An Invitation. Will You Accept?

Rest.  Peace.  Solitude.  Quiet... Survival.

Life can be so uncertain.  So unknown.  All we know for certain is that there are a lot of unknown's.  Sometimes I get tired.  Tired of the unknown.

At times life's goal might be just to survive, smiling and rejoicing.  To take one day at a time, one decision at a time, one breath at a time.  And in the unknown and busyness, to find time for that so important place...

That place of

One would think it so simple, to find time to rest.  Personally, I think it is one of the hardest things we are commanded to do.

Physical rest eventually demands it.  Lack of mental rest will lead to insanity.  Emotional rest comes easier after a major breakdown.  But spiritual rest?... a bit harder to come by.

Lord, continue to teach me how to rest in You.  Regardless of the change, the risk, the cost being placed before me.

Give me the willingness to accept it, the strength to face it, the joy to endure it, and the rest to survive it.  Teach me to find my deserted place with You and be willing to stay and rest there awhile.
"Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." ~Mark 6:31
* "The earthly obscures the heavenly.  Human voices drown out the voice of God.  The world will confuse you.  Silence will speak more to you in a day than the world of voices can teach you in a lifetime.  Find silence.  Find solitude - and having discovered her riches bind her to your heart."
* "Your busyness wearies Me.  Small wonder you are yourself fatigued!  Your fretfulness grieves Me.  I long to take it from you and give you the balm of Gilead.  I will endow you with life so dynamic that you will serve Me before you have time to even think about putting forth the effort to do so."

* "The moving of my Spirit may at times be inconvenient to the flesh and may at other times be diametrically opposed to reason, but obey Me regardless of the cost.  The more difficult the assignment, the richer the reward."

~~Excerpts from "Come Away My Beloved" by Frances J. Roberts

If it comes to mind, would you please pray that I will readily accept the invitation to rest?  The same invitation with Him has been extended to you as well.  And I am praying that for you...

How are you resting?...


My Battle Plan... and a Freebie!

I shared last week that, although I don't have a "war room", I was using a journal and 3x5 cards during my prayer time.  I also shared that I was going to re-work them to be more strategic after having seen the movie "War Room".

I wanted to share with you what I have done in the event that it helps you to begin to picture how you might be more strategic in prayer if you can't create a room.  I combined my cards and journal into one...

Here, my friends, is my Strategic Battle Plan!

I found this ringed, plastic covered, elastic strap securing set with some blank cards already in it at the store for right at $2.  Sold!

I brought it home and, having already had a hole punch at home, took my current cards and punched them.

I also created cards for the different areas that I pray through every day.  These are all written out on colored cards and inserted into the stack.

Those categories are as follows:

* Preparation
* Praise (recognizing who God is)
* Confession
* Thanksgiving (recognizing what God has done)
* Silence
* Intercession (praying for others)
* Supplication (requests for myself)
* Guidance
* Commitment and Empowering

After each one of these colored category cards, there are cards with quotes and thoughts that help to get me focused, challenged, and thinking on that specific category of prayer.

I had already created and have used for a couple of years now 30 days of varying Scriptures on a document that I have put onto my Kindle that correspond with each of the categories listed above. (This idea and excerpts taken from the book:"Quiet Moments in Prayer: Experiencing Life-Changing Conversations with God" by Lloyd John Ogilvie)

When I get to the intercession part of my praying, I have cards in my ringed stack with names and specifics for those names included so that I can just flip right through my stack.

When I get to the supplication and guidance categories, again, I have cards outlining areas that God is working in my own heart and items that I need specific direction on.

At the very end of my stack are hole punched blank cards to have on hand at any time I want to add something else.  I will not need to go looking for a card or hole punch to implement it.  

Although I have been using this specific format for my battle plan for just a few days now, here are a couple of things I've already recognized that I like about it...

It is in such a format that I can take it with me wherever I go.  I've prayed my strategy on the back porch, in my living room... I can even take this with me when I travel.

As the battle plan needs to change, that can be done with easily inserting or removing any particular card that I might need to.

What about you?  I would enjoy hearing about your strategy to approach the battle!  What is your Battle Plan?  Do you have a War Room?  Has this helped you to begin thinking more creatively about what that could look like for you?...

FREEBIE!:  If you would like an electronic copy of the 30 day's of Scripture that I put together that correspond with the categories listed above to begin praying through Scripture every day, please let me know, provide an e-mail address, and I'd be happy to send a copy to you!



War Room: What I Appreciated Most... and a Caution

War Room.  Yes, I've been to see it!

Here are a few things I appreciated about the movie...

