Praying For Those That Persecute You

“A heart that does not aim at its enemy_s eternal joy is not the full-orbed love that Jesus demands.”Absolute carnage – we see it on the television screens almost daily. Blood shed at the hands of evil-filled humans, who methodically plot to kill, destroy lives and wreck the hearts of families in a million pieces.

Flashing body tolls on the news tickers – shake our cores. With every new body count our souls grow heavy like a kettle ball. We think of the scene of terror – the thumping palpitations of the hearts exposed to such wicked acts.

What fuels such anger and malice? What motivates the hearts of man to carry out such violent deeds? Has the serpent ravaged this world to the point of no return?

We, as Christians, pray fervently: LORD, let your light shine in the darkness. May your love transform this wild hate!

Yet, the terror seems to intensify – and we find ourselves like King David crying out (like in the Psalms) in deep, dark desperation.

We say,

How long, LORD, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? (Psalm 94:3)

Faced with death tolls rising – it’s easy to lose heart. I find myself asking questions, feeling defeated and utterly broken when it appears that evil is prevailing. Lives – young and old – lost at the hands of hate are such a tragedy.

I cry to the LORD, “didn’t you tell us that you overcame the world?” and I tend to forget the portion of the scripture that tells us – “in this world you will have tribulation.”

He has told us – no, assured us – there will be dark days.

When reflecting on so many terrorist attacks across the nation (most recently in Barcelona, Spain) the words of Jesus instructing us to “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you” flashes across my mind. (Matthew 5)

To be honest – this verse stings my heart as I think: Have I adequately been on my knees crying out for those that seek such destruction? Why let my heart feel defeated when I have not spent time in my war room claiming the lives, controlled by the evil one, for Christ!

Instead of feeling lost in such heartbreak and mayhem, as a Christian, I need to do what Christ has called all believers to do – pray for those who persecute you and persecute others.

Honestly, this is a tall order. Yet, as John Piper so eloquently wrote,

“A heart that does not aim at its enemy’s eternal joy is not the full-orbed love that Jesus demands.”

If you feel compelled to – please join with me in praying for those that seek carnage:


You are the redeemer of souls. You can turn a heart of stone into a pumping, soft vessel. Today, I pray for my enemies, the ones that would seek my destruction simply for loving you and the sacrifice you made for us. Speak to their hearts, LORD. Show them your true glory! You liberate those who are captive to sin and under control of the evil one. So, I pray today loose the chains of those harboring ill will toward anyone who stands contrary to their outlook on life. Hold their hearts in your nailed-scared hands. Reveal to them the love you displayed on the cross and the true joy that can be found in you! Wherever in the world they may be – appear to them in dreams, visions through the actions of others – so that they may know the true way in which to walk!

In Jesus’ Name – Amen.


Little Girl, I Say To You, Arise!

-Little girl, I say to you, arise-Awake my soul. My heart palpitates with fire-like jolts. Smells around me only intensify with every warm tremble in my chest. Sensing the robust dark coffee in the air, I call out to the heavens in the dawn – ‘Deepen my desire, LORD. Make my soul quake with an untamed blaze!”

I hold out a banner of praise. Fill my mouth and my longings with your power. You are my anthem. May my feet seek to follow the wake of your glorious splendor. Ignite my soul. Open these sleepy eyes – fixated on earthly plunder and worldly gain.

May I wake with one goal in mind – to shine your precious love. Let your spirit pervade my senses. May I truly seek the realm of godliness – to be clothed in a purple robe sprinkled in the dust of your steps. For this is power – this is might. This is strength.

Your holiness shakes me to the core. You say to me ‘little girl, arise.’ You wake me from my eternal sleep and breathe breath once again into my body of bones.

He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”). – Mark 5:41

How I am this privileged to trust and follow such a magnificent King? I want to sit at your feet for all time, LORD. The beauty for ashes you have brought into my life is unimaginable.

Hands in the air – fill me with the presence of you. My prayer is this – to house the goodness of your nature in my soul. Make the darkness of depression flee in seven directions from my life. It is you I want to exude through my interactions, quiet thoughts and personal aspirations.

Death once encompassed my life – you brought me back for a reason. Elevate my soul with visions from the chambers of your heart. May my eyes see the priceless glory of your affection, and may I walk through this life with the weight of your riches pressing on my spirit.

