Summer Shore

Summer Shore is co-founder of Revive Ministries, a writer, speaker, and co-host of the Experience Revival podcast. She has been an on-air personality in Christian radio for the past 6 years and has been speaking and teaching for 18 years, using humor and real-life experiences to connect with women, speak to their hearts and draw them closer to God. She also enjoys singing and leading worship whenever she can. Summer and her husband, Jake, have been married for almost 20 years and have 3 boys that keep her on her toes! Summer loves spending time traveling and going on adventures with her family, especially if it involves going to her favorite Cuban restaurant. When she’s not on the air or working with Revive, you’ll find her curled up in a fuzzy blanket with a mug of chai tea and, you guessed it, a Hallmark movie. You can connect with her on Instagram @summer_shore.

  • Made for More

    Not too long ago, in a land not so far away, I worked as an on-air radio personality, reporting the local news, weather & traffic every morning on several radio stations. Each night, before I went to bed, I would scan the headlines, and in the morning, I’d check again to catch any of the late-breaking stuff I may have missed while I was sleeping. Sadly, the headlines rarely announced any good news. As the pandemic wore on, and riots rocked many cities, including my own, the majority of the stories I’d find were full of tragedy, crime, or conflict. And after a long day, running in a million directions on too little sleep with no end in sight, my heart and soul would just ache for good news. 

    Have you experienced that feeling? That longing for someone to tell you something good? To tell you that there’s more to this life than the constant struggle and striving, that all the hard stuff you’ve been through wasn’t a waste. To tell you that you were made for more than what this world has to offer and you don’t have to wait until you’re on the other side of heaven to live life abundantly.

    If you’re feeling weary and depleted from the day-to-day fight, my friend, I have good news for you: You’re not alone, and you are made for more. 

    In fact, it’s the whole reason Jesus came. He saw us hurting in our mess and broke through the darkness to rescue us and give us something better. The moment Jesus came, everything was changed forever. That was the beginning of Kingdom life unfolding.  

    We get a sneak peek at the Kingdom of God in Isaiah 61:1-3. It’s no coincidence that Jesus directly quotes this passage in the book of Luke when He reveals His identity as the Son of God and the fulfillment of this very prophecy. 

    “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

    I love this entire verse. Talk about the ultimate mic drop moment! I wish I could unpack all of its amazing goodness right here, but we would need more time. So over the next few weeks, we’ll be digging into more it as we lead up to the Revive Conference on February 25th! (You are totally invited, by the way, and can find out all about it here)

    Right now I want to focus on the very first little bit. The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord was on Jesus to bring good news. He himself was and is the ultimate good news. 

    When Jesus walked this earth, He literally did all of the things that we see in Isaiah 61:1-3. And He does them for us still today. He gives good news to the poor and provides for them. When we are at the end of ourselves, He always provides exactly what we need right when we need it. He carries us through the lean times and blesses us in ways we can’t even imagine. 

    He comforts the brokenhearted, holding us when we are weak, and crying with us when we weep. 

    Through His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus releases us from the chokehold of sin and redeems pain and our story, for purpose. Through Him, we have a fresh start as a new creation. 

    He gives hope and justice to those who earnestly ask for it, and one day will come again to set things right once and for all. 

    He takes the ashes of our lives, the messes, and the brokenness and gives us a crown of beauty instead. He takes our despair and mourning, holds and heals our hearts, giving us instead a spirit of praise and joy that transcends our circumstances.

    All we have to do is lean in. Rest in the arms of our Savior and give Him the hurt and broken pieces of our hearts and lives. He does all the rest. You don’t have to earn it and you don’t have to compete for it. You don’t have to run yourself ragged doing all the things. God’s love is not something you can lose, and you don’t have to worry about being perfect. There’s nothing that you can do to mess up His plans. God’s Kingdom does not depend on our ability, strength, perfection, or talent. You just have to say, “Ok, Lord, here I am.” It’s the safest and sweetest surrender you’ll ever know. 

    God could have just stopped there. He could have just rescued and restored us, dusted us off, and set us back on the road. Instead, He invites us to join Him, to be a part of what He is doing to bring about the restoration of His creation. Through the Holy Spirit, we are empowered and mobilized to live out the same kind of Kingdom life we have received, with everyone around us. We get to be bearers of the ultimate Good News about Jesus and invite others to be a part of God’s story unfolding.

    That doesn’t mean the rains and winds won’t blow, or that the hard times won’t come. We will still see heartache and pain in the world because God isn’t finished yet. The Kingdom is unfolding now, but the work is also not complete yet. So we will have our share of trouble, but our identity and security rest in the One who has already overcome the world. God gives us strength, hope, and purpose, and sets us apart to be a light radiating out into the darkness of our world. He commissions us to continue the work that He started through Jesus and to participate through His Spirit in His Kingdom come.

    And even when we feel the full force of the storm, and the sting of the rain on our faces, because of Jesus we can stand firm and steadfast. We can be like a mighty oak tree with our roots planted firmly in the bedrock of faith, as a display of God’s splendor.  And we get to be a safe place of refuge for others searching for solid ground and point them directly to the source of true strength, hope, and peace. 

    We get to work alongside our Heavenly Father binding up the brokenhearted, and reminding them that God is near. 

    We can tell them about freedom in Christ, that they no longer have to be stuck in sin, ruled by circumstances, anxiety or stress. They can be free from the lies that tie them up in knots and lean into the truth of who God says we are and the divine purpose He invites us all to. 

    We can remind them that God sees their suffering and that there is a day coming when God will set things right. A day when His justice will prevail, and their cause will shine like the sun. (Psalm 37:4-6)

    We can point to God at work and help them see beauty rising from the ashes. 

    We can comfort them and help them find their joy. 

    One of the beautiful things about God’s Kingdom is that through the Holy Spirit, we can be both comforted, and offer comfort to others. We can find significance, and divine purpose and know our worth in Christ. And we can help others embrace their significance, purpose, and value as well. There will be seasons when you may not feel like a mighty oak. That’s ok. There will also be seasons where others lean on you because when they look at you, they see Jesus at work. 

