Monthly Archives: July 2016

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JESUS RESTORES AND GIVES NEW LIFE

Jesus Gives New Life

It was a clear, February day and I was making valentine cards. As a young girl, I didn’t have a care in the world. I was safe in the comfort of my home with my mom close by in the kitchen.

That’s the last thing I remember before I heard my mother’s panicked voice hollering out: “It’s a fire!”

I looked up and saw the kitchen curtains engulfed in flames. My mom tried putting the fire out, but her main concern was my safety. We ran outside to get away from the smoke. A gentleman who had seen the smoke from the Post Office next door ran over to our house, grabbed a hose, busted a window, and extinguished the fire.

Later that day, we went back inside to assess the damage. In a matter of minutes, the flames had completely destroyed our kitchen and the smoke had damaged most of our house.

We never stayed in that house another day. We packed up our salvageable items and moved in with my grandparents. During the next few months, we waited for a beautiful, new home to be built.

My life had been turned upside down by the rampant flames that raged through my house on that winter day. It was difficult to have my life so shaken up, but knowing a beautiful home was being built for us helped to ease the difficulties. I remember visiting the new home and seeing the progress that was being made.

I was elated the day I first saw my completed bedroom with brand new carpet I picked out myself. It was breathtaking—nothing like my young heart had ever experienced. After losing my old home and the things I had been attached to, the new home was sweetness to my soul. It was amazing.

The new life offered by Christ reminds me of the new home I moved into after the fire. Before I fully surrendered myself to Christ’s plans for me, fiery trials swept through my life and destroyed many things that were important to me.

After surrendering everything to Jesus, He rebuilt my life and turned the pain of my past into a beautiful display of splendor. During the hardships, I remember wondering if I would ever have beauty in my life again. The stress of many problems all seemed impossible to repair.

As I wrestled to believe, my faith won and things began turning around for me. Christ restored all the broken things in my life. His love healed my marriage and turned all the trials into triumphant victories. Most important of all, Christ filled my heart with never-ending peace.

When we believe things are hopeless, then we will have a hopeless life. When we teeter on the fence of disbelief, we miss out on miracles the Bible promises we will see.

Whenever a doubtful thought taunts us, we can meditate on the Scriptures that bring life to a weary soul. Doubt cannot penetrate a heart that is fixated on the truth of God’s Word.

Are you struggling to believe God for good things in your life? Do you believe God can turn things around in America?

Jesus is the Restorer. Just as a builder builds a new house, Christ builds a new life out of broken pieces. He makes beautiful things.

Things begin changing when we step away from fear, leave doubt behind, and begin believing that Christ is the author of beauty.

Choose faith, pray, and watch as He rebuilds and recreates the beautiful life He longs to give all His children.

Father,

Thank You for being the giver of new life and new beginnings. Let all the believers in this nation surrender everything to You. Let us join together and pray until we see change and beauty arise in America. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit every day and let us go out and share the good news of the gospel of grace to a world in need. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”

Acts 5:20

“We were buried in baptism as Christ was buried in death. As Christ was raised from the dead by the great power of God, so we will have new life also.”

Romans 6:4

RESTING IN THE STEADINESS OF CHRIST’S LOVE

Jesus Never Changes

Look at the beautiful sky,” I said enthusiastically. I was in awe as I was telling my husband to look behind us and see the beauty of the sunset. Michael and I were walking at a park near our house where we often see the sun going down in the evenings.

The splendor in the sky reminded me of the steadfastness of the Lord. I love how the patterns in the earth are tangible signs of God’s never-changing character. Every single day the sun rises and then the sun sets during the latter part of the day. Every day the earth rotates and the cycle repeats itself again and again. This alone is enough evidence that God is a good Father—our provider and comforter.

In this world that seems to be falling apart, we can count on Christ for stability.

In a time that’s filled with uncertainties, we can rest in the steadiness of Christ’s love. Jesus never changes. He is the same today and always.

Lord,

Thank You for never changing. No matter what is happening in our lives we can always count on You to be there to listen, to comfort, and to love us without limits. Your love melts stress away. Your love turns sadness into joy. Your love is simply marvelous. Help us spread Your love to those who are mourning. Please, Lord, be with the people in France today in the midst of their pain. Heal and protect the people who are hurting. Surround them with Your presence and be their never-ending source of comfort. I pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Hebrews 13:8

Photo Credit: My husband captured the picture during one of our walks.

A MOTHER’S PRAYER IS POWERFUL

A Mother's Prayer is Powerful

My mothering instincts kicked into high gear and a flood of concern rushed into my mind when I heard the ring of the phone after midnight. I was thinking: What if something is wrong with my daughter?

Christa was seventeen at the time and in Mexico on a mission trip for the purpose of constructing a house for a homeless family. She and a large group of students were camping in tents in an open field area.

I grabbed my phone as quickly as possible and heard my daughter’s sullen voice on the other end of the line.

“Mommy, I’m afraid I have a bad virus. I feel very nauseous. Everyone is asleep, and I don’t know what to do.”

There were chaperones sleeping in other tents, but understandably she was apprehensive about searching in the dark for one of the adults.

As a protective mother, I felt helpless while I listened to my daughter. In the midst of trying to push away my fearful thoughts, I accepted that the power of prayer was our only option.

“Let me get your daddy. He and I will pray for you.”

I encouraged Christa as calmly as I knew how. After awakening Michael, he and I prayed for healing for our daughter. In that moment, I felt peace wash over me.

Even though Christa was still feeling very sick, I mustered up enough faith to assure her that she would be okay and said, “Goodbye; I love you and I’ll be praying.”

