Month: October 2018

  • A Prayer For You

    A prayer for you today….

    Awesome God, you are good and just. You are Mighty to Save, you are Healer, Comforter and Father and Friend. Your Name brings light into every darkness.

    When we cannot discern how you are at work around us, give us faith to know and believe that you are in every detail. Help us to lean wholly on you, to seek your face and rest in your capable hands.

    Thank you for the ways that you bless us, for the people in our lives that lift us up and show us your love. Grant us stamina and grace for the people who do not.

    Jesus you are here right now, closer than the air that we breathe. Thank you for constant companionship, for your steadfast love.

    Father, thank you that you regard us as precious and irreplaceable. Please help us to see ourselves the way that you see us. Help us to value the way that you have created each of us—uniquely gifted to bless others and serve you.

    Today I pray for each woman reading this prayer, that out of your glorious riches you may strengthen them with power through your Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith. And I pray that they, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

    Now to You, Lord who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to your power that is at work within us, to you be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

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  • Help When We’re Weary

    Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

    Isaiah 40:28-31

    Tired and weary. No matter what season of life you are in, it is easy to get caught up in the busyness. We have deadlines at work or at school, people in our home that we need to take care of, children that require our attention, and don’t get me started on the laundry list of to-do’s (not to mention the actual pile of laundry)! Whew!

    Sometimes we are simply weary because life hands us a stressful situation and we are completely spent emotionally and physically because it consumes all our attention and energy.

    When I try to navigate this life on my own strength, I eventually end up feeling tired, weary, hopeless and alone. The truth is that we are not alone. God is there right there ever present, waiting to give you His strength when you feel you have nothing left to give. All we have to do is let Him. As we turn our attention toward the One who created the ends of the earth, we can be filled with hope because we know He can accomplish through us what we cannot on our own.

    As you face you daily busyness and stresses, take some time each day to let God fill you with His strength so you can face whatever the day brings. As we lean on Him and allow His power to sustain us each day, we will find that we are filled with a renewed strength and hope. God’s got you!

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  • The Steps of Your Soul

    Sit on the steps of your soul, in the deep place where nobody goes, and talk with Jesus. You can always go there, anytime, anyplace in the world.”

    Jill Briscoe

    If you never had a chance to hear Jill Briscoe speak, she has a knack for weaving a story like a comfy blanket and then wrapping you up in it. Recently, she told us about sitting on the front steps of her childhood home in England and talking with Jesus about whatever was on her heart. It was her place to go and be with Him, and even if she wasn’t physically there on those steps, in her mind she would return to the “steps of her soul, in the deep place where nobody goes, to talk with Jesus.”

    My life often can feel chaotic and rushed either because of external factors beyond my control, or because I have let the urgent things take priority over the important things. It feels like my family ends up running in multiple directions while I try (somewhat unsuccessfully) to maintain some semblance of order. If this imbalance is left unchecked, my prayer life will also begin to reflect that same scattered disorganization. While my intention is to spend time daily basking in the light of Jesus love, reality starts to resemble a vague, distracted prayer for strength and for Jesus to take the wheel.

    I think that is why Jill’s words echoed deep in the chambers of my heart. Something as simple as really stopping, even just for a moment, to sit with Jesus on the steps of my soul and be present in that moment felt revolutionary. The difficult part is being present and allowing Jesus access to the deep and vulnerable places my heart. Sometimes that is not always possible in certain situations. I’ll admit it can be hard to go there when kids are demanding my attention or the vulnerable places in my heart require more than a few brief moments.

    But at some point in my day I can make a time to steal away, close my eyes and sit on the steps of my soul. Jesus is there, waiting for me to sit next to him and talk, always ready to act on my behalf. He comforts, strengthens and listens to me.

    When we allow our Savior into our mess, when we go to meet him in prayer, suddenly we are not alone. We have a sanctuary in the madness, a quiet place in the midst of chaos and a friend when we need it the most.