    So sweet friend, if you find yourself feeling lost in the darkness, consumed by the bad news of the world, or weary from the stress and strain of life’s hard realities, hold on. God’s not done yet. He has more for you. You are made for more. You are made for Kingdom Life.  

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  • Looking Back to Look Forward

    “3…2…1…Happy New Year!” 

    I clinked my glass against the screen of my iPhone as I cheered in the New Year over Facetime with my two oldest sons. It was the first holiday we’d ever spent apart. My husband had caught a cold and planned to turn in early, and our toddler isn’t old enough to rally past 9 pm. So to ensure that someone in our family had a proper party, I dropped our older boys off to celebrate at their godparent’s house with their best friends. Just before the ball dropped, I added my parents to the call and for a few minutes, my screen was a flurry of favorite faces as we exchanged well-wishes and I love you’s. When the call ended, I was stunned by the abrupt silence. In these first moments of 2023, I was completely alone. 

    Sure my husband was in the next room and I could see the baby on the video monitor all curled up and comfy, but everything in the house felt conspicuously quiet and still.

    There was a time in my life that ringing in the New Year alone would have been occasion for a full-on pity party, with a sad playlist and everything. But now, I found myself savoring the silence as I wrapped myself up in a fuzzy blanket and leaned back into the presence of the Lord.

    I grabbed a pen and some paper and began to look back over all that had happened throughout the past year. As I scribbled down my thoughts, Isaiah 25:1 came to mind:

    “Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.”

    Last year had its share of ups and downs, but as I looked back, more than anything, I could see the Lord’s faithfulness in the blessings, triumphs, and opportunities to join Him where He was working. I could see His faithfulness in how He sustained our family when we were sick or comforted us when we were feeling anxious, stressed, or uncertain about the future. I couldn’t help but marvel that while there are many things in life we couldn’t see coming, God in His perfect faithfulness had planned ahead for every detail. 

    Because of who God is, we don’t have to know what’s coming around every corner (even though we may still want to try). We are loved by a God who holds the past, present, and future all in one view. He will gently lead us each step of the way. He’s done it before, and we can trust Him to do it again.

    You may be in a season where trusting that God really is at work feels like a tall order, especially if this past year has not been gentle with you. Maybe you find yourself in that in-between place where God’s past faithfulness feels too distant to lean on, and the future blessing feels impossibly far off. I’ve been there too, friend. 

    I want to encourage you to look up and look back so that you can look forward with hope. Look up over the tippy-top of the mountain you are facing and gaze fully into the face of God. Remember who He is and lean on what you know to be true about God according to His Word. Because when we know God’s character, it is easier to trust Him, even when things don’t look like what we had imagined at first. His promises may seem far off, but in Christ, every promise of God has been fulfilled with a resounding “Yes!” (2 Corinthians 1:20) 

    So often when we’re in the middle of something challenging, it is hard to discern how and where God is working, how He will come through, or when. When we look back to the past, in our own lives, and in the Bible, we see His unchanging character on display and His breathtaking love and provision. By reflecting on God’s steadfast presence in the past, our faith grows in the present, and we gain a confident hope for the future. 

    Even if it’s hard to see God at work in your own life right now, there are so many examples in the Bible to encourage us! Because the same God who worked powerfully in all of those amazing stories in the Bible is working mightily in your story now. And God always does more than we can ask or imagine. He goes above and beyond, helping with the apparent challenges but also caring for the deeper need as well.

    We can observe how Jesus didn’t just heal the sick physically and send them on their way. He restored their identity, reconnected them to community, and returned them to their livelihood. (Mark 5)

    We see that God doesn’t just comfort the lonely, He puts them in families and in churches. He is a father to the fatherless, and a defender of the helpless. (Psalm 68:4-6Acts 2:42-47)

    And we learn that God doesn’t just meet us in the middle of our mess, He invites us to be a part of His greater story, to be His sons and daughters, and to play a role in His Kingdom coming. (1 Peter 2:91 Peter 4:10-11)

    As we look back over God’s faithfulness in the Bible and in our own lives, it builds up the foundation of our faith and we can look forward to the incredible things God has in store for us with great hope, anticipation, and joy.

    1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 

    Sweet friend, the best is yet to come. Because of Jesus, you have a hope and a future that shines. You can know and rely on God’s love and perfect faithfulness to see you through all the blessings and trials this year may bring. And above all, you can trust that your Heavenly Father sees you, knows you, and calls you daughter. As you look up and look back, may you experience the unfailing love of Jesus. May His love be the very thing that defines you this year. And may you look forward with hope, knowing that God has His very best in store for you.

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  • Peace in the Midst of Uncertainty

    I love Christmastime. All of it. The lights, the music, the decorations, and I’ve even grown to love the cheesy Hallmark movies (I’m talking about you, Knight Before Christmas). But I especially love the peaceful, quiet moments on my own or with family, remembering when Emmanuel, God with us, arrived so long ago. 

    My thoughts this time of year often turn to Mary, the mother of Jesus. I so admire her faithfulness and trust in the Lord. As a mama, I can relate to how she treasured things in her heart, or how uncertain she must have felt when Jesus was little and she was learning how to be a mama for the first time.  

    But this year, as I read through the story of Jesus’ birth in the Bible, I noticed Joseph. While Mary has a whole song recorded in the Bible, we don’t have a single recorded word from Joseph. But his actions and character speak volumes and continually point toward faith and hope in the Prince of Peace.

    In Matthew 1:18-25 we see the story unfold. Joseph, who was engaged to Mary, suddenly found himself at the center of a scandal. Mary was pregnant and the child was not his. While an angel had already revealed to Mary that what was happening was the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, Joseph had not yet received any such reassurance. 

    In their time and culture, a person’s virtue and honor were paramount. If Joseph stayed with Mary, people would assume he was the father, bringing shame and dishonor to himself and his family. If he stated the truth that he is not the father, the blame lands squarely on Mary’s shoulders, and Joesph would have been within his legal right to have her put to death by stoning. For both Joseph and Mary, the stakes had never been higher. 

