Saturday, August 9, 2014

Music: Today is Beautiful by David Dunn

Sometimes you just need a bit of encouragement, yes? This song speaks to me right now. See if it blesses you.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Sighs and Prayers


How often do you sigh? 

Recently I realized I was sighing a lot. And God spoke to me and said to pray every time I do. Generally when I sigh, I’m doing one of four things: 

1) Reliving an ugly moment in my life. 

2) Worrying about a future moment in my life. 

3) Needing a deep breath. 

4) Feeling content. 

Another question for you: is sighing a sin? 

No, I don’t believe it is. If it were, contented sighs would be ungodly, and that’s ridiculous. (grin) 

But I love God’s invitation: pray whenever I sigh. First, that causes me to stop and think about why I did. Was I feeling regret? Worry? Contentment? I could pray about all of these. I could leave the past in the past, extracting the lessons. I could trust God with the future—that upcoming situation that could require what I couldn’t give. I could thank Him for the current blessings that made me feel grateful. What an invitation. 

Oftentimes we sigh because we’re under a burden. By turning those things over to God, we let Him take the burden—which leads to less stress in our lives. 

Do you ever pray about something and “leave it with God,” only to fret about it later? 

This invitation to pray every time I sigh is a great exercise in praying without ceasing, in releasing my burdens to the Lord, in living out my trust. 

How has God graciously helped you lately? 

* Photo credit: "Daisies" by Gualberto107

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Music Share: You Make Me Brave from Bethel Music

Sang this one at church camp this week, a few times. Now it's running through my mind over and over. Enjoy!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Passion - Let It Be Jesus (Live) ft. Christy Nockels

Can't get enough of this song or God while I listen to this song lately! (From Passion Band's release: Take it All)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Answer is Yellow

Yellow paint*

Have you ever prayed desperately for an answer? I’m not talking about a “yes” or “no” answer, but a fill-in-the-blank answer. An I-can’t-figure-this-out answer.

Maybe you’ve needed direction about something.

Perhaps you’ve wondered why you aren’t advancing where you want to. Why, for example, if you’re investing all your efforts in your career, making sacrifices, praying, tithing, aren’t you advancing?

Why aren’t you seeing the breakthrough?

So, you ask God. “Lord, what am I missing? What is holding me back? What’s in the way?”

Sometimes He does answer, right away.

Sometimes God doesn’t answer.

Sometimes time will teach us.  

Sometimes God will send someone with a word of knowledge or prophecy.

The key is to be open.

You might say, “I’m open!”

How willing are you to hear?

“I’m willing! I’ve even fasted. I’ve been asking, seeking, and knocking. I’m asking trusted friends, mentors, my pastor. I’ve got nothing! What am I missing?!!”

Ever been there?

Me too.

But I’ve learned something.

Sometimes the answer is “yellow.”

Stick with me here. “Yellow” is a stand-in word. “Yellow” can represent anything. It’s the blank-filler.

“Lord, what is the answer? Why can’t I move forward? What am I not seeing?”

“The answer is _(yellow)_.”

But often times we’ve already ruled out “yellow.” We’ve got twenty-five reasons why “yellow” couldn’t possibly be the answer. It can’t be God. “Yellow” doesn’t line up with God’s best for us, with His word, or His message. “Yellow” isn’t it.

Still, one or two of your trusted friends said it was “yellow” just last week.

“Nah, can’t be. I know it’s not ‘yellow.’”

So, we push it aside. We search for something else. Anything else. Something that lines up with what we know to be true. Something that feels right, looks right, seems right.

Guess what?

We’re wrong.

The answer is “yellow.”

“Yellow” is why we can’t advance.

“Yellow” is what we’ve forgotten to do, to follow through on.

“Yellow” is the solution to the problem we’re facing.

“Yellow” is what we don’t want to see.

“Yellow” is God’s answer.

The moral: sometimes the very thing we’re ruling out is the thing God is trying to show us.

Ever grown frustrated with the silence of heaven?

Sometimes God will stop speaking. We’re not hearing it anyway. Then we get frustrated because all of our fasting and crying and searching doesn’t elicit God’s response. Now what?

We end up resenting God. But God has already spoken. In pride or human reasoning, we’ve ruled out His answer. We know better.

So, ask yourself: are there any areas in your life where the answer has already come? Where you may have ruled out what you heard, even though you have sound reasons for doing so?

Perhaps it’s time to go back to “yellow.”  

* Photo credit: "Abstract Brush Lines" by Janaka Dharmasena