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Monday, March 31, 2014

Praying Dangerously April Week One

Teach me to enjoy You, God.

At first glance this doesn't sound like a dangerous prayer. But it is.

Especially when you consider what you enjoy most.

I'm reading a book  entitled "not a fan" by Kyle Idleman. Chapter four rocked my world- one of many or your one and only?

Idleman asked these questions:

When you're hurt, where do you go for comfort?
What disappoints or frustrates you most?
What really gets you excited?

Then he made this statement, "Jesus wants to be your one and only. Not the first of many."

I've grown up hearing "put Jesus first." But only? 

That left me speechless...and smarting a little. Okay, a lot. 

Because what excites me most, where I go for comfort - if I'm 100% honest- isn't Jesus every day. 

What I want at the end of a long, lonely day isn't reading my Bible. It's a TV show that makes me laugh and some chocolate. Or a book. Or talking to a friend. Or just going to bed early.

Not horrible choices. 

Unless you consider the alternative. 

What I've passed on is spending time with the most loving person in the world, who knows every thought in my head and never stops loving me. 

He's never too busy. He always understands- everything. 

I've passed on praying prayers that change the world. 

I've not taught my kids what it means to enjoy God more than people or TV or food.

So I'm praying dangerously and asking God to be my only Source. 

The only place I run when life hurts a little or a lot.

The only one who fills me.

The One who excites my heart more than anyone or anything else.

Today I started praying...

Lord, teach me to pray. Teach me to enjoy You, God, that You would be the only place I run to be filled. Teach me to never stop praying- to pray instead of complain. To run to You and find the rest my soul requires.  (Luke 11:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Matthew 11:28)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Praying Dangerously Week Four

Let's pray...

Heavenly Father, Your Word says You are Protector, but life is sometimes scary and it's hard to follow You into those dark places. Help us remember You are also King, Commander of untold heavenly hosts, completely in charge. You have never worried about anything. To live like Jesus in complete faith that the God who calms the storms is in the boat with me seems impossible. Good thing You are the God of the impossible. Teach us to pray big prayers and little prayers and everything in between. And to be good stewards of Your answers. May all we pray and all we do bring glory to You. May people be drawn to You because they meet us. Remind us to focus on You and follow You. Thank You that You are God, in control, King, Ruler, faithful, Love, our Daddy. Thank You for loving us. May we live loved and love you in return. Amen

Monday, March 17, 2014

Praying Dangerously March Week Three

Is God in control? 

Most of us would quickly say yes. The Bible is clear God created all things for His glory and He rules and reigns over all.

But do you rest in the reality that He alone is in control?

I look at my past, my life now, and the world around me and struggle to rest. To believe with my actions that God is in control. 

To pray as if the world depended on God...not me.

So much in life screams that God isn't in control. 

Injustice. Evil. Lies.

Children who die daily because they have no food or clean water. 

I struggle to reconcile the world that is with the truth I know. 

I know with all I am that God is in control. 

So why do I struggle to rest in that?

Why do I still panic when the check engine light comes on again and I'm still trying to figure out how to pay for the other $500 of needed van repairs?

Why do I still get nervous when I open bills? 

The easy answer is that I focus on circumstances not God's promises. 

The harder answer is much deeper. 

I want to be in control because then I know I will do all it takes to take care of my children.

Then reality hits. I can't do it all. 

I can't be mom, provider, teacher, and so many other things I need to be daily.

There is an end to my energy and resources and abilities. 

God has no limitations. 

So the only good answer is to rest in Him. 

To bring my requests before Him and know who He is.

To believe He cares about all my needs and my children's needs. 

To know He will answer in His perfect time and way. 

To remember... God has always been with my family and always provided for every need.

To remember... my emotions are not truth. God is. 

His Word says over and over- God can be trusted. We can rest in His control.

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:15, 16 NLT)

How has God shown He is in charge of your life so that you rest in Him?

