Humble Yourselves and Pray

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado.jpgMidnight musings – often times they are disheveled thoughts, silent arrow prayers or just words … significant words that parade through your mind and your dreams in the early hours of dawn.

These words are often times muddled; but oftentimes they are powerful and send chills down your drowsy spine.

“Humble yourselves and pray” was the phrase of choice that woke me last night from a deep, warm sleep. Eyes wide awake – this charge was flashing like a neon billboard throughout my mind.

The call to prayer was commanding and the need to protect myself with the full armor of God was evident.

My soul has felt pretty weighty these past few months. Pounds of dirt and filth have been hindering the lenses of my heavenly glasses. We see lies taking precedence on airs waves around the country.  Eyes and hearts are being deceived across the nation.

Yet, all we can do as Children of God is – humble ourselves and pray.

You may think you cannot make a difference – that your words are lost in a sea of rhetoric and confusion. Words fueled without spiritual backing may be empty and vapid; but, your prayers rooted in the promises of the LORD are pure gold!

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado

Fall on your knees, dear ones. Plead for truth, clarity and an uprising of clarity over this land.

Discard the grandeur of self-worth, overcome the shackles that bind you and humble yourselves before the Savior of this world.

Your prayers are not uttered in abandon. They fall on the ears of the one who gives and takes away. They fill up the basin above. May this bowl overflow with the prayers of the saints!

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

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When The Brook Has Dried Up

'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.' - 1 Kings 17_ 7, 8 & 14You’re parched – literally craving the mist circling like a watery aura around the garden hose. You lean forward and try to guzzle that stream of cool water; yet – the spicket runs dry before you can enjoy even one taste.

You grimace and feel destitute; but, sometimes the brooks in our lives run dry. We sit there with empty hands, scratch our heads and try to lap up the dust – but the stream is emaciated.

When this happens, we can feel helpless – like a toddler that has our security blanket snatched from us too soon, we cry out and are baffled at why this water has been stolen from us. It’s not only appalling, it’s painful.

But is it necessarily a bad thing to be parched – especially when we are trusting entirely too much in our own shallow water source?

God gives and takes away.

And though the taking away part might be extremely agonizing, if you are a Child of God – never doubt that he will always give you beauty for ashes and strength for fear.

He will point you to the stream that overflows with rich, cool, never ending water – for by drinking from that brook, we truly fill our souls.

“Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him …”

“The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.” – 1 Kings 17: 7, 8 & 14

We must let the LORD’s rain water our spirits and wash away our feeble sources of fulfillment.

This might mean a little time in the desert – walking on crackling, thirsty soil. But, it’s worth it. You may not feel like it now – but wandering can lead to bold contentment.

Like the Israelites, their time in the desert was not wasted. They saw miracles come to pass, God raised up brave leaders and they were led to a land flowing with milk and honey.

May we drop our earthly wanton desires and seek the water that daily provides nourishment to our souls.

God will not let you be barren for a lifetime.

He wants to water your roots; but water them with his stream of healing, living waters.

Beautiful Love Bursting Forth

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying_ _I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. – Jeremiah 31_3Love. It’s bursting forth. Like a bubbling brook with cool, refreshing water. God’s love for us is overflowing and never-ending. What love is this that the Father has lavished upon us!

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. – Jeremiah 31:3

He looks into our eyes – and deep emotion is garnered. Affection is felt. Not the kind of affection we feel for a family member, loved one, children or spouse. No, this love is deeper. It’s a mixture of all those loves combined along with heavenly, pure passion.

What chills we would feel, if we were to look into the physical face of the King of Kings! One day – we will. But until then, we are blown away at the sensation we garner as the LORD’s loving wind sweeps over our senses.

This feeling is beyond compare. It’s selfless. No mortal being can love us with this type of zeal and adoration.

He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane; I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy. When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are, and how great Your affections are for me. – David Crowder Band Lyrics

Look up to the heavens, sweet child of the King, and feel the LORD’s love wash over you. He is pleased when you fall before him and thank him for his gracious and greatest sacrifice of all – his blood.