    It’s not hard to imagine the depth of grief Joseph must have felt. He thought he had chosen a woman of virtue, one who loved and followed God and would have brought honor and love, and beauty to his life. And now this? His entire world had just been turned upside down. And yet, Joseph was a thoughtful and just man, faithful to God’s law and dependent on Him for wisdom and direction. 

    As Joseph lay in bed, no doubt unable to sleep and agonizing about what to do, he decided that he would put Mary’s honor above his own and quietly divorce her. When he finally drifted off to sleep, an angel spoke to Joesph in a dream.

    At just the right time, in just the right way, God reassured Joesph that the events unfolding would not bring tragedy, but triumph–the beginning of a holy, redemptive work that would save all of humanity. 

    God didn’t give Joseph a lot of detail, or promise that everything would be ok. But God did comfort Joseph telling him not to be afraid. Then God told Joseph exactly what he needed to know to step forward in faith. I can only imagine the wave of relief, peace, and total wonder that must have washed over Joseph after that dream. I bet he took a long exhale when he realized this was all a part of God’s plan. 

    As he tried to comprehend all that he had been told, I wonder if Joesph recalled Psalm 29:11 to mind: “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” 

    Joseph would need strength for the road ahead, strength to face the judgmental stares from friends and family who thought he had broken their marital laws, strength to love and care for Mary and baby Jesus, and strength to have faith that what the Lord said was all true. But Joseph would also need to lean into the peace that God promised as well. 

    The Hebrew word for peace is shalom and it means so much more than the mere absence of conflict. Shalom means to make whole, or complete. To take something that’s broken and complicated and restore it to order. Shalom can apply to damaged property being repaired, someone’s health returning after a season of illness, or a broken relationship being mended. To give shalom is to give wholeness, healing, and restoration. 

    As Joseph faithfully stepped into the role that God was calling him to, his trust in God’s ability to breathe order into chaos would have helped him to continue to be attentive to God’s instructions and to boldly protect, lead, and love his family well. Joseph took Mary as his wife, and just as the Lord had instructed, named the Baby Jesus.

    And God was faithful. He continued to walk with Joseph and speak to him through dreams, giving him the next set of instructions, and then the next. All along the way, God continued to give Joseph strength and bless him with peace.

    Maybe you are in the middle of a complicated situation that could use some healing and restoration, or maybe you are in a season that feels overwhelming and unpredictable and you need God to breathe order into your chaos. Maybe you aren’t sure how you are going to provide for yourself or your family and it’s hard to see how you’ll make it another week, let alone another month. Perhaps you feel called by God to step forward in faith to fill a role that feels impossibly hard and you wonder if you’re really the right person for the job.

    I’m sure Joseph experienced all of these feelings and while God may not send angels to speak to us in dreams the way He did with Joseph, He will give you strength and bless you with peace that goes beyond anything our human minds can comprehend. 

    Because Jesus is the ultimate source of true “shalom”. He is the Prince of Peace. There is no limit to the wholeness and healing that He brings.

    We will still be faced with difficult circumstances, but because of Jesus, our relationship with God has been restored and we are now called His children. We are heirs of an unshakable Kingdom that will never fall or fade. Because of Jesus, we can continue to put one foot in front of the other, following Him and leaning into His instructions, trusting in His ability to bring order to chaos, healing to what is broken, and wholeness where there is longing. 

    And as Christmas day approaches, may we remember and celebrate Jesus coming to earth to be our Prince of Peace, and look forward with eager anticipation to when he returns, and shalom will be complete.

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  • Why Should We Pray For Our Enemies?

    “She said WHAT about me?!”

    I could feel my cheeks flush as a shockwave of anger spread across my face, and through my chest, before it fell like a rock in my stomach. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How could someone who had known me for so long, believe lies about me? 

    I struggled to process the harsh reality in front of me: an old friend (I’ll call her Nichole) was spreading lies about me in an effort to save face. And another dear friend (I’ll call her Marie) had believed her without a second thought. 

    I knew Nichole well and had learned to be a little cautious in our friendship. She had a little bit of a reputation for being less than honest. 

    But I looked up to Marie. I sought her approval and wanted to have a good relationship with her. When I tried to reach out to her, I was given a cold shoulder in return. There would be no chance for me to set the record straight, no hope for justice, and certainly no apology.

    As someone who prides herself on being friendly, I don’t enjoy having an enemy. I am a peacemaker at heart and I want everyone to get along, but I’m also a bit scrappy. I’m not one to go down without a fight, so not having a chance to defend myself and put certain people in their places was a special kind of torture. 

    It kept me up at night and chipped away at my self-confidence. I would lie awake, replaying conversations in my mind looking for ways that I could clear the air and change how Marie saw me. I cried big tears of frustration and grief. I had lost not just one friend, but two, and there was nothing I could do about it. Or was there? 

    One night around 2 am, after a particularly good fake conversation in my mind where I really stuck it to them, I began to pray for justice. My heart was filled with righteous indignation and I was certain that the Lord had my back on this one. 

    Then the strangest thing began to happen. While I started praying for myself, I ended up praying not just for me, and how I was feeling, but also for Nichole and Marie. I prayed for the places where they were broken to be healed, so they wouldn’t hurt others the way that they had hurt me. I prayed for their eyes to be opened and hearts to be softened to the love of Christ and for the Holy Spirit to work within them. I prayed that God would help me to forgive them, and to be set free from the bitterness that had taken root. I asked God to bring about the best possible outcomes for all of us so that He could be glorified. 

    Friend, it was not by my own strength that I prayed these prayers. It was God at work in my heart through prayer that formed the words and began to change my entire perspective. 

    In Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT) Jesus tells us, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.

    While my conflict with Nichole and Marie happened before social media was really a thing, it’s not unheard of in situations like this to put someone on blast in a one-sided rant on Facebook. We’ve all seen the posts, maybe we’ve even posted some of them. If it had been an option at the time, I would have loved a chance to get my side “out there” and maybe get in a jab or two of my own. 

