Chapter One-Just Do It

nikeA few years ago (ok several….) a shoe company NIKE came out with a slogan for their shoes- Just Do It. The commercials on TV made you feel as though you could do anything as long as you were wearing a pair of NIKE shoes. This chapter gave me the same sort of feeling….and that’s not a bad thing!

Last week I had the privileged of riding with Al Dunning in Missouri. I am part of his Team AD International Protegé program and have spoken at a Cowboy Church service with him. He’s become a friend and I appreciate how he teaches me. In the Protegé program, you pay Al a set monthly fee and gain access to a library of training videos. You then work through a progression of skill sets, video yourself and horse performing each skill, and submit them for a “pass” or “try again” comment from Al. (please note-in MY mind it’s PASS or FAIL)  I had received a phone call from Al on his way to MO, he was asking why I hadn’t submitted any videos for a couple of months. Timidly, I replied that my riding time had been limited and that I didn’t feel like my  skills were “good enough” to video and submit yet. He chuckled and asked, “Lisa, do we have to be clean before we come to God? Of course not! It’s not about the skill being perfect. It’s about you learning and allowing me to help you. Just submit the videos!” I reluctantly replied, “Ok Al. I will submit the videos.”

Over the past couple weeks, Al’s words have played over and over in my mind. “Do we have to be clean before we come to God? Of course not! It’s not about the skill being perfect. It’s about you learning and allowing me to help you.” As I read this first chapter in our book, Lysa did an awesome job of summing it up in six words! “Whatever God says do, do it.”  As I sit and type this morning, God is burning in my heart the words, Just Do It. I’ve spent so much time being hung up on things being perfect. I’ve wasted precious time and put myself through so much grief, simply because things didn’t feel perfect. I’ve passed up opportunities, divine appointments, and said “no” because I’m not perfect. However, God is really showing me that it’s not about the skill (my life, my kids, my husband, my horses, my house, etc.) being perfect. It’s about me learning and allowing him to help me.

On page 20, Lysa reminds us that, “We have to set our rules and agendas aside-our dos and don’ts, our social graces and proper places-and follow God’s command. His one requirement is so simple, yet so profound; Whatever God says do, do it.” When we say “Yes” to God, is not just about not sinning. It’s about walking with God daily, every single moment of the day.  Saying “Yes” to God isn’t about perfect performance. It’s about surrendering to the Lord. It’s hearing from God, feeling his nudges, participating in his activities, and experiencing his blessings. (pg. 19) For me, it’s about being real. Really real. It doesn’t matter where I’m coming from, or where I’ve been. It doesn’t matter that I’m not perfect (there I said it!) or that I never will be. It’s about just doing it anyway!

nike 2

In the comment section below answer:

What is holding you back from a deeper relationship with God?

Is there something you need to let go of in order to have the freedom to say yes to God?

How did this chapter speak to you?


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17 Responses to Chapter One-Just Do It

  1. Kay Ripley says:

    Lisa, Thank you for sharing about yourself.. So often we put pressure on ourselves to be perfect. We feel that we have to be perfect to be accepted. We look at each other and wish we were like someone else….that is perfect. I love what Al said to you. Like with so many magazine ads and TV we watch it all gives out the message that they are all perfect. Accepting God’s gift that through him ..we are perfect. Not of ourselves as man so wants to control…but by faith in Jesus Christ and the price he paid for each of us. That takes the pressure off… if we trust and put our faith in Jesus…we know that we are perfect. Yes we all have many things that need to be weeded out and done away with. Gifts that he has given to each of us…he makes perfect through his spirit that flows in us. A work in progress…but in the end when we stand before Jesus…all he will see is perfection!

  2. Karen Eklund ;) says:

    I loved the first chapter of this book and thought the questions at the end were great!

    I truly want to say YES to God daily. I question whether God is talking to me, or if I’m hearing myself and my own desires. I need to get over my fears of rejection and fears of failure. God will be right with us, and we need to remember that.

    Committing time and quiet are my biggest obstacles to a better closer relationship with God. My mind is a jumble much of the time – torn between too many thoughts.

    I’m so glad you are doing this study Lisa! Thanks for all the work you put into it!