    So dear sister, today I invite you to “sit on the steps of your soul, in the deep place where nobody goes, and talk with Jesus. You can always go there, anytime, anyplace in the world.”

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  • Perfect Peace

    You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

    Isaiah 26:3

    I don’t know about you, but when I wake up in the morning, my first thoughts are anything but peaceful. Like a rushing river, my mind is swirling with a million thoughts and worries–a financial crisis; a project at work I need to finish; a problem to solve; I’m running late and ran out of clean clothes; I’m having conflict with a family member; and what awful thing will I find out happened in the world when I turn on the TV or look at my phone?

    For many of us, these thoughts come flooding in the moment we open our eyes. This is precisely when we must stop, be still, and welcome God’s presence into the midst of our crazy. His presence brings a perfect peace as we dwell there, as we trust in Him with each part of our day.

    So as you go about your morning routine, allow your mind to stay focused on Christ. Give him all those things that flood your mind; all your worries, doubts and fears, give him your busy day and all your tasks. As we do that, we are putting our trust in Him to work in these things and carry our burdens. Only then do we get to receive the perfect peace that comes through trust in our Savior.

    When we acknowledge his presence at the beginning of each day, we get the blessing of experiencing his peace throughout our days. How would your day go differently if you took time each morning to recognize his presence and keep your mind focused on his perfect peace?

    Lord Jesus, we welcome your presence in my lives each and every day. May we think of you first when we open our eyes. We know you are here with us right now and we give this day and all its challenges to you.

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  • Running Together

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

    Hebrews 12:1-3

    Have you ever been in a race before, whether it was competitive or just for fun? Or even a hike with an awesome destination at the end? You start out with lots of excitement and energy but somewhere along the way, you begin to get tired and lose steam. What started out as smoothly, begins to get rough as you start taking it one step at a time. Along the way in life, we can feel like this too. This life has its ups and downs and twist and turns, but we keep walking forward in faith.

    When we encounter times where walking forward is difficult, remember, just like the sidelines of a race, we too have a crowd cheering us on. We can look to those who have gone before us in faith. We can look ahead and see how they have made it through the finish line and know that we can too. Isn’t it amazing how the example of others can give us hope and spur us on to keep going? We have our friends, family and community of believers to rally around us and encourage us.

    As I read this section of the book of Hebrews, I almost can picture the author like the coach who is giving us a pep talk halfway through our race. He says, “You can do it! Keep going and don’t let anything get in your way of finishing the work God is doing in you through faith.”

    So how do we keep from getting off track? The coach in Hebrews gives us three ways:

    1. Throw off, get rid of, actively get away from all the things in your life that keep you from living the life God has for you. Maybe you are carrying a heavy burden that you need to give to the Lord because it is slowing you down and making you weary. Maybe you are stuck in a trap of sin that has entangled you. Sometimes something as small as anger or bitterness toward someone can take root like a vine across our path and cause us to stumble. This where we need to do a heart check. What’s been creeping in that shouldn’t be there? Bitterness, doubt, fear, pride? All of these things keep us focused in the wrong place (ourselves and our present circumstances).
    2. Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, looking always toward him. He is waiting at the finish line and is the one who will help us get there. He knows what it is like to face trials and difficulties in this life and yet he ran the race with joy. He can help you too! If you are running a race and you start looking to the right or the left instead of in front of you, you will either start running in that direction or you may end up flat on your face. Either way, you won’t get to where you are supposed to be. The best way to stay focused on the finish line is by staying close to Jesus in prayer and by reading God’s word.
    3. We don’t just have the people who have gone before us, but we have the community of believers that we need to embrace and to encourage us. Seek to be be surrounded by those who live also by faith whether through a small community group at your church or with a couple of close friends. Allow them to run alongside you. “Two are better than one, for if one falls, they can pick the other up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

    We each have a different path to run, a different story God is working out, but we all have the same finish line. The one that ends in the arms of the Father. Jesus is there to guide us through this life toward the finish line. He knows the way to true life, because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

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