Monday, June 17, 2013

When we make friends with fear.

This is actually something I wrote awhile ago, but it has been really stirring in my heart again and mostly just speaking to right where I am at. I really hope it blesses you too. If it does, please do let me know! 


I will never forget the first time I saw this shadow.  The sound of him coming released a paralysis in my soul, rooms in my heart shutting their doors quickly, like an accelerated applause. Everything inside of me moving quickly to keep him out, but the faster I moved, the stronger his dominion became. My flesh racing with a cry, “Do you not see that you are stealing from me?” His raspy whisper calling back, “Do you not see this is what I am after?”   

His very presence made my stomach do somersaults in an effort to please; he hovered over me like predator with revenge on his mind. When Papa whispered in my ear to stand, he told me to sit and when Papa whispered into my ear, “Run!” he whispered into my ear with vocal violence, “Retreat!” He did not keep his identity hidden very long, unveiled for the monster he was, he was proud in his assault,“My name is Fear.”

After the revelation of his identity, I would enter into matches of passionate roars with him crying, “What do you want from me?” Even though I never understood what he meant, he would always screech back at me, “I want your reward.”  I could feel my heart becoming numb to his approach. Growing familiar with the way he called my name, and the deceiving way he broke my hope with his uncertainty, I tell you, it did not take long until his voice became confused with my own. 

Soon after, I saw Jesus coming swiftly; sweet in His approach to my heart, but violent towards my enemies. As He came, His eyes dripped with kindness and spoke many, many pages without saying one word. They spoke of a story, drawing me in with the hope of another world, His presence embracing me like a baby wrapped tightly in a warm blanket; it is His love that makes me safe.  And His heart, it began to cry to me, “Beloved, you have become friends with Fear and this friendship is the enemy of your destiny.” 

My heart began responding with a raging and a crying. Like a young soldier who had been caught in arms, my vulnerability had been exploited.  My soul wanting to preserve, “I have reason to fear! Did you forget about the graves that pulled me, the shadows that chased me, the voices that told me I was not worthy? Did you forget about the stolen things, the perverted moments, the hope that never stayed long enough? Did you forget about the tears in the night, the embrace where I was left wanting? Papa, have You forgotten?”

The kindness still never leaving His eyes. His smile made all my darkness disappear.

“Little one, you let this friend Fear become your defender.  You are being defended by someone that will never treasure you for you.”

Remembering memories past, the first time I encountered this shadow named Fear, remembering the way he paralyzed, terrified and humiliated me.  I wanted out. Yet, I felt like an experienced member of a gang where the cost shouted of impossibility.

Jesus reading my mind, His hand reaches for my own saying, “He only has power because you have empowered his thoughts and his ways.  Turn quickly.”

Feeling the urgency in His heart born out of radical love, I quickly turn my back to fear only to catch Jesus in all His glory. I found colour pouring out of His very being, healing and oil coming out from His heart, and He is standing in a river that seems too beautiful to be real. In the near background, I hear my friend Fear panicking behind me; he is screeching and screaming, throwing himself into fits of being defeated. The noises of my enemy quickly fade. 

Immediately, I am taken up into the arms of peace and the counsel of heaven, “Fear roams the earth to sow a seed into an orphan in hopes that he might receive a portion of the harvest in a son.”  Wisdom releasing itself into my spirit in power, supernaturally I am transported into a heavenly joy I had only heard of and a hope I never imagined possible. 

Courage began raising me out of my graves. Might began telling me there was no way I could ever be more worthy. The Son whose blood cried justice and whose resurrection declared new life, He was after me.  And over and over again, His heart cried this love song too strong to ignore, “You my beloved, will receive your reward. I have already received Mine. I received Mine the moment you gave me you.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Challenge: $3000 in 20 Days.

20 days to raise $3000. 