Dance in the freedom that God’s self-sacrificial love has given you. Share his light with the world. He has not called you to be a canister that blocks and snuffs out his all-encompassing light.

Shine bright. Breathe in his love, and share it with others searching and seeking. We all need love, and the kind that the Father of Lights offers can complete a seeking soul! Amen.

May I Not Conceal Your Love And Your Faithfulness

I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.We shouldn’t hide it – that light that beams from within our souls. Our hearts are not meant to be camouflage canisters, tucked away for safekeeping. They are made to palpitate in severity for the King of Kings.

Let the world see your life chamber beat with robust rhythms. Don’t quench that love that flows from the sparkle in your eyes and the crevices of your smile. You make a difference when you radiate Christ.

I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. – Psalm 40:10

We are beckoned to share the luminous blessing of our salvation. How could we hide such a rich treasure that makes our souls soar and dead bodies come to life?

Broken and alone, this world is seeking. People are searching for the light your body houses – the light that scorches isolation, fear and discouragement. You carry a powerful light, sweet child of God! You carry the truth that will cut through falsehood.

You will meet resistance. Remember the darkness cannot tolerate the light for in its presence, it dissipates. Hold fast – and stand firm. The steadfast heart is rewarded with crowns of splendor.

Fasten your feet to the bedrock of your Savior’s loyalty. Like a knight dressed in solid silver, hold up that sword and shield in courage. Shout in clarity the battle cry of strength and victory.

Do not be ashamed of the Gospel, dear one. Evil will try to make you feel afraid and humiliated of your moral stances – but resist this vile untruth. Focus on the sweet fruit from the vine of the LORD.

The vine always provides the life sustaining nutrients in order to sustain the plant. Drink up the provision of the King. His nourishment will equip you for every challenge you may face!

Faithfully Jumping in the Flames of Life

heart life
Feet caked in debris, I look up at the sky and shake my fists! When did the air get so dirty and thick – almost to the point of clogging up my windpipes?

Looks can be deceiving. We’ve learned that from the Goldilocks fable, where the Big Bad Wolf, cloaked as grandma, jumps out from the four post bed and gobbles up the poor, sweet blonde.

Yet, the brilliant horizon appears beautifully fresh and moist – almost like a fairy-tale; nevertheless, I am wincing for air. Those with painted picket posters might argue my claim; but, my struggle for breath is not from environmental factors. But, rather emotional and spiritual soot –the kind that blocks up the solid brick chimney –igniting house fires and releasing that deadly carbon dioxide.

My heart’s desire is not to get burned by the furious flame. I want to dance in the fire like those valiant soldiers of God – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. How obedient they were standing firm in the promise that Yahweh would protect them from this scorching furnace. Yet, when I evaluate my faith that picture and reality of my skin roasting in the heat is all consuming. It frightens the child within my soul and shakes the walls of my flesh temple.

God has called us to be obedient to his charge. He has proven his loyalty time and time again. Like a compassionate king, he unleashes love –for he is made of the purest form of love there is. He proves his faithfulness to the faithful.

And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counselors, being gathered together, saw these men upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed nor had the smell of fire passed onto them. – Daniel 3:27

Woe to me if I believe the cigarette stench of this world can consume me. It only swallows me if I allow it to do so. It is my choice to stay in the smoking suite and have my clothes bathed in the smell of others nicotine addictions.

May I faithfully jump into the flames of this life – knowing that you will be there to dance with me, God. And, this dance will not leave me laden with a smoke smelling jacket. No, it will smell like the embers of Christ – as sweet as honey and heavenly!

When My Tears Get Heavy & Emotions Run Wild

TEARS RUN DEEP

Tears. Those salty drops of water that express sorrow and joy! Although, I hate to experience them, I know they are necessary.  They are the outpouring of emotion – both good and bad. Appearing out of the blue, these saline conduits of human sensation can take you by surprise.