    But Jesus says if we are going to behave like true children of God, we should love our enemies and pray for them. I know–crazy right? It’s totally counterintuitive. 

    Left to our own devices, our perspective remains narrow. We see only through the lens of our hurt and frustration. Before long, bitterness begins to build up, and brick by brick we become imprisoned behind a wall of unforgiveness and pain. 

    But when we bring our enemies before Jesus in prayer, suddenly things don’t seem so big and overwhelming compared to the magnitude and sovereignty of God. The simple act of prayer helps us to transcend the situation before us, and invites God to go to work in our hearts. 

    He can smooth out the rough edges where we need to repent, and fortify our souls where we need encouragement and love. When we pray, God meets us with compassion and reminds us that we are loved. What a gift when we feel wounded and rejected by others! Through time with God in prayer, He begins to mend all of the broken places in our hearts. 

    But something else miraculous happens through prayer. As we are reminded of our own belovedness, we are also reminded of the belovedness of others. God never made a person He didn’t love, including our enemies. 

    When we pray, we begin to see them the way God sees them, and our hearts are softened. It’s like weed spray for the heart, killing the roots of bitterness before they can get established and helping pave the way for true freedom and forgiveness. 

    We see in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6, that forgiving others is something that the Lord requires of us. He knows it is not easy work, especially when the person we are trying to forgive may not seem sorry. But God never asks us to do anything alone. When we pray to Him, He helps us and heals us so that in due time, we can sincerely forgive and move forward. 

    It’s ok if you don’t know where to start. Don’t worry if your words aren’t pretty or if your anger bubbles over. God does not require you to check your emotions at the door. He wants you to bring all of your heart to Him. The Holy Spirit will help you find the words and communicate your heart to God. God promises to work all things out for good for those who love Him. He won’t waste a thing. He will use it all to bring about purpose for your pain and beauty for your ashes.  (Romans 8:26-28)

    Part of God working all things for good is so that others will know that He is God. He’s doing more than just settling a disagreement, or bringing about justice, He is working through our situations so that everyone can know Him. 

    In the book of Exodus, there are a couple of occasions where Moses prays for his enemy, the Pharoah of Egypt, who has enslaved the Israelites. In that part of the story, we get a little glimpse of why and how God is working. He is working through the stubborn heart of Pharoah so that all of Israel will know that Yahweh is God. God is also working through Moses’ prayer for Pharoah so that Pharoah will know that Yahweh is God. (Exodus 8:8-1010:1-2)

    When we humble ourselves and pray for our enemies, God reminds us and shows everyone else, that He is God. He can reach into the hearts of people where our best arguments and defenses would fall flat. God can bestow wisdom and grace, change minds and soften hearts, including our own so that all will know that He is God. 

    About a year after the fallout with Marie and Nichole, after praying and working toward forgiveness, I had finally let go of the whole situation. By the grace and strength of God, I rested in the comfort and security that God knew the truth and that was enough. I had reached a place where the opinion of these two friends no longer defined me. My worth was not in what they thought or said, but in who God says I am. 

    One day I found out that another friend had bumped into Marie and set the record straight on my behalf. Marie felt terrible about the whole thing and had no idea that all this time she had been believing a lie. 

    I saw her not too long after that and she came up to me and hugged me. She praised me for the way that I handled the whole situation. 

    Up to this point, there wouldn’t have been anything I could have said to change Marie’s mind. Only God could have accomplished that. And only God could have kept my heart soft enough to receive her kindness and be willing to reconcile.  At that moment, I was reminded of who God is, and other people, including Marie, saw God at work, healing and redeeming a friendship that had been lost. 

    I know we don’t always get the ending that is tied up neatly with a bow. Marie never really did apologize-not in so many words. But God had already restored my heart and grown my faith in ways that I never could have anticipated. And it was easier to give Marie grace because of the abundance of grace that God had been giving me all along. 

    So my friend, pray for your enemies. Not sure if you have any? Pray anyway– someone’s name may come to mind that you’ve stored neatly in the back of your mind. 

    Bring your heart to God, bring any conflict, hurt, betrayal or grief. Lay it at His feet and watch Him take a heart full of frustration, anger, and bitterness, and transform it into one overflowing with peace, freedom, and grace. 

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  • More Than We Ask Or Imagine

    For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, 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 you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

    Ephesians 3:14-21

    Looking back over the last five years of ministry for Revive, I am amazed at all that God has done, is doing, and will do. I continue to stand in awe of His goodness, faithfulness, and love as He takes our meager offerings and multiplies them to accomplish Kingdom work before our very eyes. It is nothing short of miraculous. 

    And so much of this Kingdom work began with this prayer from Ephesians 3:14-21. It has been our hearts’ cry for each woman that we encounter at the coffee shop, in our online Bible studies, at church, on social media, at events, or in just the park. 

    We pray that she will be rooted and established in love. That she will experience the love of Christ in tangible ways, and that as her grasp of God’s love for her increases, so will her passion for Christ. 

    We pray that her relationship with Jesus will be the defining relationship in her life, the one that becomes the measure of how she sees herself and others. 

    We pray that her sense of self-worth and value will be wrapped up in who God says she is and how God esteems her, instead of the noisy opinions of the world.

    We pray she would know this love that surpasses knowledge: that she is fearfully and wonderfully made and a beloved daughter of The King.

    We pray that in the security of being fully known and fully loved by God, she will confidently step out in faith, using all the ways that God has uniquely created her to bless God and others. 

    We pray that she will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live the abundant life that God invites us to and that she will walk confidently in her purpose as a citizen in the unshakable Kingdom of God. 

    In a world that is broken, hurting, and lost, we need God’s daughters to rise up. We need to know God and who we are in Him. We need to shine the light and love of Christ to our families, friends, and to the next generation of women who will follow in our footsteps. We need to be a reflection of God’s love and a beacon of hope that there is more to this life than what the world can offer. Because we know that someone, somewhere will experience revival because of God at work within us. 