Is it possible? Well not by myself, but with God? Maybe. :)

As most of you have heard, I am preparing to go on the World Race ( which is a mission into eleven nations in eleven months. As to what we will be doing, it could be different in each place but may involve: preaching, street ministry, construction, teaching English and working with orphans or victims of human trafficking.

The eleven countries on my route are: Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Ukraine, Romania, Nepal and India.

Like a typical missionary I need to raise support to cover my time overseas and since I applied so late, I am way behind.

My first financial deadline is the end of June for $3500. 

So I am throwing out a challenge to raise $3000 in 20 days.

How will it work? 

Anyone who donates over these next twenty days will be automatically entered in a giveaway to win gift cards of the winner's choice.

The more donations, the more prizes to be won.

Anyone who mentions the challenge on social media and tags me (Twitter, Facebook) will also get an automatic entry into the giveaway.

To donate, you can do this one of three ways:

Go to and click donate on the left hand column.

Send via Paypal to

Mail a cheque - email me for my personal mailing address.

Lastly, I have made this video to explain my heart for going on the World Race. Because all this is good and fun, but I really wanted you to catch a glimpse into my heart.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The dance of fearlessness.

I have had this habit. This horrible habit. 

Where I jump on social media and I begin trolling through Facebook and live vicariously through pictures and statuses.

I find people who have similar callings or passions to my own and while they live theirs out, I am at home, sitting in my chair, looking at their pictures.

It is the difference of risk and fear. 


There has been a rumbling rising. You can catch the whispers of it around dinner tables, underneath pews, on the streets, among the poor and the rich alike. It is a mesh of questions and statements and wanderings of the heart. It is striking up heart cries about fearlessness, risk, courage + bravery. Maybe you've knelt down to hear it. Maybe you've joined in with your whisper. Maybe it is a cry that echoes in your heart too.

We all crave adventure. We want to be brave. We want to rise up, throwing every fear off and away, and run without hindrance, fly without weight, dance with perfect abandon.

But we are constantly stopped. We constantly feel stuck. 


Sometimes the ways of the world seem so suffocating; filled with fear and anxiety, silencing the wonder and awe and trapping us as slaves of society's priorities. 

Can I just say it, because it probably needs to be said? 

You don't answer to the world. Society doesn't tell you who you need to be. You don't have to follow it's rules and ways, but you have a beautiful opportunity to follow Him.

Him who is outside of every box. Him who breaks every rule. Him who is explosively beautiful.

Him who weaves Himself through the hearts of men and women and says, "awake!" Him who walks through death, sickness and sin, and commands it away with His very showing up.


And that as you follow Him, He won't call you to the boxes and the lines and the rules. He might call you to live outside that box, laying across those lines, crashing right through these rules. And that desire in you for adventure, for fearlessness, for courage will awaken.

And then you may just be scared half out of your mind. 

You'll think of everything He has said, maybe you'll write it in your journal, post it on your wall, pray it out in the shower. To not be afraid because He is with you. That He has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. To pick up your Cross, deny yourself, follow + go.

And you'll have moments where tears become your food and your heartbeat is louder than your voice and you'll wonder - did I really hear Him, is this really what He said?

And without even realizing it, you have begun a dance. 

Via Pinterest. 

You have begun a dance with Him where you are no longer looking where to step next, but you have abandoned in this surrender, allowing Him to lead. And that the only thing that matters to you, the only thing you're thinking about, is keeping your eyes on His eyes. 

Because if that's where they are, you know that He has you. 

That when you fall back, you know His hands are right underneath you. That when you are moved from the left or the right, you know in just a moment He will pull you back, and pull you back that much closer into Him. And that when you are up in the air and you can no longer feel the ground beneath, you know He is beneath you.

And that as you never look away, as you just keep looking into those eyes. Those eyes that see so much of what we don't see; those eyes that see life and hope and newness in all things. Those eyes that are filled with pictures of who you really are. Those eyes that break your chains before they even set up camp. Those eyes that call you closer, draw you nearer. Those eyes.