Dripping down the face, they carry a deep meaning – we are fragile and can sense heart breaks, merriment and failure. With empty hands we wipe these tears from our flesh face and realize the depravity of our human state. We are affected by this world – this sphere of gritty pleasures and brokenness. It takes hold of our heart and pulses in intensity.

Even the Psalmist writes,

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away. -Psalm 31:10

These tears and grief want to consume us. But, Dear One – don’t let the sorrow of our flesh state invade. Don’t let it take root in your heart and spread like an unruly virus. When, you feel alone, remember that – our God is right there saying,

“For I hold you by your right hand–I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” – Isaiah 41: 13

On my knees with damp face and bellowing body, I realize that I need to weep over the greatness of my Savior. Yet, I focus on my life so much that his goodness is out of my sight. Redirected vision is needed.

Focus from myself pushed aside, let me rejoice, with tears in my eyes, over the sacrifice of Christ –at the crude cross of Calvary. That cross held the bleeding, weeping body of my Redeemer. He endured pain, torture and ridicule for me. This picture of salvation should bring tears to my eyes.

God, let me remember when my tears get heavy and my emotions run wild – that you were the sacrifice. You died to save me from such suffering, and came so that I might ‘have life, and have it abundantly.’ Earthly circumstances are fleeting, they ruffle our feathers – but the cross of Christ is lasting.

May my tears be shed in jubilation, not out of selfish distress; but out of wonder and admiration – for you have conquered the grave and risen — leaving the burial cloths in the unoccupied tomb!

Jesus is More Than Just Vitamin D

HEARTNew day. The sun is rising a tad later this spring; however, that means it sets later as well. There is nothing like driving home from work with the sunlight actually beating down on your car. I missed this sensation during winter.

Our bodies need the vitamin D that the sun gives off. Believe me, my body has been missing this sweet vitamin. You can take all the supplements you want; but, there is nothing like the real thing.

Yesterday, singing to the radio was glorious. I had so much energy and joy inside my soul. I did not just have a supplement – my body was feeling the effects of the real sunshine.

A supplement is defined as something ‘extra or added on to.’ Thinking on this, I wonder to myself: how often do I treat my Lord as a supplement God?

I call to him when my life feels void and in jeopardy. I bow my head when I don’t feel his presence.

But, God is not a vitamin. He cannot be taken in place of the real thing. He is the real thing. He is not something extra to my life. He is my life.

As Romans 7 points out, ‘there is nothing good in me but Jesus.’ He is the sunlight and everyday – he shines his face on us. He is not like winter. He does pick and choose the times to shine forth his brilliance. He always radiates great heat.

It’s just our choice to look up and recognize those beautiful beams shining on our face. They shine every day. There is no need for a supplement. God is not an addition, he is our being. He wants to not only complete you; but he wants to be in the blood running through your veins and the air that fills your lungs.

 Be still my beating, love is whispering your name. There were years suffering in the dark, fighting back the tears and pain. But love has kept me safe and sound. Those days that seemed like endless nights cannot be found, they’re behind me now.

– Point of Grace

VIDEO: I AM, Holding on to You

d155287142027df08176ca382e84a111There is nothing like being at the feet of Jesus. You feel humble, broken, grateful, lifted high and complete. So many emotions – redemption, hope, acceptance, joy – I could continue on and on.

I wonder to myself – why do I not take time to do this more often? To be still, meditate and worship the man who died for me – for my ugly sins. I am a broken vessel – He made me whole.

It takes dedication to enter into the throne room of Christ. It takes release – to truly let go of your fear, to live in the moment, to throw away regret and shame and just breathe in the presence of the Living Lord.

I did that today, and it was grand.

There I sat, in my apartment sauna – in tears. Not because I was sad; but, because I was experiencing the presence of my Christ. I envisioned his face. I pictured his love – and it made me weep tears of joy.