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Praying for the Impossible

Today is the beginning of the Lenten season. This year instead of giving up chocolate (what I used to give up as a teen), we’re adding a 40 Day Prayer Challenge book by Mark Batterson. (Draw the Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge)

We’re praying for God to use us to do impossible things. One of which is for God to use us and our friends to raise an impossible amount of money for World Vision. 

Here’s some background…

On April 18th, 2013 God asked my three children and me to join Him in an impossible task.  
God placed on our hearts a truly impossible - by human means- goal to raise $14,437 for World Vision for these items below.

To date (March 2014) we have, along with some friends, donated $100 toward a deep well, purchased a mom and baby kit, donated $50 for a share of an orphanage, and 1/2 of a bicycle for a girl. 

Most of this money came from our food budget. We choose to skip treats or purchase less to save money each month to donate to World Vision.

Please join us in praying God will provide and meet these needs! And that God would amaze my children with His provision and His using them to do something so big only God could do it! 

Giving is easy. Just go to

Then choose an item to give and checkout.

Please pray and give and let's together praise God for His marvelous love and provision. 

Mom and baby kit- $77

Bicycle for safe travel for a young girl to school- $85

Oxen and plow- $575

Deep well and pump- $13,700

Monday, March 03, 2014

Praying Dangerously: March Week One

Who am I?

I'm a mom, a daughter, a friend, a sister, an aunt, a writer, an instructor, a runner, and a whole host of other things.

But who I am is so much more than the sum of my titles.

Who am I?

I survived a broken home, abuse, and so many more horrific things.

Those things are part of who I am too.

I've won awards, helped people meet Jesus, touched heaven in prayer, helped save lives, and helped point people back to Jesus.

Those amazing moments make up part of who I am too.

Who am I?

I'm the daughter of the King of kings, I'm a beloved child of my heavenly Father, and I have a Daddy who sings over me and rejoices that He made me.

I wish only that last paragraph defined me all the time.

But it doesn't.

Too often what most defines me is who I believe I am, how I see myself.

And too often I take my cues from what someone else said I am.

A disappointment.
A mistake.
Too much.
Too little.
A failed marriage.
A lost friendship.

I listen to the whisper under the words of all the people who walked out on me.

You'll never measure up.
You'll never be good enough.

Why do I listen to that voice when I know it belongs to the father of lies?

Because it sounds like the voices of people who promised to stay and didn't. Who were supposed to love me but didn't.

And I sometimes wonder if I'll ever learn to listen to the Voice of Truth.

The One who never breaks His promises and never walks away.

I think the voices the enemy of our soul uses are too familiar. Maybe that's why we listen.

I know I'm not alone.

I've taught too many writers about lies we and our characters believe and watched eyes mist over and heads nod.

I've listened to many friends and many teens say some of the same words I said above.

The good news is I know the way out of the lie pit, the self pity pit, and the dark place where only hurt seems to define a person.

It's simple...but not easy.

And it starts with asking the right person one simple question- who am I?

But then you have to listen.

First to who you say you are. Not who you want to believe you are, but who deep down you believe you are.

Who your past seems to scream you are.

The little kid who remembers hearing he was a mistake. Or a disappointment. Or a failure. Or to blame.

The teen some boy said wasn't pretty enough or some girl said wasn't worth her time.

The young adult so bent of proving her worth, she forgot to believe it for herself.

The adult who got traded in for a new model, passed over for a promotion, or just feels invisible.

See, I can quote chapter and verse to myself and to you about who God says we are.

But until we look at who we really believe we are, until we expose those other voices for what they are- lies- we won't hear the One Voice that has so much good to say.

So my challenge this week is to get alone and get quiet long enough to ask yourself: who am I?

Who did my family say I was? Who do other voices in the past say I am? Who do I really believe I am?

Make yourself listen.

Let yourself cry.

Then get ready.

Because the next question can change everything. But only if you've gotten honest with yourself and allowed God to show you what's really in your heart.

Once you've acknowledged the lies and poured out the pain, you're ready for an even more important question.

Who do You say I am, God?

Make yourself listen.

Let yourself cry.

And believe.

Then keep listening. Because this Voice is Truth. And He has so much good to say.
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