It Models Praying Scripture

I remember years ago learning the importance of this for myself!  It used to be I would just ramble on and on to God, quickly losing momentum and interest.  Praying Scripture specifically helps me to:

* stay focused in what I'm asking and praying
* be reminded of the promises God has already given
* affirm God's will and heart in what I am praying and what He has already said

It Models Praying for Someone

I remember the moment God clearly convicted me that I needed to stop talking to my husband (more like nagging) and start talking to God for my husband!

Not that my husband was being ungodly, we just couldn't seem to communicate well.  (God also had huge lessons for me in learning to control my attitude that came out via my words.  Can anyone say "ugly spirit"?)

When I am tempted to respond to my husband in a manner that would not be helpful to the conversation in the moment... I try to use that as a cue to instead shut my mouth, say nothing to him directly, and instead pray for him. (and for my own attitude in the moment)  I also pray Scripture specifically for him every day!

This movie did a great job of modeling what that could look like.  (Although I have to say this transition in my heart was not resolved in 2 hours.  ha ha  In fact, this is something I have to work on daily... and sometimes even moment to moment.)

These same principle's and actions can be implemented for other relationships in life as well.

It Models Prayer

* As a first line of defense
* As a battle - the spiritual warfare that it is
* As practical and possible to every day living
* As more than just even a once a day event... but a happening all through the day event

I could go on and on about all the things I so appreciated, but these are just a few.

All 3 of these things I appreciated about the movie are still such areas for growth and change for me... and so the challenge the movie brought to these areas was exciting and inspiring to my own heart and resolve!


Since the release of the movie there has been quite a "buzz".  And rightly so!!  However, in the midst of all of the conversations and comments, I have become aware of something that is directing how I pray for the impact of this movie.

Although I have not personally talked with anyone with direct connections to the filming, I would dare say they would have a similar message...

War Room is not about the room... but the war!

I have heard people that are concerned that they don't have a room.  A space large enough. A place to designate for just this.

I fear we can miss the point if we're not careful.

My take away was that it is about...

* Having a strategy
* Being intentional
* Being consistent
* Being willing to fight in prayer
* Implementing God's Words (Scripture) and not just my own
* Staying persistent
* Changing my own heart to be more like Jesus regardless of what another does

Let us not lose sight that the power doesn't come from the place, but rather from the One being prayed to.

Is it wrong to create a room in which to do spiritual battle?  NO!  By all means... if you can make it happen... DO IT!!

I love the idea of having a place such as this!

But it doesn't have to be a room... 


Right now I am using a journal.  And notecards.  (And I'm re-working both to be even more strategic since having seen the movie.)

But what if it was....

* Post it's on a mirror?
* Or fun paper on a bulletin board?
* Or lists created on a kindle?
* Or other mobile device?
* Or a plain notebook?
* Or steno book?
* Or 3 ring binder with tabs?
* Or......

Friends, the options are endless, which is so super exciting!!

Be strategic.  Intentional.  Consistent.

I don't want to spend so much time wondering about the method that I lose the moments... to PRAY!!!

What about you?:  Have you seen the movie yet?  What did you most appreciate?  What were your take away's?  What is your strategy and/or strategy ideas?  Where/How do you be intentional in prayer?  And if you've not yet started... what obstacles are you facing to begin?

P.S.  If you've not yet seen the movie, plan to!  It is well worth it!!



What Wins

Have you ever felt like something (maybe even life itself) was a battle?  Like resistance was rising up against you?  Like you may be consumed and defeated?

I know I have!  In fact, I'm in a couple different situations even right now that could cause me to feel this way.

In light of these times I think we can take our cue's and learn from a couple of different people... mentor's if you will...


Word came that armies were rising up against him and the people.  (2 Chron. 20)
"The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord." (vs. 4)

Jehoshaphat then prayed and ended with these words,
"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." (vs. 12)

As we face times that do not make sense and/or seem certain defeat, may we also not hesitate to say to God, "I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on You."


After Jehoshaphat's prayer, Jahaziel stood and encouraged,
"Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God's. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you." (vs. 15, 17)


It was then that Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground and all the people fell down in worship(vs. 18)

As we pray and seek God, His face, His plans in the situations facing each of us... may we not forget to also bow and fall down in worship to Him alone!

And as we continue to march forward in our battle, may we be encouraged by Jehosphat's words...
"Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld." (vs. 20)

The People

We can also learn from and duplicate the behavior of the people in their fight.  Let's...
"sing to the Lord and praise Him for the splendor of His holiness... 'Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever." (vs. 21)


For it was "as they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the" armies invading... and those armies were defeated.  (vs. 22)

Response for Today

I'm freshly reminded of my role in my battle.  I am called to:

* seek the Lord
* admit that I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on Him
* not be afraid or discouraged, for this battle is not even mine, but God's
* take position
* stand firm
* watch for deliverance that the Lord, alone, will give
* go out in battle and face resistance with the Lord in lead

In the midst of all of that... my top priority roles are to:

* fall in worship
* praise Him

For it was as the people worshiped and praised that the Lord responded...