    • Rochelle says:

      I definitely can agree with what you said about your mind jumble. I have such a hard time stopping the constant racing thoughts and to-do lists. I also have a really hard time knowing what his voice is… I always question if it is just my desires too.

  3. Al Dunning says:

    First you are awesome! God makes us all individuals in how we live through Him and obey His words. “We all fall short of the glory of God”! His grace and mercy makes everything
    all right! If we could just remember to let go and allow our relationship with Him reflect in every aspect of our lives. (Even riding horses)
    You are precious in His sight!

    • Al-you’re great! Thanks so much. You never know why God puts people in your life. Just when you think it’s about the horse, he proves it’s about the human. (That’s what I love so much!) Thank you for your direction-with my horses and in my life. Your words go deep! -Lisa

  4. Rochelle says:

    OK, so I think I hear things better in horse-related talk than in God-talk. I loved your post… especially what Al said. There is SO much in my life that I am black and white about. I am in all or nothing mode most of the time. I also feel that everything must be done with excellence… Although, my husband says that I do too much and it turns out half-a… Regardless, with my schooling, I expect nothing less than perfection. this is mostly because I know I am capable of it. However, I cannot always put the effort I want into it or learn from it when I am stretched so thin. I have made the “A” I expect of myself, but not without significant anxiety and stress to get to that point. Not that I think I should not try to do well in everything I do, but my point is that my expectations do not always allow for grace. So, maybe with my religious self, I do the same thing… If I cannot do it the way I think I need to, I won’t do it at all.

    What is holding you back from a deeper relationship with God?
    I think that sometimes my husband’s outlook on religion holds me back a little. I don’t always hear God-talk and do not hear when people come off preachy. My parents are religious and I respect that, but there are times where it just sounds so cheesy to me. I don’t want to turn into the cheesey person either, I guess. My husband doesn’t like to be around it either, which is an internal conflict for me.

    Is there something you need to let go of in order to have the freedom to say yes to God?
    I suppose pride and perfection. I need to quit trying to control everything or fix everything… Let go, Let God. I also need to do what I can and allow myself the grace when I cannot get where I think I need to be.

    How did this chapter speak to you?
    I guess I just felt like I could hear and listen in that way. I think you know in the moment and don’t have to always be hearing something… like it isn’t constant speaking? The “Just do it” post was especially helpful. I also really think it was especially helpful to hear to put aside my own agenda. Trust and have faith that all will work out, and probably even better without my attempt to control or fix it on my own.

    • Very well put. You are NOT alone! I was raised in a Christian family and have gone to church most of my life. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle. But when I struggle, I have a Father in heaven that I know loves me and will never leave me. My horses often have to forgive me for being less than perfect. And if they can forgive me, I know God will too.

      I’m so glad your here Rocelle! Keep it coming!!

  5. Jamie says:

    The thing that is holding me back from a deeper relationship with God is that I don’t always know how to feel connected to Him… Sometimes, I feel it, but others I don’t.

    The fear of the unknown and failing keeps me from saying yes to God. I tend to be shy and afraid to put myself out there.

    This chapter made me realize that God may ask me to do something that I am afraid to do, but He will be there and it will be ok.

    • kareneklund says:

      I can relate to your statement that sometimes I feel connected to God, and sometimes not so much. When I decide to fully trust God, that helps me know I am connected to Him, whether I feel it or not. I have the same fear of failing, but I want to remember that if God asks me to do something, he is not going to let me fail – it is going to turn out exactly the way he wants it to.

  6. Cassandra says:

    Thanks Lisa for all your soulful thoughts! I almost like reading your posts rather than the book we are studying!! You have such an ability to put your feelings into words and expressions, something that I really lack. This communication thing has always been a problem for me.
    What is really holding me back from having a deeper relationship with God is not letting myself delve deeper into the Bible and with so many questions it seems like I am always questioning what is really right?
    Growing up, my Mother was all over the board with going to different churches and I never really had a good foundation set. One church said this and another that. So I was always questioning who was right or at least closest to what I thought was right.
    I have been studying the Bible with the Jehovah Witnesses these past few years and have really been confused as their teachings are a lot different than anything I have learned in the past. I guess I’m just trying to figure out the best way to get to GOD!!