You stop feeling the fear of the leap and the fall and the abandon. But even on the days where you do, where it still gets a lump in your throat or a pause in your heartbeat, one look in His eyes reminds you that it's worth it. That He is creating something beautiful.

That to be fearless, to practice risk, to be brave is not just a calling, it is a command. .

A command that becomes easy when you see Him. When you know Him. When you've found Him.  A command that is not a rule or a you-have-to, but it is an invitation to an adventure.

An adventure that will leave you breathless. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

When you're not running the race you're called to run.

I had an incredible moment last week where it was like Jesus stuck His hands in the mud, rubbed them ever-so-gently into my eyes, and cried out to my heart, "Ashley, now you can see."

Ashley, now you can see. 

It was a moment where I realized I had been running everyone else's race, the race I thought I should be running, the race people told me I ought to run, instead of running the race that He has called me to run.

The race with my name on it. The race reserved for me alone. The race He has picked me out for. That race. 

That in the midst of all the voices and answers and questions,  I had picked up more than I was called to carry.

And it led me into this place, into this open space of: I don't want to get to the end of my days and realize that I was a slave to the words "should" and "shouldn't." That I was a slave to people's thoughts of me. Sometimes it is like people have an image of us, created by many different things and without even realizing it, that image gets held over us.

And we become a slave to attaining that image; maybe attaining an image we were not even called to reach.

My heart has been broken (in the best way) because if I have been caught trying to attain other people's expectations of me or society's expectation of me, then where is Jesus in the midst of this?

It is like I can see Him standing on the rocky dirt of a marathon track and He is in my lane and He keeps calling my name, not to reprimand, but to call forth.


And the parts of me that have chased after status and wealth, the parts of me that have chased after approval and recognition, the parts of me that have chased after comfort and pleasure; they have to crumble now, how can they stand when my name is on His lips? So I run back to the lane, back to the race He has called me to run and even if it looks different, even if it is terrifying, even if nothing makes sense; I trust.

I trust. 

If you could get up, come through this computer screen and climb inside my heart right now; everywhere you'd turn, you'd collide with the word loved marked in every corner and every wall. I know I'd find the same in yours. You'd encounter ideas and hopes and dreams and in it's very depths, you would run into a roar that cries for justice.

There is a roar in me that cries justice for a generation of children. Children that have been labelled at-risk, forgotten, and a dead cause, but Jesus comes in and He champions another label that says, "Mine."

I have been captivated by my Dad's voice. Like any Dad who has kids; if their baby was in trouble or alone or  left with questions and he could not physically get to them; that Dad would call up every single person he knows and he would say, "Get to my son, get to my daughter."

Photo by: Tom Elgersma/Encore Photography

And I hear Him saying it to me.

That's all I know right now. That's all I know. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

No one can take your life.

There are these words that Jesus said that I cannot stop thinking about; when He said, "I have authority to lay my life down and I have the authority to pick it up again."

He was talking about how no one could take His life away from Him, but He gave it up willingly.

Those words have been sinking into me. 

Sometimes it is like when I read Jesus' words in scripture, it pulls out freedom for me.

No one can take your life. You give it up willingly. You have authority to lay your life down and to pick it up again. 

So many people in our culture are trying to not be consumed by things; running victim to cycles of defeat and
allowing time, money and expectations to manage them. Listen, money and time are slave drivers, and if you submit to them, they will run you into exhaustion and ruin.

Pick up your authority.

No one can take your life. Not even time, itself.

This is such a beautiful thing we have and it is the authority to lay down our lives. To lay down our lives for Himself, for the Kingdom, for a generation.

That is up to us, it is our choice, but we have the authority to do it.

Don't let your life be taken from you, rather exert your authority and lay your life down as He calls you. 

Come on. Preaching to myself, tonight.

I am just so hungry; hungry for more of Him. All that He is, I want and I know that He will always meet our hunger.


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