Friends, in addition to prayer, I firmly believe that as we worship, sing and praise, the Lord is going to move.  At just the right time, He is going to set ambushes and we will experience victory...

I am being reminded that His victory most often looks and comes very differently than what I think victory will be!

His way in His time

And in that victory every last piece of it will belong to Him alone!  For HIS glory!

Though our "battle" is a different opponent, the strategy works much the same.  So as I stand and sing praises in my battle, I'm eagerly watching the horizon for the deliverance and victory the Lord is going to bring!

My prayer and hope for you is that you are also encouraged by these mentors of days gone by, suiting up for the front lines of your battle... leading out your fight in worship, song and praise to God.

Let's go friends... we've got a victory, HIS VICTORY, to witness and be a part of!



When Your Efforts Seem Useless

Have you ever felt like something you were doing or had done was useless?  Have you ever wondered if you were wasting your time, energy, and strength on something that didn't even matter? 

Recently I have been encountering a couple of different situations that left me with those same type of feelings. 

I have been sharing my mornings the last few weeks with Isaiah.  As my personal feelings of discouragement were increasing, he reminded me that he had felt the same way.  And then he shared with me what he did in his own moments such as these...

"I (Isaiah) replied, 'But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.'”  ~Isaiah 49:4

 And just a couple days after Isaiah modeled his response for me in this way, Paul encouraged me with the following:

My dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless."   ~I Cor. 15:58

And so I move forward with a renewed sense of purpose and hope.  Just as Isaiah reasoned and determined, I want to do the same.

Regardless of whether I think a difference is even being made in what He has called me to... the results and reward for my obedience are competely up to Him and in His hands!  And so I trust completely.

Believing that He is working for His purposes and His glory... even when I can't see it!

Be encouraged today!  God sees and does not count it useless!  Leave it all in God's hands and trust Him for His reward!


The Relationship between Fact, Faith, and Feeling

Fact, Faith, and Feeling were sitting on the wall.
Feeling fell off and grabbed on to Faith, pulling Faith down.
Fact grabbed Faith and held Faith up.
Eventually, Fact pulled Faith back up, which then eventually brought Feeling back up.

I can not trust the feelings (or lack thereof) to dictate the state of my relationship with Jesus.  It's in those times when I don't seem to "feel" God and His presence that my faith becomes based strictly on the facts...

* Of what I know of God
* Who He is
* His promises

I have to believe that holding on to what I know to be true in my mind will once again resound loud and clear in my heart.  It's in the times that I don't experience all of the "feelings" that my faith becomes a conscious daily decision.  (Perhaps that is more of a sign of my submission and commitment to Him than when things are going well and "feeling" right?)

For now, it's "just the facts ma'am".  That is what is holding my faith up.

Have you considered lately... is Fact or Feeling determining the status of your Faith?


How to Respond When the Direction Makes No Sense

Imagine this... 

It is the end of the day.  It has been a long, hard day.  Your child is tired, exhausted, and feeling a bit discouraged from the situations of the day.

You are wrapping things up to be ready to head to bed when you remember there is one more errand to run.  So, you all pile in the car and head out.

While out on the errand, you look to your child and ask them to do something that seems absolutely ridiculous.  They look at you and say, "I don't really understand why you want me to do that, but because you say so I will obey."

I don't know about you, but this reponse would probably have me flat on the floor in disbelief.


Travel back with me to a time in the past. (Luke 5:1-5) Jesus is walking along the shore and sees some fishermen cleaning their nets, wrapping up a night of working...their boats nearby. 

He climbs into one of the boats and asks to be taken out a little from shore.  There He begins to speak to the people.  We aren't told how long He spoke.  5 minutes?...  5 hours?...

When Jesus had finished speaking He said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch."  Simon responds that they "have worked hard all night and didn't catch a thing."

They are, no doubt, tired. (Anyone who has worked a graveyard shifts knows the "tired" from working all night.)  They are likely discouraged.  (They are fishermen.  This is their livelihood and they didn't catch a thing.)  They were done for the day.  (Remember, they were cleaning their nets.)

Keep in mind this is the beginning of Jesus' ministry.  They have not yet spent time living with Him, watching Him, knowing Him. 

Yet, what is Simon (Peter's) response?  "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything.  But because you say so, I will let down the nets."


WHAT?  Because you say so?... That means for Simon that was enough... because Jesus said so.

No whining.  No questioning.  No arguing.  No pretending not to hear.  No procrastinating. No asking to wait and rest a bit.

Just an explanation of why that seemed absolutely ridiculous but... OK, because you say so, I will obey. 

