Have you ever had a season in your life where you were so aware of the pain of people you love? A few years ago a friend was battling aggressive cancer, while another was shattered by her child’s failure. I felt helpless. I so wanted to “fix” their hearts and change their circumstances, but it was outside my job description.
One night I awoke in the wee hours and penned these words;
May He who holds the sparrow
In the palm of His hand
And causes flowers to blossom
Across the desert sand
May He who lights the heavens
And sets the stars in place
Guide you through the valley
And reveal to you His face.
May the Lord who gathers storm clouds
And fills them with rain
To water earth’s parched soil
That the land might give forth grain
May He move upon your heart
In the midst of life’s distress
In such a way that you might know
The kindness of His press.
For He who formed the mountains
And carved out the sea
Is He who has promised
To shelter you and me.
His wings are...
The tongue has power! The Bible tells us that God spoke the world into being. It doesn’t say he performed an awesome magic trick or started a huge chemical reaction that lead to the formation of the world. It says simply, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.’” (Genesis 1:3.) God formed the earth, the sky, the water, the animals and us with the power of His tongue.
Our tongue has power as well. We all realize the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a complete and utter lie. Words hurt. Words scar. Words can kill and destroy.
Solomon wrote a great deal about the tongue in the book of Proverbs. He actually mentions the word “tongue” 21 times and the word “words” 33 times, so in one book he writes about it in 54 different places. It’s obviously something we need to pay attention to.
Solomon warned about the power of words when he wrote in ...
I left my Bible at church. I walked right out and left it on a chair. I hate it when I do that. It is so simple just to look twice and there is such clarity in the second gaze—and when I get distracted, it so easy to miss something I should have noticed.
I know that looking twice is a safeguard and I would think at this stage of the game, looking twice would come more naturally—and for me, it is still an effort. I’ll have to make a trip back to the church tomorrow to pick it up. I’m just glad it occurred to me that I left it. I called and it will be waiting for me at the front desk. One more time, I’ve been saved from myself. If only I had looked a second time before I left the room.
There is something even more important about the second glance than remembering lost objects. I discovered this when I was reading about Moses several months ago. Since I was telling his basket story in the Pre-conference this year I was reading all about him and came...
Word to the Wise – Words are Powerful! When I think of words, I think of Power.
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The power of words began when God spoke the world into being with the power of His words. Look at the whole creation process…He created all from nothing by speaking it into existence.
That is power!
In the creation process, it is only man that He gave the power to use words. It is also through words that He communicates with us. John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”The power of the word was meant for good.
So why do we choose to misuse our most powerful asset?
Our society has become conditioned to talk about problems and misfortunes. Those problems and misfortunes that we speak are also from our own interpretation and perspective of events...
PERSPECTIVE of PURPOSE. In order to fulfill our calling, we must be selective in the things we look for in life. I’ve been around the block more than once! I’m over 40, married, and have two beautiful kids. The more life I experience and circumstances I face, the more I'm convinced that if we as women truly desire to live out our God given purpose and destiny, we must follow God with our whole hearts and maintain a passionate faith walk. Yes, the perspective we maintain actually determines the purpose in which we walk in.
As women it's easy to become distracted and miss the plans and purposes God has for our lives because our focus is on unimportant, insignificant things (that just happen to be screaming the loudest for our attention!). Instead of focusing on the bigger picture and prioritizing what we are faced with, we often get side-tracked and distracted by the immediate, seemingly urgent elements of life, rather than the things that are actually...
She and her husband had been missionaries for over sixty years and led countless people to Christ. Now she was in her eighties and still serving. My friend Sheli and I were honored to stay with her for a week to minister alongside her.
After traveling thirty hours to her home in Takamatsu, Japan, we arrived late in the evening. She ushered us into her kitchen for a hearty meal, then prayed for us before we all went to bed. When the sun was barely up the next morning, we feasted on an enormous breakfast in her tiny kitchen.
The kitchen was crowded, her appliances old and worn, dishes piled high in the sink from her...
The Gift of Grace. The law of the harvest is explained in 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. Verse 15 says, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
Now if a gift is that good that it can’t be described, I want to know about it. So what is this gift that the Bible says is indescribable? We don’t have to wonder because the answer is right there in our passage,
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (verse 8). The gift that God has given to each one of us, the gift that is beyond Paul’s ability to articulate, is the gift of grace. Grace is the doctrine that separates Christianity from every other religion ever known to mankind.
Grace also operates according to God’s laws. In 2 Corinthians 9, the concept of grace occurs in the context of the law of the harvest, or the law of sowing and reaping. When it comes to the...
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.—Ephesians 6 :18
When we take a shower in the morning, we have space and quiet to pray and ask God to be present with us throughout the day. As the water cleanses our hair, we praise God for his great cleansing of us. And we pray for those who need to know that kind of wild grace.
As we prepare food, we pray for those who will taste it. As we add seasoning, we ask Jesus to please make us salt for this earth. As we fold laundry, we ask God to fold us into himself, and we intercede for those whose pants we fold.
As we run errands, we thank God for transportation. We pray for the angry driver cutting us off, asking for mercy. When we check out at the grocery store, we pray for the livelihood of the cashier, and we ask God for divine appointments to bless people we meet that day.
As we finish our day, we thank God for another twenty-four...
Have you heard the saying, “I’ve really been put through the wringer!”? Maybe this is a Midwestern term and maybe it is not used quite as often any more, but have you ever felt like you have been “Put through the wringer”?
In the, “ahem,” olden days, before our convenient washers with all the fancy selections of exactly the way we want to wash our clothes, women had to use a wringer washer. Perhaps you have used one or your mother or grandmother used to use one. I remember going to antique auctions with my mom, and she would explain how they worked. Clothes were washed and then cranked through the rollers so that excess water was squeezed out of it, making it easier to hang them on the clothesline. The rollers were called a mangle, as running the device could be dangerous. She shared with me the agony my grandma had using it with six children, she had her fair share of this laborious work. Her main point was: Don’t...
In a million unique ways—as we change diapers, eat dinner, return e-mails, pay the bills—we are to be evidence of God. Jesus factored in the mundane. . . . Embrace the common: a Sunday afternoon watching sports, Starbucks with a friend, cooking dinner for a neighbor, taking the dog for a walk, heading to a job that is making you more humble and needy because it is so unfulfilling. . . .
Do your everyday and your ordinary. Godliness is found and formed in those places. No man or woman greatly used by God has escaped them. Great men and women of God have transformed the mundane, turning neighborhoods into mission fields, parenting into launching the next generation of God’s voices, legal work into loving those most hurting, waiting tables into serving and loving in such a way that people see our God.
Jesus says the way we glorify God . . . is by accomplishing the work God gives us to do. Jesus glorified His Father on earth by doing that...