This Leg of the Race

This Leg of the Race

By LeeAnn Witzigman

“Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

1 Corinthians 9:24-25

In the summer of 2021, our oldest son Blake enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was bused from his hometown to Parris Island, South Carolina for 13 weeks of bootcamp. He had confidently committed to a calling on his life and we leaned forward as we watched from the sidelines when he took off on this new leg of his race. For Patrick, the following weeks served as a trip down memory lane as he read the letters Blake sent and relived his own bootcamp experience from days gone by. We decided before he even got on that bus that we would each write him a letter every day, so he’d never go a day without hearing from someone who was cheering him on. This proved to be the sweetest season of my relationship with Blake, who was 14 years old when God turned the ashes of two failed marriages into beauty for a family that was destined to be rebuilt on faith. I took such pleasure in the one-sided conversation I got to have where I could just affirm him, tell stories of how much he meant to me in moments I’m sure he didn’t remember, and to have the ear of his heart without the interruption of everyday distractions. And I could often feel the response from him as he was being met in a place of fatigue and weariness with words of love and life. Our God can place the weight of His glory on a weightless piece of paper marked with postage to the place of military training and extreme testing of endurance, so that His words light up dimly lit places.

The day before his graduation from bootcamp, we arrived early and decided to walk around the military base. We heard the sound of marching feet and followed it into the outdoor arena where rehearsal was being held by thousands of newly minted Marines. As we stood to the side of the entrance gate, every few minutes hundreds of young, uniformed soldiers would run by us. It seemed highly unlikely that we would find Blake in the sea of identical boots, clothing, and hats. After a few moments, Patrick erupted beside me with tears and clapping. Blake had spotted us first and I wish you were there to see his face when all of our eyes met. It was an expression I had never seen before on my son … who was now a man I might add! It was as if all the emotions, every drop of sweat, each thought of throwing in the towel, and the hope of the assured coming victory was displayed all at once in his eyes, smile, and tears. He was truly unrecognizable, except that I was deeply tucked into the pounding heart within him.

I was thinking about that unforgettable moment this week as I begin a new leg of my race at another church where God has recently called our family. As I was praying and re-dedicating my heart to God in this season of trust and newfound faith, He brought that split second memory of Blake before me. I know He was showing me that He’s the one at the entrance to this next open gate and His claps and tears are louder than every collective sound on the earth right now. He has also spent eternity writing daily letters to me and using every possible moment of my life to reveal Who He is and has always been. And I saw myself in gratitude and humility as I almost didn’t recognize who I was, because the woman who journeyed these last five years certainly is not the same one who is crossing over this threshold of glory and goodness today.

I feel that God has many of us in a season of training right now and we are being developed for greater Kingdom assignments. I sense that He is repositioning and moving His army of warriors into places where the enemy has established strongholds among His children. I hear Him calling out, though only a few will respond and have the courage to move at the sound of His voice. But I want to encourage the Body of Jesus Christ that whatever you must lay down and place back into the Father’s hands, He will surely exchange everything for a greater portion of Himself, which is better than all we’ve come to know and experience in this life.

I’m praying for my fellow Kingdom advancers that you would be faithful to endure the testing and spiritual exercise that will be necessary to grow you into the useful servant who will see great glory. And I smile to know there is a day coming where the look on your face as you cross over into whatever God has next for you shines brighter than all the heavenly lights turned on at once.

Press onward and run to win that His beautiful name might be exalted in all the Earth! And see the everlasting crown He has promised you is hanging in the air above you like a kiss blown right from His prized heart.

Your Testimony Is My Prayer

By: LeeAnn Witzigman

“I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings and shall not be ashamed.”  Psalm 119:46

At a women’s conference last year, one of the speakers shared a beautiful testimony of healing and redemption from tragedy and devastating loss. She then went on to preach about her faith that God was going to recover all in her life, and she spoke that word of truth over us as well. A few hours later, I was waiting to get baptized and was praying over the women going into the waters ahead of me. One 19-year-old girl confessed she was struggling with sexual sin and that she had been baptized at this church a few weeks earlier and fell back into the temptation, which started a flow of repentant tears in the water. Something about her vulnerability caused my heart to weep and I knew her confession was my own.

A little while later, I entered the baptism pool and prayed a simple prayer that God would recover all for me. As I prayed those words, a blur of my 20’s swirled by and I longed to hold that young woman who got caught up in an evil trap and married a dangerous person. As I came out of the water, I knew something had resurfaced deep within me and I got excited for the moments ahead when God would bring me back to some of the years I couldn’t remember. That night, right before I fell asleep, God told me He would recover all for me and He would start by giving me back my virginity. I laughed with joy knowing that He went well beyond my 20’s to get back the part of me I’d given away so casually in my teenage years. Only He would dig to uproot and address the cause of the heartache that followed that regrettable encounter and sent me on a highway to hell for many years afterward.

I’ll spare you all the details 😊, but the next night God did exactly what He promised to do! And for two people who lived entire lives before remarrying it was an unforgettable moment in time … one that we didn’t even think to pray for, but God decided we needed anyway. I remember looking into Patrick’s eyes and telling him what the Lord had said and how it was actually happening, and he cried. So, I cried. And there was Jesus crying too. If we only knew everything that His blood has so willingly covered for us.

