Pray Without Ceasing; A Way to Pray

Just a quick, simple way to start your day and pray throughout it using the YouVersion Bible app!

To get the kiddos involved: On the way to school or at the breakfast or dinner table, have them read the verse for the day (depending on ages) and come up with the prayer for everyone to pray throughout the day.

 

The Lord’s Supper

I sat in church fighting back the tears but ultimately giving in.  They flowed freely down my face.

My thoughts drifted back to the Jewish Proverb my grandmother had on her flip-calendar the day she died, “Tears are for the soul what soap is for the body”. So I allowed the tears do their job.

Something about communion gets me every time. It never did this when I was younger, but as an adult…it’s so much more. His body, His blood…so real to me in the tender moments of the Lord’s Supper. So close He feels. Such a sacrifice He made to die on a cross. To save me; my Savior.

It was dark, the music was beautiful and my soul…my soul was deep with my Lord. My heart and my head all in alignment with Him. Honoring His sacrifice and saving act. Eating His body- praying I feed only on Him; to eat of Him alone. Drinking His blood- after spilling some on my dress- praying I only thirst for Him, long for Him and nothing else, to let Him fill my cup. To drink from Him and be drunk on His Spirit alone.

So personal. So close. Such love and grace I felt as my soul washed away doubts, anger, fear…anything that wasn’t of Him. I wanted to stay in that place it felt so safe and full, so real and awesome. Just meditating on what He did for me, His love for me…and then it was over, and it was back to reality…the business of life, the rush of getting kids and going out to eat with three little ones.

The rest of the day I longed for that place, that sweet time with Jesus my risen Savior, my Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.

I long for Him.

Those moments tucked deep within my soul and faith but ever present and life-changing for today because of the beauty and growth brought from the simple reminder of what He did for me- for us. Because He is real, and He loves us, is for us and wants us.

His body, Hid blood, his grace and His love. Lean into it today my spirit I pray!

Thank you for the cross, Lord, but mostly thank you for your plan. One that didn’t stop on that dark Friday of death. One that unfolded in the resurrection of our King. One so beautiful no one saw it coming. One of redemption with a Gift bearing gifts for us whenever and forever- Your Spirit and life eternal. You are so good.

“My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2

Easter Baskets on Purpose, Free Printables and other Easter fun! (Grown-Up post only!)

Yay It’s almost Easter! Below is a video that explains more about the fun printables and several links to help make Easter fun and memorable for your kiddos while incorporating God’s word and the reason for the season.

I’ve designed these free printables for you to use however you like~ use them for your children’s Easter Baskets or randomly put in their lunchboxes- His Word never returns void the Scriptures tell us! These verses can start some really great conversations with your children no matter their age.

Click HERE to download these Easter Basket Verse Cards I designed for YOU!


Click on the following links for more great ways to do Easter on Purpose:

PS- Don’t get overwhelmed, there are a lot of things you can do for Easter. Pray and pick a few or just one thing and do it, you don’t have to do it all sweet Mama or Dadda (I’m learning this too!)

2017 ~ There Was Him

There was loss, there was gain, there was destruction there was pain. There was His glory, His freedom ~ there was HIM.

There was peace, there was chaos; there were questions and doubts. There was self-control and wisdom, there were failures and sin.

There was me, there was Him. Me flailing, running, trying to catch up with Him to keep in step with Him when all I really needed to do was rest in Him.

There was friendship there was hope. There was gut-wrenching sorrow. Things we will never be able to understand or have answers to.

There were tears, there was laughter. There was brokenness and healing. There was surrender there was pride, there was humanness there was humility.

There was hurt, there was help. There was tragedy there was love.  People coming together to assist, rebuild and encourage. There was community.

There was Christ.

There were celebrations, there were smiles, there was joy, love and grace.

There was resilience there was refreshing. There were blessings there was disciplining. There was weakness there was strength. There was despair there was hope.

There were broken people, there was broken me. There was love there was hate. There was fear there was faith. There was fight there was freedom.

There was good there was bad there was happy and sad.

There was life, there was death.

There were prayers answered and those that linger still.

There were seasons.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for everything under Heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

There was Him.


“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and springs in the desert.”     Isaiah 43:18-19

We can remember, we can forget. We can hold these things closely or release them to Him.

He will make a way in our wilderness and bring forth water for those who thirst- streams in the desert.

There will be beauty, there will be restoration, there will be Him.

No matter what there is, there will be HIM.

 

 

Isn’t That Enough, Lord?

37067597 - young woman showing her denial with no on her hand

It’s enough, Lord. You can stop.

They’ve already had two miscarriages, isn’t that enough? They had a less than ideal childhood, isn’t that enough? Shouldn’t that cancel out anything bad in adulthood?  They already have a child with a disability, shouldn’t the rest of their children be perfectly healthy? Lord, their marriage is hard enough, can’t You heal it now and not allow any more brokenness? Lord, they’ve had one child die, will You please excuse them from having anything else tragic happen? They’ve already lost one parent to cancer, isn’t that enough? Lord, isn’t one tragedy enough? One diagnosis? One death? Why must some people endure so much, Lord?