Hope, Refreshment, New Life – Around Every Corner

Pastel blue robin’s eggs – a creamy blue to the naked eye. These petite life vessels are quite fragile. They are tiny homes to little mouths that will need to be fed by the nourishment from the earth. The wingspan of the mama will protect, shelter and guard the bodies of her sweet baby birds.

The spring air brings with it such hope and refreshment. New life is around every corner. Flowers, aromatic and vibrant, burst forth from the moist ground – reaching upward toward the rays of the warm sun.

Daylight brings with it sweet anticipation. May we open our arms to the sky and expect the rain to descend upon the thirsty ground. The Maker of Heaven and Earth will water his creation with provision and blessings – it is coming!

We are, like those delicate eggs, dependent – for sustenance. Gaining strength day by day, this grit comes not by our power or might – but is made perfectly complete in Him. It is by his spirit says the LORD!

LORD, may we be filled with the fragrant wind of new life! Embody our actions and mind.

He builds his lofty palace in the heavens and sets its foundation on the earth; he calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land—the Lord is his name. – Amos 9:6

Makeover our temples – and illuminate us. It is my desire to be a walking lamp-stand. I want to shine like a string light proudly fashioned in a pitch black backyard. A little strand of jovial intimacy but also sheer brilliance.

As the earth brings forth newness of life – may this season usher forth in our lives a fresh sense of urgency to shout your name from the rooftops! Miracles happen to those who put their trust in the Mover of the mountains.

Transplant the highlands, Sweet Jesus. This child opens her will and sacrifices her way – for yours! Like ivy on a colossal oak, may my soul cling to your precious promises! Mighty are you GOD of ALL.

Discernment – The Welcome Dinner Guest

for-the-ways-of-the-lord-are-right-and-the-righteous-will-walk-in-themWe get so caught up in the physical –the tangible life. Our emotions are attached to jobs, material possessions and flowery accolades from our peers. And, when our expectations are not met, we melt like a Popsicle in the hot summer sun.

We sob from our guts – because our hearts are fragile. After all, they are flesh – simply caged by bones that create a somewhat secure barrier.

But this barrier is not impenetrable.  Filth can find its way into the crevices of our soft pumping organ. It seeps in when we least expect it.

We try to stay watchful and guard our hearts and minds; but, the feeling of misplaced trust and charity sing a sweet siren song. So, we eventually unbuckle that armor that has clutched our sweaty bodies so tightly.

We are human. We rely on chariots and muscle blazing horses – when we should only listen and place our feeble faith in the LORD. The promises he speaks are steadfast and true.

There is nothing wrong with dropping our guard. We were created to be soft and emotional beings. However, we were also called to have a spirit of discernment – one that whispers to our soul when things do not appear right.

Discernment is the welcome dinner guest to a table so often stacked with faux china plates and illusions of fine cuisine.

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them. – Hosea 14:9

Let us pray for a soul that truly deciphers between what is right, honest and godly – and what has been simply dipped in gold – fashioned to look like an authentic relic of great value.

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

Book Review: Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run

running-like-a-girlYou want to read an inspiring book? Look no further that this one here. Typically when I look for inspiration it is not in running books. I don’t run. I don’t like it at all. I am more of the yoga, elliptical type.

However, reading this book made me want to enjoy the great outdoors a little bit more. In fact, after reading this book this weekend, I’ve been walking every day.

Alexandra Heminsley is an inspiration. She very wittingly takes you on a journey through her life where she goes from thinking she cannot be a runner to completing 5 marathons.

I could not even contemplate that. Reading her book, makes you feel like you are actually jogging the trails with her. Which might actually be a downside because you really should get your body moving.

She vividly describes the scenery around her and discovers herself just why she loves running so much. This book is about passion. It is about drive. I guarantee that after reading this book, you will feel like you can climb Mount Fiji.

She teaches you that pain is mostly mental. And, you can really push your body to extreme limits (there are boundaries of course). I closed the cover of this book feeling a sense of fervor and a burning desire to set new goals.

In addition to stirring your emotions, the author really goes in depth about running equipment – shoes, sports bras, hair clips…etc. This book is for the novice, as well as, the experienced runner.

I would encourage you to pick up this book today or order it on Amazon. You will not regret it, and it is an excellent weekend pool read. Get the book online here and follow the author on Twitter here.

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!