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Posts Tagged ‘bible’

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Wouldn’t it be grand to get a prize when we conquer our own moods and sins and struggles? Today, I’m learning anew about the Prayer of Relinquishment. This is the type of praying that moves us from the struggle into the release. For me, it often follows the Prayer of Intercession or Prayer of Lament.

After the struggle, facing the battle and seeing the raw realities of our current situations, we have choices… Those split second moments when we talk to ourselves about others…about our situation…about ourselves…about our God. Do you believe everything you say at those moments? 😉

It’s worth it to go through lamenting times and times of intercessions, because on the other side of the Prayer of Relinquishment we can find a soul-satisfying rest. It is there we can say with the Psalmist, “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.” A child that is weaned is not grasping or desperate, but is safe and at peace.

Jesus modeled the Prayer of Relinquishment in the Garden of Gethsemane. What a struggle he fought…and won! We, too can conquer the desire to bypass trouble and pain, avoid rejection and and overwhelming sorrow for a higher good.

“Not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:39-46 captures Jesus’ words, but think about *how* He said them. What a wonder! He was yielded to God, but he was not resigned, nor bitter, nor defeated. It’s similar to how we say, “Whatever.” It can be stated with a tone showing we really don’t care OR it can be stated resolutely because we care deeply. Jesus models the more excellent way. And, it’s better than any medal available on earth!

The Scriptures are replete with great examples of people yielding to God at the end of struggling with themselves. While praying in the midst of great trauma, they also demonstrate great faith. If you want to be inspired, find these stories again and reflect on any parallels you see in your story.

– Abraham and his son Isaac
– Moses deliverer of Israel
– David and his son by Bathsheba
– Mary, mother of Jesus
– Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”

The circumstances differ, and it takes practice, but the result of yielding to God in this way is embracing a freedom like no other.

Author Richard Foster reminds us that “this dialogue with God is a letting go, but it is a release with hope. It results in a deeper relationship with God and includes training in righteousness, transforming power, new joys.” A prayer of relinquishment protects us from idolatry, as we so quickly get attached to our people, our things, our positions, our places, our health, our opinions and so much more.

How we need God to help us let go of our tiny vision to release the greater good He has in store for us! In place of what is lost, the release of our will gives us freedom from self-pity, self-absorption, self-deception, self-depreciation, self-indulgence, self-hatred and selfishness, in general.

Sometimes…ok…MANY times… the struggle is more than we can bear and we need real help wanting to go God’s way. In those times, ask people to pray for you, using Philippians 2. Praying through those verses yourself will help you align with the example Jesus provided.

At the end of this massive struggle, know that you can be strengthen, restored and revived. The war is on and the fight is worth it. More battles will be coming, but for now, embrace the Prayer of Relinquishment and find a rest for your weary soul.

“Don’t worry about what you will suffer…and you will be tested and made to suffer…But if you are faithful until you die, I will reward you with a glorious life.” Revelation 2:10

“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

I’d love to hear what you’ve experienced and what you think. I’m here and I’m listening. 🙂

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I love encouraging individuals and groups. Send this flyer on to your group leaders… Invite me to speak at prayer retreats, women’s events! 🙂

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Choosing to be blind?

Choosing to be blind?

Choosing to be blind?

Can you even imagine such a thing?  Well, yes. I can. Consider these random acts of …blindness:

1. That time I meant to be funny with my comment, but it came off harsh?  (Proverbs 26:19)
2. That time I shared a “prayer request” all the time knowing I shared too much?  (Proverbs 16:28)
3. That time I thought poorly of “those people”?  (James 2)
4. That time I justified my anger, my pity party, my selfishness?  (Ephesians 4:29 and Philippians 2:3-4)
5. That time I boasted about my <plans, position, possessions>? (James 4:11-16 and Proverbs 21:23)

O man. Tell me I’m not alone here. Lord, have mercy!  Seriously. That’s the prayer of my heart. As I ponder these Scriptures, I’m asking God to take the blindfold off so that I can again see clearly, walk humbly and love sincerely.

Have you discovered an area of blindness in your life? Have you had opportunity to see things in a new light? I’d love to hear more. I’m here and I’m listening. 🙂

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Romans 12:12

Why not send a note of encouragement today!

Fresh bread!  Who doesn’t love the scent of warm bread, fresh from the oven?  Settle in and prepare to feast on some of the soul’s most comforting and nourishing scriptures about God’s ways. 

When we’re in grief or pain or transition, we long to believe that God knows, cares, and that there’s a purpose and a bigger plan than we see. We often want to know if we’re in God’s will, after all. Read these verses and remind mind yourself of God’s love, provision and direction and let hope rise in your heart…and share the Bread of Life!

  1. Romans 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 
  2. Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 
  3. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
  4. Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 
  5. Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” 
  6. Isaiah 40:31: but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  
  7. Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
  8. Hebrews 13:5: Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  
  9. John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  
  10. Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” 
  11. Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men… 
  12. Matthew 22:37: Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 
  13. James 1:5: But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

“Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is.” ― Oswald Chambers

What are some other verses you find helpful and hopeful when waiting and seeking God’s will? I’m here. I’m listening. 🙂

 

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But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today”… –Hebrews 3:13  Image

Did you know it’s important to encourage people every day? The way we feel encouraged will be different for each person, but we all need a regular dose of hope.