    So we pour out our hearts in prayer, confident that God will continue to work powerfully. We pray that He will continue to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, and we thank Him daily for the chance to join Him in the work He is doing. 

    There’s room for more people to join us in this Kingdom work. Pray with us and for us! Pray that as God continues to grow Revive Ministries, more and more women will begin to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who they are in Christ. The power of God is at work through His people, and His love will transform this generation and the generations to come. 

    “To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

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  • Fully Known & Loved

    As my toddler, Daniel explored our backyard, I could feel my leg muscles starting to burn a little as I followed him around in a weird, traveling half-squat. Watch anyone with a toddler at the park and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. As silly as I looked, I wanted to keep Daniel within arms reach in case he ventured into terrain he wouldn’t be able to handle quite yet. At the same time, I also wanted him to enjoy the victory of conquering the yard without too much help from Mom. So I told myself the traveling half-squat would be my workout for the day and around the yard we went.

    I watched him closely, keenly aware of his every move. I anticipated potential trips and stumbles, steered him around obstacles, and was ready at a moment’s notice to scoop him up in my arms or let him take a soft landing so he could learn what he can do under the safety of my watchful eye. It didn’t matter if Daniel was my third kid or my first, nobody knows him better than I do. I’m his mama, and I know him like the back of my hand.

    We played in the yard for a while and after Daniel went down for his nap, I curled up on the couch with my coffee and my Bible. In this rare and precious moment of quiet, I was especially moved as I read Psalm 139:1-5.

    O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

    You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

    You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.

    You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.

    You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. (NLT)

    It is a verse I must have read a hundred times, but today, it just struck me in a way that felt more real. You see, there are lots of days when it is easy to feel unseen, invisible, or unappreciated. But I realized reading this passage of Scripture, that today would not be one of them.

    Instead, today would be a day when I could settle down into the truth that God knows everything about me, the good, the bad, and the ugly. While there was a time in my life that would have felt like a scary prospect, today I could rest comfortably in the knowledge that there’s not a moment in my day when I am not seen and loved beyond measure by my Heavenly Father.

    He knows when I am going to sit down or stand up. He sees the obstacles in my path and steers me around them. He’s ready to scoop me up in His arms and rescue me from danger or let me take the soft landing so I can learn under the safety of His watchful eye.

    Because of this, I can lean into the love of a God who knows my every thought, even before I have found the words. I can rest in the comfort of a Father who never gives up, who welcomes me with open arms, even after seasons where I may have wandered far away from Him. He is the God who knows my daily rhythms. He sits with me as I sip my coffee in the stillness before the chaos. He sees me when I am changing diapers, wiping noses, and folding laundry. He is there when I succeed, and when I cry in the shower after a hard day.

    The truth is, I can go through every day secure in the One who goes before me and follows behind me, in a Divine traveling half-squat, lovingly leading me at every turn. And at the end of the day, He places His sweet hand of blessing on my head, as I close my eyes, safe and secure because my God never sleeps. He watches over me day and night and tomorrow, He’ll do it all over again.

    My friend, there is not a moment that God does not see you fully, know you completely, and love you beyond compare. He’s got you, more than you can comprehend. You are safe with Him. You need no explanations with Him. There’s no place too far that He cannot reach you, no height or depth that He cannot go to save you. Lean into His love. Hunker down in that truth, wrap up in it like a warm hug. You are absolutely precious to Him, simply because you are His.

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  • Jesus & Pancakes

    One of the sweetest and most profound conversations I’ve heard was over pancakes at the breakfast table. 

    My oldest son Sam was about 6 when his good friend Josiah came over for a visit. Pancakes are Sam’s favorite, so I whipped up a batch for breakfast and set them on the table for the two buddies to share.

    They carefully poured the syrup over their respective short-stacks, and their little legs swung back and forth in their chairs as they casually chatted about life and their plans for the afternoon.

    I helped myself to a second cup of coffee and leaned on the kitchen counter, smiling and taking in the sweet scene before me. 

    Sam has always been a quiet kid, and Josiah just seemed to get him. He would never interrupt him like other kids often did unintentionally, in their enthusiasm. Josiah just listened intently and then would reply thoughtfully, often with wisdom beyond his years. Sam would listen in turn, and encourage Josiah right back. 

    At one point in their conversation, Josiah turned his whole body in his chair so he could look Sam square in the eye and asked him if he read his Bible and prayed every day. Sam nodded emphatically, and after chewing a huge mouthful of pancakes, assured him that yes, he did every day. 

    “That’s good!” Josiah cheerfully exclaimed. “It’s really important!” 

    Sam asked the same question of Josiah, who affirmed that he also read his Bible and prayed daily. The two finished their pancakes smiling, pleased that they were both living their best lives. 

    I was so inspired by their gentle encouragement of one another and moved by the sweetness of the Lord unfolding in this friendship between first-graders. Even now, ten years later, it brings a smile to my face. 

    Good friends are like that, aren’t they? They shape us to be more like God and spur us on to grow closer to Him. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” It was that same quality that I saw in my son and his friend, iron sharpening iron, not in competition or judgment, but in a heartfelt and caring desire to see the other thriving in their relationship with Christ. 

    Of course, we all want friendships that make us better and encourage us in all the different facets of life, but I think we can all agree that it’s not quite as easy as it was in first grade. 

    Nowadays, cultivating deep and meaningful friendships takes a whole lot of intentionality with a dash of Holy Spirit-fueled bravery. 

    Godly friendships start first with recognizing your own belovedness. I know at a glance that might feel strange, or challenging, or maybe even totally backward, but stick with me. 😉 

    When we acknowledge that we are God’s beloved children, we are recognizing that we are loved simply because we are His. Not on our own merit, but because He knit us together fearfully and wonderfully. There’s nothing we can say or do to earn it or lose it-He is our Abba, our Good Father and we are precious to Him. We can love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

    It is the love of Christ that frees us from insecurity and fear. Because our value and our worth are ultimately in Christ, we don’t have to worry about what others might think or get stuck in our own heads about where to start. We can boldly step out in faith, knowing that the One whose opinion matters most, loves us. 

