By Debbie Altman



Have you ever felt a little hum-drum in your walk with God? Maybe you are going through the motions, but you’re not feeling much? Well first of all, our walk is certainly not about feelings only. Doing the things you know to do as a Christian… reading God’s Word, praying, and attending church are so important to do! It is like eating for the physical body…every meal may not be exciting or memorable, but if you don’t eat, you will become weak. It is the same for us spiritually. We must feed our spirit with these disciplines to stay strong.


Sometimes we need to stir the pot a little!  In 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul says, “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.“ Some versions say “stir up the gift” that is in you. Now we may not have had the apostle Paul lay his hands on us, but the Lord Himself has laid His hands on us!


Craig and I usually attend Van Dyke campus, as this is where he preaches from. But regularly, we try to visit our four other campuses. I LOVE visiting all our other campuses and a couple of months ago I had the privilege of visiting our Ybor City campus. Oh my goodness. I walked in expecting to do what I do…to love on and encourage our staff and volunteers there. But the Lord had something he wanted to give me.  A stirring up! A fanning of my flame!


I am always moved when I attend the Dream Center, or our Ybor campus. It is just something different and special.  But this day I was overcome. The precious sight of these beautiful people from a difficult community attending, serving, laughing, welcoming, loving, and worshipping just “fanned my flames!” It felt like I sensed the heart and hope of God for this congregation. I wept, and even went up on the stage to speak a word of encouragement over the people. Now if you know me, I avoid the platform as much as possible! God truly moved on my heart and It’s hard to express what I felt that day.



I want to encourage you to step out of your ‘normal’ and do something different! Join a small group, lead a small group, visit another campus, participate in a Serve Saturday, take a missions trip. When we see the Lord moving in environments other than our own safe routines, our view of God is expanded and we are inspired to see His bigness and how far-reaching His love is. Our faith is lifted and strengthened! We are better able to see the possibilities of His power in our own lives and those we love.


 “Join God where He is working!” – Henry Blackaby


Fan the flames! Stir up the gifts within you! He is the one who has laid His hands on you and He wants to grow you and use you!


Thank you to all of the precious and amazing people who make Grace Family Church a joy to me, and a light to our world.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Debbie, it’s Ani. I would love to join and maybe lead in the future. Last time I saw you at a wedding in April 2018, we were discussing how much I wanted to join Beautiful. I hope to hear from you soon. My husband and I have signed up for Serve Saturday at Van Dyke, excited!!!!!

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