With that in mind, here’s a list of Bible verses highlighting the “one another” passages found in the New Testament. They emphasize the value of treating others with love and respect …”so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2  

Read some aloud now to bolster your spirit and then share hope with others in your life!

John 13:34-35 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

 

Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

 

Romans 13:8  Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

 

Romans 14:13  Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

 

Romans 15:7, 14 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.

 

2 Corinthians 13:11  Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

 

Galatians 5:13  You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

 

Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

 

Ephesians 4:32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

Ephesians 5:19,21  “…speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord… Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

 

Philippians 2:5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…

 

Colossians 3:13,16 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:9  Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:18  Therefore encourage one another with these words…

 

1 Thessalonians 5:11  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

 

2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.

 

Hebrews 3:13  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

 

Hebrews 8:11 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

 

Hebrews 10:24-25  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

Hebrews 13:1  Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.

 

James 4:11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

 

James 5:9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

 

1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.

 

1 Peter 3:8  Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

 

1 Peter 4:9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

 

1 Peter 5:5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

 

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

 

1 John 3:11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

 

1 John 3:23  And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

 

1 John 4:7  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

 

1 John 4:11-12  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

 

2 John 1:5  And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.

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Grace Enough…to Share

Grace Enough...to Share

This Christmas? I’m grateful for grace because, the truth is …I’m a wimp.

Yeah, I know. It’s not very Christmas-y to say it right out loud, but it’s still true.

You see, some people worry about being good enough or smart enough. Others are concerned with being rich or beautiful enough.

I struggle with being strong enough, both physically and what the old folks sometimes called, “intestinal fortitude”. It’s having guts, plain and simple.

It’s all well and good to talk about being brave and steadfast until I actually need to BE brave and steadfast, right? Before long I run into a wall made up of all sorts of limitations and it’s all I can see.

And though I know that God gives grace lavishly and that it…He…is enough, it doesn’t always seem… “sufficient”. Anybody with me here?

Fairly often, it’s just really hard to believe it because we see our wimpiness, our flagging spirits, our envy, our apathy. It’s hard to believe that His grace is enough when there are bills to pay and creditors to talk to and relationships to fix. It’s hard to believe when there’s pain, when there’s loss, or when there’s grief…or when it all just keeps comin’ and we get weary.

The good news is that God’s grace can sometimes come through people. Whether in kind actions or kind words, grace is a motivator.

Some people in the Bible were needy like this, too, so we’re in good company. Naomi needed Ruth. Paul needed Barnabas. Timothy needed Paul. Mary needed Elizabeth. (Can you even imagine how much?!)

So sometimes, God brings people to me that ARE stronger than I am. They shovel walks, do yard work, help carry boxes, give gifts and do labor…in love. There’s others who give me a new perspective and that reminds me that I can choose to not to be a wimp. Their actions strengthen me to reach out with the things I *can* do. The funny thing is that I get even stronger when I get to come alongside someone else and help carry their load.

Isn’t it interesting that in being brave and letting others see our weakness and know of our real needs, we all get better, holier, smarter, and stronger together than on our own.

Then as one, and with God’s help and presence, the amazing grace He offers through us to others…IS enough. Your help, your gracious attitude, your gifts really do add up, so don’t stop now.

And the truth is, because of you, I don’t give up because you show me that there’s more than enough help and grace… to share.

So, that’s me, a recovering wimp who finds grace. Tell of a time when you revealed a weakness or asked for help when you hit a wall. What was it like? Did anyone help? Do you need something now? I’m here…I’m listening… 🙂

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"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind

Are you all in?

I lost my job.

Again.

It was just yesterday morning and yet the voices in my head make it feel much longer. And though the loss is not of my own doing, it still is difficult. Maybe more so.

Sometimes in past struggles, I’d rush to find a word from God to get me through or lean-in heavy with prayer.  Sometimes, the pain of the moment is mocked by the forever promises.  Been there?

This time, I’m starting where I know the truth lies.

I won’t base my faith on what I see and can respond to.  If my emotions are soothed by Scripture or the encouragement of godly friends, it’s a gift, but not mandatory for faith.  So, regardless if our finances are somehow rescued, if we get good jobs soon, if our health holds, or if it all comes tumbling down… I.will.trust.God.

I will trust his character regardless of what I see or of what I know of Him so far. I will start there, because I know it can’t base my belief and prayers on what He does, but it must be in who He is.

If I don’t put my full trust in Him, my world gets shaky.  Maybe that’s why He exhorts us in Luke 10 to, ”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.”  I am all-in with Him. There is no other.

He himself is solid rock. But, even if he lets me suffer-long, He doesn’t leave me alone in it. Somehow, starting there, the internal struggle is less and I’m at peace…regardless. ❤

What part has humor, prayer, diligence, quiet or music played in your life?  What spiritually healthy things have you done in the face of trauma or turmoil to get you through?

I’m here. I’m listening.  🙂

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