    When we spend time with God, we realign our perspective with His. We can’t help but be reminded of who He is and how much He loves us. Jesus himself models this in the Gospels by withdrawing by himself to pray and spend time with the Father. He set a powerful and loving example for us to follow so that we could give from the overflow of the love we ourselves receive. 

    So often we try to operate on our own power and wisdom when it comes to relationships. The problem is that our power and wisdom are limited, and we eventually burn out. 

    But spending time with God and being constantly filled and refilled by His limitless love, empowers us to operate from a place of abundance instead of scarcity. We set healthier boundaries, make wiser choices, and speak more kindly to ourselves (and others) because we are more aware that God knows us fully and loves us wholly. 

    Embracing our belovedness and esteeming ourselves the way God does, also changes how we see and esteem others. Suddenly when you look at your friend, you see them first and foremost as a beloved child of God. They have honor and value in the Kingdom of God and are a reflection of God’s own image, just as you are. What a beautiful foundation for a friendship! 

    In the security of a friendship like that, we are able to rejoice when our friend rejoices, and mourn with them when they mourn. We can more easily speak the truth in love when they need encouragement or gentle correction, or simply to be reminded of who they are in Christ.

    Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us.”

    1 John 4:11-12

    There have definitely been times in my life when even if I’m doing all of these things, good friends seem scarce. It is in those seasons, that I turn back toward God in prayer, asking him to show me someone that can be a friend and someone for whom I can be a friend. He has been so faithful to bring people into my life that have blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined. And He has prompted me to notice people in need of His love that I may have never seen otherwise. Oftentimes, those people turn out to be one and the same. 

    In a world where many friendships are mile-wide and puddle-deep, I want to invite you to be bold in praying for the friends that you have and the friends you have yet to meet. 

    Maybe you have been longing for a true friend to link arms with for what feels like ages. We are praying that God leads you to just the right person at just the right time. May He strengthen you and comfort you and help you feel your full worth in Him. And while you wait, may He show you the people in your path that are also longing to experience God’s love through the friendship that only you can offer. Perhaps you are in their life for such a time as this. 

    Maybe you have been blessed with more than one good friend! We are doing a happy dance with you! I want to invite you to pray for those friends and also ask God to keep your eyes open for opportunities to share His love through friendship with others. Ask Him how you can bless your community and love as He loves. Make sure to also take time to withdraw and just be with Jesus, being filled with His love and recognizing your belatedness and the belovedness of others. 

    Finally, wherever you are in your friendships old or new, be intentional, be prayerful and be bold. Intentionally lean into the abundant love God offers, allowing it to fill up your soul to overflowing. Pray for God’s wisdom and tune your heart to His, and follow His lead. Boldly point each other toward God, reminding one another of who we are in Christ, and watch the sweetness of the Lord unfold in your friendships. After all, the joys in life are best when shared with a friend–whether you’re inviting them to coffee or to share a big ol’ stack of pancakes.

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  • After The Empty Tomb

    The last marshmallow peep finally got eaten yesterday. It was the last bit of Easter left in the house except for the tiny shreds of Easter grass I keep finding everywhere, thanks to my 14-month-old son.  

    It’s amazing how quickly holidays can come and go, and then it’s back to the usual packed schedules and hurried rhythms of life. It’s so easy, some 2,000 years later, for the awe and wonder of the resurrection to fade to a comfortable complacency in the familiarity of grace. It can be hard to find a lasting way to relate to the story in a way that connects us intimately to the God of the Universe who gave Himself up for us. 

    But when I think about that very first Easter, I think it would have been impossible to shake the overwhelming experience that the followers of Jesus witnessed so long ago. After walking, talking, and eating with Jesus daily, it would have been so jarring to have Him suddenly gone from the ebb and flow of everyday life together. My mind is especially drawn to Mary Magdalene, grieving in the garden after Jesus died. 

    Here was a woman whose life had been completely transformed by the love of Jesus. She had once been demon-possessed, outcast, and abused by society…until Jesus. He healed her miraculously, restoring her health, her dignity, and her worth. From the moment of her transformation, she followed Him, helping fund His ministry and spreading the good news that the long-awaited Messiah was here to set free the captives and bind up the brokenhearted, just as the prophet Isaiah had foretold. She trusted and loved Jesus with her whole heart, mind, and soul. (Luke 8:1-3, Luke 4:18-19, Isaiah 61:1-3

    I can’t imagine her heartache as she knelt in the garden next to His tomb the day after he had been so cruelly killed. The depth of sorrow she must have felt would be overwhelming. The Lamb of God had been sacrificed for the sin of the world, for all our sin. 

    There would be so much she couldn’t know yet, and I think that would have been the hardest part. Not knowing how to make sense of all she had seen and experienced. Not knowing what the future would hold. Maybe there was part of her still holding her breath, hoping for just one more miracle. 

    As she walked again to His tomb the next day, I imagine she had scarcely begun to allow herself to accept that He was gone, when she discovered that the tomb was empty.

    As she sobs by Jesus’ empty tomb, fearing that His body had been taken and that the only part of Jesus she had left was now truly gone, He appears, risen, alive and radiant! The miracle she had been hoping for had come. In her weariness and grief, she doesn’t recognize Him, until she hears Jesus’ voice calling her by name, “Mary.” (John 20:11-16)

    Doesn’t that just give you chills? I can’t wait to hear Jesus say my name someday. I think it will be the prettiest my name has ever sounded. 

    The moment Mary hears His voice she knows the miracle has come. Jesus is alive and standing before her, comforting her in her grief and dispelling every fear in her heart. 

    What Jesus says next is nothing short of incredible. He commissions Mary to go and tell the disciples that He had risen from the dead–to give testimony of what she had just seen and experienced. 

    He commissions Mary, a woman with a messy past, tear-stained cheeks, and eyes wide and wild with hope, to be the first gospel-bearer.