After laying the phone down, I was tempted to let fear consume me, but there was truly no other choice than to trust Christ completely. I could not transport myself thousands of miles instantaneously to take care of my sick daughter. The situation was out of my control.

I could either fret or choose to believe God’s promises in the Bible. Christ promised if we believe that we have received it, it will be ours (Mark 11:24).

After my conversation with Christa, I struggled in the beginning to completely shake my worries, but eventually I let go and released my daughter to the Lord. During the following days, I tried to call Christa’s cell phone multiple times to check on her, but I never could reach her.

Eight days later, Michael and I excitedly hurried to the airport to pick up our daughter. In the baggage claim area, I looked intently for Christa’s face in the crowd. My heart was overjoyed when I saw my daughter’s beaming smile. I knew the moment I saw her glowing face, the Lord had heard our prayers and healed her.

As I stood there in awe, I asked, “Why didn’t you answer my calls?”  She replied, “There was no cell phone reception other than the night I was sick.”

Then I remembered that her youth leader had told us previously there would be no cell phone reception where they were staying.

I couldn’t deny God’s supernatural intervention. Already knowing the answer, I asked, “Did you get well after we prayed?”

“The nausea went away about ten minutes after we prayed together. I never felt sick again the entire trip.” Christa was radiating joy as she shared the testimony of God’s faithfulness.

 

Christa

 

Not only had God touched my daughter’s sick body—He had enabled her to get in touch with me in a place where cell phone reception is usually impossible.

Sometimes there are predicaments that only Jesus has the power to change. When we release our children to God through faith-filled prayer, miracles begin to happen.

Is your child in a situation that’s out of your control? If you’re struggling to release your children’s problems to the Lord, remember that with faith as small as a mustard seed, we can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible (Matthew 17: 20).

As a mother falls to her knees, crying out desperately for a divine intervention, Christ comes to the rescue. A mother’s heart aches when her child aches and the heavens are shaken with her love. The power of a mother’s fervent prayer moves the heart of God to do what only He can do.

If you need more encouragement as a praying mother, you can get a FREE download of the Prayers of a Mother’s Heart eBook today through July 13th.

 

 

OUR UTTER DEPENDENCE ON GOD

Lord, We Need You

A couple of days ago while I was praying in the quiet of the morning, I pondered the needs of my loved ones and the problems in the world at large. As I was lifting up my petitions to the Lord in prayer, my mind shifted to the lack of rain in our area. I remembered the dried-up field of crops I saw the day before while driving through North Georgia. It had been weeks since it rained at my house.

My unenthusiastic prayers for rain in the previous days had gone unanswered, but fervor rose up in my spirit and I began to beg the Lord for abundant rain.

Lord, we need rain so badly. Please, please let it rain today.

Something had shifted in my mind while I was praying. I truly believed it would rain that day. About thirty minutes later—while I was lying still and praying—a big boom of thunder seemed to come out of nowhere. I jumped up to look out the window and saw that it was pouring rain.

I was in awe and rejoicing in my soul over what had happened. To the skeptic, it would appear to be a coincidence, but to a person of faith it was an answered prayer.

I have experienced countless answered prayers, but this was a phenomenon I don’t ever remember experiencing. God was encouraging me in an extraordinary way by bringing rain in the midst of my prayer time.

I was reminded of what Christ said about prayer and faith (Matthew 21:21-22).

“Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

In those moments, I thought about the fact that we need God for the very breath we breathe and for the food that sustains us. If we have no rain, things begin to die and there is no life.

In our human strength, it’s easy to believe we can sail through life without true dependence on our Creator. The moment we realize we are utterly dependent on God, we begin to pray big prayers and see His power working in our lives in the most amazing ways.

Father,

Thank You for caring about every single detail in our lives. Thank You for sending rain when we need it. Thank You for hearing our prayers and answering them in miraculous ways. Teach us to depend on You more every day. Let us trust You with every ounce of our being. Let us walk in faith every moment of every day. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.”

Leviticus 26:4

 “You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land.”

 Psalm 68:9   

Photo Credit: My husband captured the picture of my hydrangea flowers shortly after the beautiful rain came on Tuesday morning.

 

A PRAYER FOR OUR NATION

God Bless America

I walked into the voting area and the tension was so thick that it felt tangible. The faces I saw were covered with distress and anxiety.

Patience is running out as people face the reality of what is happening in America.

Jesus is our only hope. I have complete faith in Christ to restore our nation to a strong, vibrant country. He restored my life beyond my highest expectations. I expect him to restore the United States. However, before the Lord restored my life, he tested my faith. I believe we are headed for a season of testing. I trust that in the end our nation will come forth as pure gold and bring the hope of Christ to a hurting world.

Father,

Thank You for Your amazing grace and love. We come to You and humbly ask that You keep Your hand on this nation. We are sorry for leaving You out of our decision making so many times. We realize that our country is in danger and we need You desperately to intervene. May we turn away from all that draws us away from Your love and return to You wholeheartedly. Let us rend our hearts and know that You are merciful, compassionate, and abounding in love. I believe it is Your desire to see this nation thrive and be restored. Let us rise up and be the nation that You always dreamed we would be. Raise our country into a mighty nation and let us be a bright light to a dark world. We ask You to appoint the person who is best suited to lead America. We trust You, Lord, to do great and mighty things in this nation. Let us live for You purposefully and passionately. We ask You to protect us from calamity. We love You and place our hope in You. Please bless our country and let us be a blessing to all the earth. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“Rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” Joel 2:13

 “He knows the way that I take when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Job 23:10 

 “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3

Happy 4th of July! Have a safe and fun day. :)

This post has been updated from a piece I wrote in 2012.