It’s as if I think there should be a limit on our suffering.  A place we get to when there is no more because we’ve been. through. enough….and then I am reminded of God’s truths:  none of this pain, sin, suffering and death was in God’s original plan.  It all entered when the forbidden fruit was consumed.  He is not the one to blame, question or be angry with. His Word tells us we WILL have trouble (John 16:33) and to not be surprised at the fiery trials we are going through (1 Peter 4:12). He warns us about this world, which is good of Him.  Because in Him is no bad, just good. So while He allows “life” to happen to His people, people that love and honor Him, He can use it for our good and His glory. In this world we WILL have trouble.  In this world we will suffer and have tribulation and much affliction. And because God is good, there is a place, not of this world, when God says, “OK. That’s enough. It’s time to bring them Home.” And we enter Heaven. A place where sadness, death, sin, sickness, lying, cheating, addictions, pain, etc. are NO MORE.  Trials are part of this life but not part of our eternal home. THANK YOU, JESUS.

So until then, when we see people going through trial after trial after trial, or we are in that place, we can remain hopeful and remind ourselves and others of God’s mighty truths and promises.  He loves us.  He is good.  This isn’t our home.  Our world, our bodies and our lives are fallen. Broken. Sinful. Never to be truly whole, perfect and complete until Heaven. So we endure. We persevere. We remain steadfast under much trial. We have hope! We can trust God to act and work things together for good. We can rest in His love that is bigger than we can imagine. We can know that we know what we know, but we must not only know it, we must live it because others need this hope, too.

I recently read a book* that said instead of asking God “Why?” (which I do often) ask “What now?”. We usually don’t get an answer to our “Why?”, but our “What now?” can be answered.  By the power of the Holy Spirit we can know what now.

I like to tell God how to do His job and make little suggestions here and there that show how feeble my faith is.  How tied it is to the here-and-now, to circumstances and sometimes even people.  As Christians, our hope and our faith can only be in Him.  Because- (I’ll say it again) In the world you will have trouble! But take heart He has overcome the world and can overcome us!  When He overcomes us our faith will rest solely in Him.  Not in anyone else, not in ourselves, nor in our circumstances.  Our foundation must be laid on Him with hope in Him, expectant of Him to shine light in dark places, to bring something, anything good from tragedy and to show us who He is and how loved we are.

Thy will be done, Lord.  Not ours, Yours.  Everything we go through can be turned into good- for our good and for His glory…to make Him known. Relationships can be healed, we can seek Him more, and people can be saved.  We are talking eternal purposes here.  Things we cannot see or make sense of.  We have to trust. To stay in the place of trusting in who He is when we can’t even see through the tears.

What if, with my hand up asking God to “Stop, that’s enough”, I’m not only building a wedge between my Savior and me but I’m praying against the very things that could actually bring freedom, healing and wholeness this side of Heaven?  What if what He has for us on the other side of this suffering is better than anything we can imagine? What if He can really use us amidst our afflictions?

I have a dear group of friends that I am so grateful for, but as a whole, we have lived a lot of life in our 30-something years.  So I say to God, “That’s enough. We’re good. We have learned and will continue to persevere with one another’s help, but can’t this be enough?” I don’t always laugh at the future like the Proverbs 31 woman is supposed to, especially because I know we will experience more pain and heartache. More death. More sin. So, often, I fear the future.  BUT THEN…I’m reminded God holds the future and He holds each one of us. He will hold us up, strengthen us and give us the grace we need to put one foot in front of the other in faith and in life. He has also given us each other to walk through this life with and that is something we can praise Him for daily. We will see more bad…but we will see more good and we will see Jesus as we endure.

He is God. I am not. He is sovereign. Mighty. Loving and kind. All that we go through, good or bad can be used for His glory and our good. It’s a place- a mindset and a heart-set we must stay in to be victorious until we see Him again. When we are reunited with babies we never met, those that were gone way too soon, parents, grandparents and siblings…everything we have endured here will be gone. What will remain are the crowns we will receive.  Because we share in Christ’s sufferings, we will share with Him in Glory (1 Peter 4:13).

Rereading this I am reminded that one tragedy, death and ‘diagnosis’ was, in fact, enough. How tragic was Christ’s death on the cross? I can’t imagine what everyone was thinking.  But God knew.  He knew what would soon happen and how beautiful the discovery of Him being alive forever would be.  His is good and can take really, really bad and make good.  For you and for me, for all who believe.  Both of these events, Christ’s death and resurrection give us hope for now and eternal life to come.  What Christ endured for us is enough for us to have hope in the middle of suffering and enough for us to meet Him face to face one day.

Christ’s death on the cross, the resurrection…ok, that’s enough, Lord.

Blessed in the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

 

*Safe in the Arms of God, John McArthur