    Jesus doesn’t stop there. He tells her that she is family now, saying, “I’m going to my Father, and your father, to my God and your God.” She is now a co-heir with Christ in the Kingdom of God. In one moment, Mary goes from despair to laying hold of a hope and a future that is unshakable. (John 20:17)

    I don’t know what else Jesus and Mary may have spoken about between verses 17 and 18. But what we do see is that in the very next verse, Mary sets out on her mission. If I were Mary, my legs wouldn’t be able to carry me fast enough.

    I can only imagine that she burst into the room where the disciples were gathered, out of breath, and overjoyed when she shouted, “I have seen the Lord!” 

    I would love to have witnessed firsthand Mary telling the disciples about seeing the resurrected Jesus. I can almost picture the joy spreading like a sunbeam across the disciples’ faces as the reality sets in that Jesus is alive. Death and sin have been defeated and eternal life with Him is now available to all people, for all time. (John 20:18)

    What Mary had experienced in the garden was incredible, but what was more important was that she shared it. She told everyone about what Jesus had done in her life and in the lives of those around her. She didn’t hold back but leaned into Jesus in her story. And because she was there through it all with Him, we have the benefit of knowing about it today. 

    Maybe you’ve had a moment like Mary, standing before the empty tomb, overwhelmed by despair, hoping for a miracle. Maybe you’re wondering how you’ll be able to pay the bills and buy groceries, or you’re waiting for a breakthrough with a child who is struggling just to get through the day. Perhaps it’s a marriage that is hanging on by a thread and you just can’t see how you’ll survive one more argument, or a health crisis that makes it hard to even get out of bed each day. 

    There are so many things in this life that can threaten to overtake us. But just like in the garden, Jesus always shows up. He never fails to come through. And we have the same divine invitation now that Mary did then: to stand with the empty grave behind us and behold the Risen Savior before us. 

    Every day, Jesus calls us by name and commissions us to tell the Good News that the story did not end at the cross. We too can speak of the places in our hearts that once were dead and are now alive through Him.

    We can have confident hope that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us and empowers us to live out our purpose in Him. We are co-heirs with Christ, renewed by His love, redeemed, cleansed, and sanctified by His ultimate sacrifice. 

    That means that even if you are waiting for your miracle, praying for Jesus to show up in the middle of your mess, you can have hope. He never leaves us in our brokenness, but rather runs to meet us there, to love us and comfort us, and then calls us forward in faith to new life with Him. 

    So even though the Easter decorations are put away, and the daily hustle and bustle of life has resumed, my calling and commission, my purpose is the same: to be a Gospel Bearer. To tell of Christ crucified and raised again, and to share how He has written and redeemed my story. And like Mary Magdalene, once you’ve experienced the love of Jesus, you can’t help but shout, eyes wide and wild with hope, “I have seen the Lord!”

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  • Dinner With Jesus

    Life before the pandemic seems like such a blur. Not just because of how the world as we knew it completely changed, but because my own life changed so dramatically during the pandemic as well. While on lockdown, my husband and kids and I moved into a new house, had major job changes, and in case that wasn’t exciting enough, we also added a brand new baby to our family! 

    My parents came over to watch the kids and Jake and I drove an hour to a friend’s house for a French-themed dinner party. It was to be the first of several themed dinner parties with the group, with each night inspired by a place we had been or dreamed of going to someday. We were good friends with the host and his wife, but everyone else would be new friends in the making. I was excited and nervous, but most of all, I was totally pumped to be going to a grown-up function with my husband! 

    The evening was perfect. It was like something out of a scene from a romantic comedy. We all ate and laughed, listened to music, and played games. Everyone seemed right at home and everyone felt like they belonged, despite all coming from a broad variety of backgrounds and life experiences. It was the kind of evening that made you forget to check your phone, you were just having so much fun in the moment. 

    And perhaps I’m remembering it with slightly rose-tinted glasses because I know now what I did not then. It would be the last dinner with these friends for a long time. Just a month or two later, the world as we knew it seemed to turn upside down. 

    Even though we only had one evening with that particular group of people, my husband and I still remember it with such affection. There’s just something about breaking bread with folks that breaks down barriers and allows you to connect in a meaningful way. And the experience is one that lingers in your memory the way a sweet perfume hangs in the air. 

    Meals together have been significant from the very beginning. All throughout the Bible, God enters into covenant relationships with His people in order to rescue them. And one of the ways He keeps those covenant promises fresh in the hearts and minds of His people is through meals. 

    God called Israel to observe certain special meals throughout the year to continually remind His people of the covenants He has established with them. Time and time again, even though the Israelites fell woefully short on their end of the covenant, God remained faithful, pouring out His love and forgiveness on an undeserving people. The meals served as an intentional opportunity for God’s people to praise Him, be thankful, remember His love and goodness, and repent of anything that is separating them from life with God. 

    The Passover feast was just such a meal, and the Jewish people celebrated it every year with a symbolic supper of lamb, unleavened bread, and wine to remind them of the Exodus story and how God miraculously rescued them from slavery in Egypt. The lamb was especially symbolic because it was the blood of a lamb painted over the doorways of the Israelites that spared them from death, and from the final plague that convinced their captor Pharaoh to set them free. 

    The night before He was crucified, Jesus shared the Passover meal with His disciples. These poor guys had no idea that the world as they knew it was about to turn upside down. There was no way they could know then, what we know now: that this would be their Last Supper with Jesus for a long time. 

    But Jesus did, and He was about to introduce a new covenant that would change everything, once and for all. 

    When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

    Luke 22:14-20

    I can picture them all around the table, with the Passover feast spread out on the table, the smell of food and spices hovering in the air. In my mind I can hear the din of several conversations all happening at once, talking and laughing, remembering what the Lord had done long ago in Egypt and how He saved His people, and recalling Jesus’ miracles like that time He calmed the storm or raised Lazarus from the dead. I imagine John pulling up the seat right next to Jesus, scooting in as close as possible to hear what He would say and I can almost see Peter, laughing confidently, believing without a doubt that King Jesus would lead them victoriously through any battle.  After all, he saw Jesus walk on water and even took a few shaky steps of his own on the waves with Jesus. There was nothing Jesus couldn’t do. 