    Thanks Lisa for coming into my life at exactly the right time!


    • Cassandra-thank you so much for your kind words! I understand your confusion. I guess I’ve always been taught that it doesn’t matter what church you come from. God wants a relationship! He wants to have a relationship with YOU! To me, it doesn’t matter what building we worship in or call “our” church. It’s the fact that we DO worship and we DO spend time with the Lord. He gave us our bible so that we could learn more about him, and I believe he speaks to us through it. (Lots of other ways too-including our horses) I really like the NIRV and NIV versions. The NIRV is especially easy to understand. I’m so glad you are here! Praying God will give you insight and peace as we walk through this study together!! Bless you Girl!

  7. Lisa Moore says:

    After reading your posts I am convinced that I am right where I need to be!!! I came back to the Lord in my middle age years. I had decided that I didn’t want much to do with God when I was in my younger years because I was always afraid I couldn’t measure up and to tell you the truth I had a bad attitude towards God because I already felt like a pretty big loser and I thought He would just confirm my fears……
    That has probably been one of the hardest mountains for the Lord to take me OVER and not around. LOL. I have been afraid that God would see all of the failures and inadequacies in me and He would turn me away. I worked really, really hard to PERFECT myself before coming to Him and found out that I could muster enough energy for awhile, but bit by bit those things I was trying to make go away came out of me alive and active……………uuuugh. I have been a performer for most of my life to avoid the imperfect places in me, masking the real Lisa. It has taken ALOT of effort and driven away most relationships that I could have had.
    Then one day, a couple of years ago, a song was on the radio and one of the verses said that “perfection is an enemy of the cross”!!!!! I couldn’t get that line out of my mind and the Holy Spirit began to unveil the truth of Jesus and what He had accomplished on the cross. He has been leading me to BE GENUINE….not put on a mask when I feel the failure knocking on the door. It has been a season of unmasking and receiving the GRACE that abounds to those who are in need….ME I have been an eyewitness of the mercy that Jesus has made available in times of trouble because I have allowed him to strip the outward defense of perfectionism and receive GRACE.
    I’m excited that this study group is another step to say YES to the Lord and trust Him that He is the author and the perfecter of my faith.

    • Kay Ripley says:

      Lisa…isn’t it amazing how God can take the words of one song and reach out and touch you….He does little things just for us! It is funny that we can look at each other and come to our own conclusions that they have it all together. When really in their alone time they also struggle at times as we do. I know that without God and his love I am nothing…I can do nothing of myself. I have learned that I want the Holy Spirit guiding me and the anointing to be on what I do so that it breaks the bonds for other people too…as it has been done for me. Thank you so much for letting God use you in this bible study to help and encourage us. I know that when I used to teach Sunday school or children’s church classes…while I was teaching God was speaking to me as well. I love how that happens! The word of God is alive! Each time we read and every verse God uses to encourage…strip…heal…direct…correct…love…Wow he is so amazing! Thank you Lisa for giving your life to Jesus and being the vessel to which he is using to speak to us ladies…we need more of this! And also let us pray for each other to be strong and be a light that is not hid …but shines brightly so that many others will also come to Jesus! Love and hugs to you …sister…Cowgirl<3

      • Lisa Moore says:

        I love what you said about the anointing that can break the bonds for others, as it has done for me. Hmmmm…..something that I want too. I love how the Lord does use songs, other believers and his creation to speak to our heart. THank you, I want Him to use me to have His wonderful way.

    • Lisa-I’m so glad you are here! Sounds like God is really working in your life! Sometimes it’s not easy-in fact, it can be down right painful. But let me assure you, it’s SO worth it! God promised that he’d never leave us or forsake us. Hang in there Girl! The more you say “Yes” the easier it will become!

  8. Melinda Janzen says:

    I love Lysa’s comment “Outside our comfort zone is where we experience the true awesomeness of God.” What truth! I tend to get bogged down and too comfortable in a rut and don’t want to move in any direction. The only place I have ever felt truly connected to God has been outside of my comfort zone – where I rely on Him fully and completely.

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