End of discussion.

Life Implications...

When God asks me to do something, what is my response?  Do I respond as Simon did? I'd like to be able to say my response is that of Simon's.

It think it probably is... when things make sense, when I'm well rested, when it's something exciting, when it's something I want.

But what about those times when I'm exhausted, I'm discouraged, the command given seems to make absolutely no sense, when I'm preparing to do something else and this is a change of plans?  What is my response then?

Oh Lord, (regardless of the physical, emotional, and/or mental state that I am in) may you find me responding more and more to You like that of Simon.

Because You say so. 
That is enough. 
I will obey.
Just because You say so!

What about you?  Have you taken the time to consider lately how you respond to His direction? 

Be sure to head to Luke 5:6-11, read the results of their obedience, and be encouraged.  It was literally life changing!!  Their lives would never be the same again!



We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming....

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you these announcements....

In an effort to re-engage and to better connect with you:

1.  I can be found on facebook here.

2.  I am now on Twitter.  (New to this!)  EEK!  Someone care to help a girl out and give some tips with the in's and out's?  Find me here.

3.  A "reply" option has now been added to the comment section here on my blog.  I will be able to directly reply to your comments (as well as you can reply and converse amongst yourselves.)

I am hopeful that by engaging these things I can get to know you and serve you better.

What other ideas, feedback, or tips would you like to offer?  Go....

(We now return you to our regularly scheduled programing)....  :-)



Our Miracle... Then. Now.

Eighteen years ago today, this:

Psalm 66: 5

"Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people!" (NLT) 

"Take a good look at God's wonders— they'll take your breath away." (MSG)

Today... this:

What God wonder takes your breath away today?



Where I've Been. What I'm Learning.

Professional Student.  Do you know the term?

When I was in college this was a term used for those who were there much longer than the standard time one would expect for a degree completion to be done.  It may have been because they were part time.  It may have been because they changed major's multiple times.  Regardless, they were "professional students".

I'm discovering that I am one... spiritually.  Just when I think...

* I have learned something.
* I have graduated from that.
* I am ready to move on.

...I discover there is a "next grade"...

That is where God has had me.  Instead of being close to done in certain areas as I might have thought, I have found that I am only advancing to the "next grade".

Some lessons have me on the same topics and subjects, just more complicated lessons with deeper contexts.  Some lessons are new topics and subjects altogether.

Here is a snapshot of what I have been being challenged with and growing in... (in addition to the foundation and starting point being the Bible!)

From recent sermons at church:

*   Tension is something to be managed not a problem to be solved.
*   Obedience is not done when we feel like it, it's done when we're told to do it.
*   Small daily decision for Jesus unlock eternity.

From "Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge" by Mark Batterson:

*  "If you establish a prayer routine... You don't need to seek opportunity.  All you have to do is seek God.  And if you seek God, opportunity will seek you."

*  "Sometimes the purpose of prayer is to get us out of circumstances, but more often than not, the purpose of prayer is to get us through them."

*   "Most of our prayers have as their chief objective our own personal comfort rather than God's glory."

*  "Crazy Faith:  Crazy is normal.  Maybe our normal is so subnormal that normal seems abnormal.  Maybe we need a new normal.  Bold prayers and big dreams are normal.  Anything less is subnormal.  And when bold prayers become the norm, so do the miraculous breakthroughs that follow."

And from My Own Thoughts:

* This came the morning that I was doing a little "self preaching" about a major step I was to take but I couldn't see how it was going to end (and even though the step has been initiated, I still don't know the end).

"God, I know you to be the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament.  You are still that God today!" and in that time a question came to mind that said, "You're right.  I am still that same God.  But how is it that you expect me to be the same, but that I would expect any less faith from you than that required of the Old Testament and the New Testament?"

I then thought of Noah, Abraham, Esther, Joshua, Moses, Daniel, and on and on the list went... and the levels of faith they stepped out with... not knowing the end of the story, just believing God to be who He said He was and that He would do what He said He could do.

Their stories are serving as mentors to me in what "faith walking" really looks like, regardless of the response in my own mind or of those around me.

That's just a brief snapshot of what I have been learning. 

These haven't been just nice, little, challenging quotes and thoughts.  Rather, they are compelling me to move forward in intentional and life journey directing decisions once again.  Living it out.

Just as any grueling and strenuous learning assignment, it has been difficult and exciting.  It has left me teetering between grief of what I am giving up to the thrill of what I am pursuing.  It has left me questioning.  It has left me confident.  It has left me... well, frankly feeling like I've lost my mind. 

I sure would love to hear what your heart has been learning in recent days!  Share in the comments below and let's encourage each other with stories of what we are processing and how we are growing to become more and more the men and women that God created us to be!