I realized I had been serving God…out of fear of what might happen if my faith became bold. Meaning, I loved doing things to serve God that took no risk or minimal risk…instead of serving God without worrying about the risk…
About the cost…
About the sacrifice…
I wasn’t bold in my faith.
I see our world around us changing. I see a time when our faith must be bold, our hearts must be strong and courageous. We have family members that need women of bold faith. We have children and grandchildren that need women of bold courage to speak truth to their lives. We have people God will put in our path…that need bold women willing to share His word and pray them through trials, struggles, and despair.
We need to show them a God that is BOLD. We need to lead them to the cross where the courage and love of Jesus will take hold of their heart and transform their lives. We need to pray more than ever for the boldness to stop wading at the edges of the water and receive a boldness from the Holy Spirit that will ‘take us deeper than our feet can ever wander’ with a bold faith like that found in Queen Esther that can only come from God.
For a Time Such as This…
What is God calling you to step out and do?
Forgive someone? Service? Trust? Showing kindness? Courageously sharing your testimony and faith? Giving your time? Being a role model? Parenting? Grandparenting? Compassion? Loving the ones that are hard to love? Prayer warrior? Making time to seek Him daily?
I don’t know why God led you to read this…BUT GOD does. If you search your heart and lift your voice in prayer to God, as a believer of Jesus Christ His only son, who sacrificed his life for yours…He will answer you. He will lead you. He will guide you. He will open and close doors for you. He will refresh you. He will love you with an everlasting eternal love.
If you ask…He will…
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Now is a time to be bold in our faith…stepping out in our royal heritage as daughter’s of the King…
There are those waiting to hear words of encouragement and faith from us.
Boldly in His Name,
Shelly Thompson, Publisher
The Notebook Café
We’re brewing up fresh words of faith 24/7 at thenotebookcafe.com
Read our Couples Devotionals by different authors here.
Does Jesus Really Care, by Char Cooper here.
Your Storm Didn't Come to Stay...It Came to Pass, by Shelly Thompson here.
You can purchase The Notebook Cafe & Co. first book release, Entwined. Now in its third printing, more information here.
I don’t know why you’re reading this…BUT GOD does. I want to share part of my journey. Because without it…you wouldn’t be reading this.
In August of 2014, God began to speak to me very subtly at first, that He was calling me to do something different with my life. I loved my job in healthcare that allowed me to really help people. It made no logical sense and I couldn’t understand why God would lead me away from helping people. I tried to convince myself that God couldn’t possibly be calling me away from helping others doing what I loved…what I knew…what I was used to…what I was comfortable doing…what was familiar.
I often use the phrase BUT GOD. When that phrase is used in the Bible it indicates that God is bringing about big change. In August of 2014, God was preparing me to begin living in the BUT GOD moments…
I wasn’t really ready to let go and let God. While that’s a lovely saying posted on social media or hanging in your hallway…when you really try living those words out, it can be scary…very scary. BUT GOD doesn’t give up. He doesn’t quit opening doors. He doesn’t quit calling you from the sidelines to live in the BUT GOD moments that He is creating for your life.
While I continued to find excuses to offer God when I would hear Him gently ask me to step away from everything I knew…He finally intervened.
One of my girlfriends told me once, “You are very lucky. God is REALLY being patient with you!” She was right. In my heart…I knew God had a different path for me, but I was afraid. I was letting fear direct my life steps…instead of faith in God’s unseen path.
BUT GOD intervened in a big way in February 2015. The healthcare company I worked for had unexpectedly and very quickly sold in late 2014 (right as I knew God was calling me away…imagine that!) and on February 17, 2015, BUT GOD decided it was time to terminate my position. He had certainly asked me enough times to trust Him, leave my position, and begin living His plan. Over several months He had slowly started dismantling my position under the new ownership of the company, but I still held on…to what I knew...to what seemed secure. BUT GOD boldly called me out on February 17, 2015. There was no mistaking His call.
When I visited with my minister at the beginning of January 2015, I tearfully shared with him that I knew…deep in my heart…God was calling me away from what I was doing. I explained to him all the reasons this just wasn’t possible. Looking back…he must have known in his heart…that there is no escaping God’s call. But among the many things he shared with me that day, he told me to pray for God to open doors and close doors. He concluded that God would definitely have to close any doors He didn’t want me to go through, because I would try and enter even if only through a tiny keyhole. My minister knew my heart perhaps better than I did. I was afraid...perhaps terrified...of the unknown.
After meeting with my minister in January 2015, I began praying earnestly for God to open and close doors in my life. The Holy Spirit strongly convicted me that I had to surrender everything to His will. One day, I sat on the floor of my office and did exactly that. I tearfully prayed, “God, whatever I have is Yours. I know it all came from You. You know, I am scared. I am answering your call only half-heartedly, because I am afraid. But I am willing, with Your help…to try and do whatever You are calling me to.” I remembered telling my minister the day we met that I felt like I was living under a glass jar…I couldn’t escape. Everywhere I turned, I could hear God telling me “No, that’s not the way you should take.” But, it was the safe way…the familiar way. I always countered back to God in my heart that I WAS helping people where I was. I often asked, why couldn’t things stay the way they are?
Slowly began to show me His plan for The Notebook Café. I wasn’t really grateful, because I didn’t see the benefit of what He was calling me to do. I wasn’t really thankful, because I thought I had a better plan, one that I could control. Actually, the way my life was going was working out seemed fine. I didn't want to fully trust God, because I couldn’t see what was ahead. I couldn’t see what waited on the path that He seemed to be opening the door to…
Was persistent in leading me day by day, little by little, moment by moment…down this new path. A path that still took some detours…BUT GOD kept telling me, “This is the way you should go. Walk in it.”
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I wish I could write that I was always obedient, but often I would try and reconsider God’s directions. I would think that doesn’t make sense…that’s not possible…I can’t do that…how will that happen?…
Proved so many times what my friend had boldly shared with me, “You are very lucky. God is REALLY being patient with you!”
Skip ahead to January 6, 2018…unseen to me...to my human vision...this is what God saw…
The Notebook Café ministry that God opened the doors to start on February 17, 2015, has now reached thousands of people…through social media, our website, and online subscribers…thousands, it amazes me beyond belief. It literally overwhelms me that each month The Notebook Café now reaches over 40,000 people. We started our own publishing company, The Notebook Café & Co. Publishing and released our first book Entwined in October 2016 – a book that had been setting in a drawer for several years. I was too afraid to get it published. The book is now in its third printing and another book following the passing of my mother in September is being written from my heart....Heart of a Warrior | A Legacy of Faith to be released later this year.
The Notebook Café has done three successful fall women’s conferences in 2015, 2016, and 2017 with Miss Clara (Karen Abercrombie) from the movie War Room as our guest speaker and God as our Host.
In late 2017, we started using the 1875 bank building my husband and I restored as 'The Cafe' and have had many, many women's groups, Bible Study's, women's circles, and groups of girlfriends looking for a fresh cup of faith attend 'The Cafe'.
Is whispering He’s up to something bigger than I can see, greater than I can ask, and larger that I can imagine…
All because…I stepped out in semi-bold faith on February 17th, 2015. I wish I could write that I jumped in with both feet and just knew that everything would work out, but…that’s not how this girl’s story goes. I waded in…I stuck close to the shore…I stood back. In the Bible the disciples were afraid to get out of the boat and walk on the water with Jesus…I was afraid to leave the shore. I didn’t even make it to the boat! But my heart longed to do what God called me to do. I knew that His perfect plan for my life…was on the other side…of my fear.
The Notebook Café