I worshipped, lifted my voice and sang to the heavens:

There’s no space that His love can’t reach. There’s no place that we can’t find peace. There’s no end to Amazing Grace. Take me in with your arms spread wide. Take me in like an orphan child. Never let go, never leave my side. I am, Holding on to You. I am, Holding on to You. In the middle of the storm, I am Holding on, I am! – David Crowder

There is nothing like shedding tears out of love. They are watery conduits of thankful expressions. They are waterfalls of gratitude for unending grace and mercy.

What love is this that the Father has lavished upon us! There in that steam room alone, I felt honored to be in his presence. I felt blessed to sing from my gut – not worrying about if others in the gym could hear me. What a moment that was with my King!

Take time Dear One – to sit alone and worship God. You will enter his illuminate presence when you let go of all that burdens you. Your God will take your load – so you can fall on your face in the glorious presence of Jesus Christ. He’s holding on to you. Reach out for Him.

Listen to this song – and really envision the lyrics. Enter into God’s throne room of grace, Dear Child of God:

Don’t Look Back. You’re Not Going That Way.

ImageThe past haunts many, many people. We dwell in it. We hide ourselves in that murky outhouse of regret and breathe in past mistakes.

If you are anything like me, you circle back through right and wrong choices and try to play them out differently in your head. Rectifying the problem in your mind; but, somehow, bearing that guilt and apprehension in your heart.

Let’s remember – we are flesh vessels. We are tangible clay pots that can break and crumble in the elements of this world. Dry winds beat on our frame and freezing rain encompasses us with its ice tentacles. It is natural to feel despair when our flesh wins out.

However, dear heart, it is unhealthy to dwell in past mistakes and regrets. This actually holds back your effectiveness. Don’t let tears be your food, like the Psalmist in Psalm 42:3.

We are told to – ‘forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead!’ {Philippians 3: 13-14}.

Today is a new day – it’s a new day to strive to be like Christ and sprint toward the goal in the shining distance. Don’t look back. I think of Lot’s wife in this situation.

She and her family were living in one of the most sinful cities – and God gave them a chance to get out. Yet, there was one stipulation. They were told to ‘flee for your lives! Don’t look back…’ {Genesis 19:16}. And, as the story goes, Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt.

Of course, it is important to learn from our mistakes. We all make them – and there should be some learning involved there. But, it is detrimental to live in those mistakes. In Christ, you are not defeated – and you carry within you the light of him.

Forget what is behind you and press on in his loving kindness. Jesus came to save the sinners and the lost, and sin is not pretty. Paul, one of the most influential for Christ, had a past filled with regret and guilt. Yet, he pressed forward and lived in the Spirit of the Living God.

Jesus came for redemption. He died to give life to sinners great and small. Walk forward and don’t look back. Flesh might hinder us – but it should not hold us back from walking forward on the trail blazed for us by Christ Jesus!

Holding the Reins in a Whirlwind

ImageDo you ever feel caught up in a whirlwind? You feel encircled by a violent air fury that blows your hair in tangles. You keep your eyes open – looking forward, but the wind stings your eyes. It’s almost like you cannot catch your breath. You are exhausted.

Life can be like a whirlwind sometimes. Like riding a galloping horse, the breeze whips you in the face, and you are shaken.  You grasp onto the reins tightly – afraid you will tumble off the horse. You are not only set back by the speed, but the intensity forces you to grip on for your life!

However, Dear One, do not fret – for your God holds the reins! He is the master horseman, and He rides with you into the dark battle of life. He illuminates the forest, makes the trails smooth – and the sound of His voice calms the hooves of the horse.

The hard breeze may scare you, but you have a Father that is in control. He wants you to overcome the whirlwind of fury with grace and His strength! Let God hold tightly to the reins of your life. Let him speak peace to your worrisome mind. There is no need for unnecessary calloused hands! Remember, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Trust Him always.

– PRAYER –

Almighty God,

I will trust you when I am afraid. Please erase the doubt and uncertainty in my heart. You are the Maker of All – and you want the best for me. I look up to you in times of trouble, and you always smile at me and relieve my worries. Thank you for your constant protection.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.