I’ve shared this testimony with a handful of women I adore in safe places but have kept it close at heart for a year now. But God keeps opening doorways for it to be shared. Two weeks ago, the same woman who spoke at the conference was walking out of church ahead of me. I knew the Holy Spirit wanted me to briefly testify to encourage her on how much her message meant to me, as she was scheduled to speak again at this year’s conference. After a few missed opportunities, there she was one step in front of me and the Holy Spirit was hot in pursuit. In a span of no more than 30 seconds, I told her I was praying for her and that her message last year became the prayer I prayed in the waters and God answered it in an overwhelmingly unexpected yet breathtaking way. Though the moment was short in time, it will linger for eternity. That’s how it is when we testify of Jesus. Something always remains.

As soon as the Holy Spirit spoke those words through me, I knew He was showing me the power and privilege of our testimonies. And I felt stirred inside of every proclaimed meeting with Jesus there is a prayer for each one of us to take hold of and cling to until it is answered in His gracious timing. The public confession of a teenage girl wrapped around the fiery faith declarations of a beautiful servant of the Lord just hours before, became a life-changing, hell-shaking, never-going-back-to-that-person-I-was kind of experience. There is tremendous freedom when we speak the name of Jesus and shout to the world all that He has done and is doing right now!

I encourage you to listen closely when your brothers and sisters are bearing witness of the Lord Jesus Christ in your midst. The very breath of God is carrying those holy words into your heart like an invitation to open and savor in the here and now. And when it’s you speaking praise and hallelujahs to elevate faith all around you, take heart to know that God is dancing upon your lips as He translates your testimony into prayers that open Heaven.


The Road Less Traveled

By: Eglaide Seiber-Barroso –

“Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV). When I read this verse during my morning time with the LORD, I heard this next thought as HE ministered to me: “About yourself, about others, so you may have compassion and humility whenever you feel hurt, mistreated, rejected, and despised.”

The word from Jeremiah above and the bold remarks below it are to minister to the hearts of those reading this article as it has ministered to me. Sometimes, we jump in the judgment wagon with criticism as our driving force because we have scars from judgmental systems operating our motives. It is only when Jesus Christ becomes a living organism inside of us through the Word of God that we recognize we all have sinned against God’s will for our lives. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 KJV).

“Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Psalm 2:8 KJV).

Through HIS love and Compassion, God, The Father in Heaven, brings us back to His Kingdom, not so we can become judges of others through self-righteousness, but to equip us as His warriors and messengers of the Gospel of Love.

We can’t be effective for the Kingdom of God when we forget our own frailties and focus on the frailties of others. The Word of God teaches us to care for others as we would want to be cared for. “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39 KJV). That means we hurt our spiritual growth if we are judgmental towards others. Grace is not about closing our eyes to our sins or the sins of others. But the belief system operates our very being, making us sin not against our brothers and ourselves.

“No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and your heart so you may obey it” (Deuteronomy 30:14 NIV).

Note that the Word of God, Jesus Christ, is near and in our mouth and heart that enables us to obey, and the lack of Him disables us to live the abundant life God intends us to have. So, OBEDIENCE is a clear sign that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is alive and well inside of us. Let’s teach and live, JESUS!

Word Drop – Insufficiency

Word Drop – Insufficiency

I started my morning reading the Word of God on my online devotionals. The word obedience has been haunting me ceaselessly for weeks now. So I’ve prayed to God that He would help me to obey Him in the things He is trying to show me through His Word. I pray that through His Holy Spirit, He would make clear to me the worthless idols I am bound to and that He will equip me to overcome them so I cannot forfeit His Grace.

After that, I was led to watch this video by Heidi Baker (the link is below my writings). As I started the video, I sensed His glory and power taking over me. Immediately my spirit bowed down to the Lord. With tears of humility for His amazing love and mercy to the souls of man, I was led by Him into my intercessory office, claiming His power and light over those who are in bondage and under rebellion, pride, fear of man, and ungodly government laws. He led me to pray for those who oppose His will in this land and to call their spirit into His light.

My spirit was full of joy for knowing His will and purpose for my life today. Then I was led to write down my past dreams and reflect on them to see what He was trying to show me. The word inefficiency was dropped into my heart; I then decided to study what this word means in the Bible.

John 15:5 passage came to describe to me in this video I was watching what insufficiency is in the eyes of God. And why the passage talks about His pruning our dead branches and burning them. John 15:5 says: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.

The Lord showed me that when we choose to follow self-effort and look into our doings as our source for provision of any kind, we worship worthless idols and self-promotion. In my daily Bible Classic devotion, the writer says that the Grace of God destroyed the covenant of work with the promise of the coming Messiah in Genesis 3:15. God provided His Son for our salvation and all our needs from the very beginning.

In my chronological Bible reading for today, the message of the Sabbath clearly emphasizes that rest be upon trusting in God by abiding in Him and His presence and not on the work of the flesh. This is the system from which we learned to become self-sufficient through our doings following society’s acceptance, posing the question about our identity in Christ and the call God has upon our lives. Do you know who you are in Christ Jesus? Are you a daughter/son of the King or a slave of your accomplishments trying to get into His courts by your own merit?

In writing down my dream, I realized that insufficiency was the work in process showed to me, and that the water given to me in that dream to clean up a HUGE mess was handed to me by a man. The water came from a small plastic bottle, which was the man-made response to solutions that could only come from God himself. Abide in me is the call to obedience He is giving to His church and ME today!

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