to change in order to be more productive. So kick it up a notch!change, purpose, goals

Trying to be Something I’m Not

woman mirrorLiving in the world can cause you can take on a wrong idea about who you are, almost like a false identity that’s uncomfortable, like an itchy sweater, because it’s not the real you, the God-designed you. Many times this starts by what we learned from our parents, teachers, culture, or media, or by wanting approval and acceptance from others. If you’re concerned about disappointing certain people in your life or looking to others to know who you are, you are placing yourself in a type of prison where the real you steps back and is hidden by an impostor. What you believe about yourself on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside. 

The Father wants you to recognize this false self and the wrong expectations you live under. He can “take the chains off” that connect you to a wrong need of other people. He is the only place, the only one who can surround you and heal you, to set you free. He wants you to become the unique, amazing, and precious person He created. He never expects you to try to fill the roles that others plan for you. He can see through the false self that’s been created and into the glorious future He plans for your life. And He wants you to know the truth: you have no rival. No one rivals you in His eyes. His enormous love is the same, and just as huge, for you as for any other.

You never have to compete or comply with the demands or requests of others to feel safe or have what you need. Your Father knows what you need. You can come to Him and ask for healing in all your relationships, and let the truth of who you are renew your mind so that your thoughts about you agree with what the Father says is true. Receive the blessing of His security, acceptance, and affirmation of who you are.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1 NIV

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5:1 NLT

affirmation, live, authentic, lifeThe Father wants you to know that He doesn’t want you to be weakened by the souls of other people. He did not create you for that. Remain strong in Him by staying close to Him. His Fathering of you will be complete and perfect and He will set you free. There’s always grace and safety for the real you in the Father’s embrace…just like you are.

Let your heart respond to your Father’s thoughts about you…

Much love,

Robin

From the desk by the window where sunshine and a cool breeze beckon and the dog is wanting to go for a walk. Be back later.

yay, celebrate

Spiritual Life Coaching is available for women with Robin Lewis – robinlewiswords@gmail.com or (843) 319-5390. You never know how high you can soar until you begin to spread your wings! Contact Robin today for your FREE 30 minute introductory call! Don’t wait, dear one, this is your time!

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, July 30, 2016

Thanks, Mary Crimmins & Learning to Become Fully Alive, for the image.

Progress Not Perfection {Don’t Give Up}

God listens, give up, despairWhat you own, where you work, what you wear, where you live – these things do not define who you are. The culture we live in will try to convince you that you must survive life successfully in a certain way. Some who are believers in God will even try to tell you that you cannot become what your heart desires because of your gender, race, age, or income. This is man’s law and has nothing to do with God’s definition of who you are or of what you are capable. The Father has never expected perfection from you. He knows life is messy, but desires progress for you in becoming the amazing person He created.

What is the dream in your heart that won’t keep quiet? You were created to do that – imperfectly! There is no limit with God in who he chooses, calls, and equips for certain tasks. Your future is guaranteed by His Spirit, not dependent on what characterizes your physical life. You were created by God to submit to His leadership of love and to walk in a trusting relationship with Him. He wants you to enjoy your spiritual inheritance as a child of the King, and walk in the destiny He has planned for you. He knows life isn’t easy, so He is always with you to strengthen and encourage your heart.

When the Father sent an angel to tell Mary that she would conceive and give birth to the Messiah, the response of her heart was excellent: “May everything you’ve said about me come true.” She was just a young girl, about 14, willing to say yes and walk out her destiny. The angel responded to her, “For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

Let the false self with all its efforts of perfection and self-protection fall away and allow the real you God created to shine. Some are afraid of letting too much of themselves show even to God, but not you. You are receiving more of who you are and you are coming to know that if He loves you so much, that He will be the safest place for the revealing of who you were created to be.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord.

‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'”

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Who you are is defined by the realization of God’s unconditional love that goes down deep into your heart, renewing the mind, and healing the soul. The result is a deep peace inside that comforts, encourage, and propels you forward!

“Who knows but that you were positioned here for such a time as this?”

Ester 4:14

Loads of love & grace….

Robin2016-05-25 13.20.43

From the desk by the window where a slow, gentle, healing rain is falling outside, soaking into dry ground. 

Want more? Three (3) new spots just opened up for Spiritual Life Coaching clients! I’m hoping to get those filled soon. Please share with your friends – my speciality is helping women who feel stuck, who are in transition, and those who need to capture more confidence and significance! I’m just an email or call away: robinlewiswords@gmail.com or (843) 319-5390.

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, July 25, 2016