    I don’t think they ever could have imagined that Jesus would soon present Himself as the sacrificial Lamb of God. Or that it would be His blood that would be poured out this time and His body that would be broken like the very bread He shared with them that evening. Had they known what was coming, I wonder if they would have lingered a little longer, or leaned in a little closer, hanging on every word Jesus said.

    Over a simple meal, Jesus invited His disciples to participate in the most incredible covenant God has ever initiated. A new covenant that would give life and freedom like they had never known. Jesus would be the ultimate sacrifice that would forever establish the forgiveness of sins and reconcile all people to God for all time. Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, death would not just pass over us all, it would be defeated forever. The bondage of sin would be broken and eternal life in the Kingdom of God would be made available once again. 

    But the invitation wasn’t just for the disciples, it is for us as well. As Jesus broke the bread and passed the cup around to His disciples, He invited them to remember Him, knowing one day we would share in this meal and this covenant too.  

    As followers of Christ, when we take the Lord’s Supper, we remember and participate in the power of Jesus’ life. We celebrate this new covenant and are intimately connected to what God has done in the past, is doing now in the present, and will do in the future. The God that transcends all space and time wasn’t just picturing the 12 disciples sitting around that table, He was picturing you, and me. It was His love for us then and now that drove Him willingly to the cross, so we could gather around the supper table each week, and stand in His victory, love, and power. 

    We have been given access to the very same power that brought Jesus back from the dead and we are transformed and renewed to be more and more like Him. It is nothing short of a miracle.  

    And as wonderful as this meal is, it is not the final meal that Jesus has prepared for us. Jesus has promised that He will return and then He will invite people from every nation, tongue and tribe to dinner and we will sit at the table that He has prepared for us all and enjoy an eternally life-giving meal in His presence. 

    And when we participate in the Lord’s Supper, we anticipate that final glorious feast. Shara Drimalla from the Bible Project says it beautifully, “The meal serves as a taste of what is to come—a taste of true life. As we practice this new covenant meal, may it stir within us hope for his return and thankfulness for who he is and what he has done.”

    So this Easter, pull up a seat close to Jesus, hang on His every word and remember what He has done. Sit in sweet fellowship with God’s people and invite others to join you. Laugh, share memories, and look forward to what is coming. Jesus is Risen and He is coming back again with an invitation to dinner.

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  • Be Still and Know

    As the war in Ukraine stretches on, my heart has been heavy for the friends I know there, for the families separated, for those mourning losses, all while fighting for their freedom. I’ve heard countless stories of people helping one another and of God working in their midst through neighbors and friends. Stories of neighborhood women feeding soldiers on the front lines, moms leaving strollers at border train stations for parents who had to leave all their belongings behind, and soldiers throwing a birthday party for a little boy who was waiting with his family to flee to safety. 

    From where I sit, in peace and safety, I feel helpless to intervene, and frustrated and overwhelmed by all I see and hear in the news. My heart breaks for the tragedy I see unfolding and I find myself longing for God’s comfort and reassurance that He is present and working in this terrible situation. 

    A friend of mine in Ukraine was recently sharing how much comfort and hope she, and other people in Ukraine are finding in the Psalms. Another missionary echoed her thoughts, saying  “The heartfelt pleas, angry outbursts, explosions of joy and moments of peaceful stillness -all match the rollercoaster of feelings happening within my own heart.” 

    One of my favorite verses that has brought me comfort and peace is Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God”. In the past it has been a gentle reminder of God’s sovereignty, love, and provision, especially in times of stress and difficulty. When life feels overwhelming and I feel helpless to change my circumstances, this verse invites me to rest before the Lord and remember that God is already powerfully at work.

    Today, however, I read the whole Psalm instead of just my favorite verse and noticed some things I hadn’t noticed before. My favorite verse that brings me so much peace is surrounded by scriptures describing chaos and destruction. In verses 2 and 3, Scripture paints a picture of a world in tumult and crisis—mountains falling down, and oceans roaring and foaming. In verse 6 it speaks of nations in uproar and kingdoms falling. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the state of the world today and all we are witnessing in Ukraine. This part of Psalm 46 that had once felt so removed and abstract in times of peace, now hit hard and close to the heart. 

    But all of this chaos described in Psalm 46 is also contrasted with the true and steady character of God. He is described in verse 1 as an “ever-present help” in trouble, our refuge, our safe place. In verse 7, we are reminded that God is with us. And in verses 8-9 our eyes fall upon the hopeful promise that God will bring about an end to fighting and strife and make wars cease. 

    The truth is, God is far bigger and more powerful than any worst-case scenario we can imagine, and I can imagine a lot! Even when the world seems out of control, God is always in control, so there’s no reason to be afraid. This amazing truth was exactly what my heart needed to remember. 

    In verse 10, God is giving a gentle but powerful command to us to “be still” and know that He is God. He speaks to our frantic hearts with the same loving authority that He commands the winds and the waves. He calls us to surrender, cease striving, and rest assured with absolute certainty, that He is God. 

    So dear friend, when our newsfeed is filled with turmoil and chaos, and we feel helpless against the overwhelming troubles of the world, be still and know that He is God. He is the same God who parted the Red Sea, who freed captives and delivered nations and is at work this very moment. He is a mighty fortress and faithful deliverer. He is an ever-present help and He hears our prayers. We don’t have to fear, He is mighty to save. 

    Almighty God and Father,

    Our world feels chaotic and overwhelming. As war and turmoil continue in Ukraine, our hearts are heavy with sorrow for those who are suffering. We pray for those who are weary and long to find refuge and rest under your wing. Be their ever-present help and hope. Be a fortress around them, and shield them from evil. Make wars cease, that you may be exalted in all the earth.

    When our own anxiety rises, help us to be still, and remember that you are greater than anything we will see or experience in this world. You alone are strong enough to hold us steady when the wind and waves threaten to take us down. Help us to lean into your loving arms and feel the power of your presence and peace. 

    In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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