Friday, May 30, 2008

Answered Prayer

As I am preparing to attend “She Speaks” I have been trying to work on a book to present to a group of publishers. To say the least, it has not been going very well. As I have struggled for many days with this project my prayers have gone something like this, “Dear Lord, I believe that you placed a calling on my life to write. I believe that you gave me talent to string words together that are clear and concise and that point readers to you. But God, you know that right now I am struggling with this current project. I seem to not have the words, the tools, or the inspiration to get the job done. I have a deadline to meet if I am to present this book at the conference I will be attending. So, Dear Lord I am surrendering this project to you, if it is your will that this book get written please clear away all of the distractions. Please give me the very words you would have written, and take away any selfish ambitions or areas of sin in my life that would keep me from living out your plan for my life.”

God’s timing is perfect and so is His plan, if only we can release ourselves to wait and watch for His hand to move, then follow along with Him. Today, three weeks before I needed to have two sample chapters put together to take to “She Speaks” to present, God lead me, during my daily devotion and quiet time, to the verse in Ephesians above. How fitting and how divine are the words, “He’s using us all – irrespective of how we got here – in what he is building. . . . Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together.”

God led me to scripture that described this very book that I feel He was compelling me to write. As I read the words in my Bible this morning, my eyes flooded with tears. How could there be any doubt that I am to write this book? How could I ever doubt that indeed my life has been built brick by brick to serve God?

I know that, short of a miracle, I won’t have the book completed before I go to “She Speaks,” but what I do know is that I will make the presentation, and no matter what comes from my meetings with these publishers, my book will be written, it will be read by someone one day, and most importantly, God will be glorified!!

Praise His Name!

Oh, BTW ~ The Title of the book is: Brick by Brick, Building a Life for Service to God

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Oh Boy, Oh Boy! Just three weeks from today I leave for the Proverbs 31 “She Speaks” conference for 2008. I am so pumped! I know that Lysa and all the team have worked so hard to make everything bigger and better than ever.

What makes this event so wonderful? Most importantly, I think, it is that each attendee can rest assured that the P31 team has spent many hours in prayer preparation for the event. Seriously y’all, they cover every aspect of the conference in prayer and they pray specifically for every person who will be attending; by name. This year that means that they have prayed for at least 500 women. Talk about prayer warriors!!

I know that lives will be changed, hearts touched, that Jesus will be praised, and women will be equipped to carry the gospel message to many more because of this event.

For those of you who will be attending, I hope to get to meet many of you. (With 500 women running around I know I won’t get to meet everyone.) For those of you who cannot go this year, I pray that you will be able to attend next year.

Blessings all!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Shhh, Quiet Please

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3: 17 NIV)

I love the verse of scripture above. It has become an intense prayer of my heart.

“Lord, please quiet me with your love.”

Webster’s dictionary gives many definitions for the word quiet, but the ones that I like most, that fit my prayer, follow.

· restrained in speech, manner, etc.; saying little: a quiet person.
· free from disturbance or tumult; tranquil; peaceful: a quite life.
· Free from disturbing thoughts, emotions, etc.; mentally peaceful: a quiet conscience.
· Said, expressed, done, etc., in a restrained or unobtrusive way: a quiet reproach; a quiet admonition. 1

In the recent weeks I have been struggling with discipline issues for my 3-year-old son. My running prayer has gone something like this,

“Lord, I need a daily portion of your manna in the area of strength, patience and wisdom. I am feeling so incapable of being the Mother my son needs me to be. His father and I seem to be at an impasse in reaching him. In getting him to understand and follow the rules of the house. Temper my heart with love, grace and compassion. Help me to teach and not punish, allow me to guide with grace.”

Then, as so often happens with God, one morning as I was reading my Bible, God graciously led me to Zephaniah 3: 17. Although, the whole verse is good, the section that took my breath away was, “he will quiet you with his love.”

It was as if God gently flooded my soul with the answer that I had been searching for. God spoke to me and said I needed to allow Him to quiet my spirit, and my manner of addressing my son.

I would love to report that things in our household are now running 'quietly' and smoothly all of the time, but that would be incorrect. But, what is changing is my reaction when my son breaks or violates the house rules. These seven very simple words permeate my actions and my reactions, and keep me on track with God’s plan.

I may never be the mother I would like to be; but God, when I get out of His way and allow Him to work through me, is more than able. I praise His Holy Name for that great gift today!

1 From - “quiet”

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Out of the Corner of My Eye – Part Two

“But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.” (MSG – James 1: 25)

In my last post on this subject I began to ponder a few questions based upon the verse above.

My first question was this; “What or more accurately who, is the revealed counsel of God.”

My answer was: One name: Jesus. Our Lord and Savior lived an earthly existence to provide us a glimpse into the heart and mind of God our Father, to set an example of how we should live our lives, and the sacrifice Jesus made through His shed blood, poured out at the foot of the cross paved the way for us to be redeemed of sin and to give us the hope of eternal life. (John 6:47)

The second question, or more accurately put second and third questions were:

“If I am truly no longer a ‘distracted scatterbrain but a woman of action,’ what actions should I be focused upon?” And, “If I focus on carrying out those actions, will I truly find ‘delight and affirmation’ by doing them?

After many days of reflection and time spent with the Lord in His word, the impressions that are on my heart in answer to these questions follow.

Please keep a couple of things in mind as you read my thoughts. First, these are the things God has placed on my heart. Each person will be different, and the ‘action items’ that God places on your heart may look totally different from mine. Second, often I tend to be a little slow at realizing what God is trying to teach me and it takes me a while to get on board with His plan for my life.

1st Action Step – God is to become greater, I am to become lesser! “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV) I have embarked on a journey to not think so highly of myself. Not that I am putting myself down. I realize how truly blessed I am to be loved by the King; Most High God. But, as Louie Giglio says, “i am not, but I know I AM.”

This action step is tough. It goes against everything that most of us have ever felt, been taught, and believed. The world shouts at us to make a name for ourselves. We are encouraged to amass as much of the worlds toys as possible. We are told to do whatever it takes to climb the ladder to success. But, I must remember these are lies of the world, brewed by the master of evil and are contrary to God’s perfect teachings. In God’s word He tells us, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." (I Peter 5:5 b, NIV) I not only want God’s grace, but I desperately need it as well. To more fully enjoy the riches of God’s grace I need to practice humility. Make much ado about Jesus and pay less attention to attempts at garnering glowing reviews on my performance.

2nd Action Step - “Pray without ceasing.” (I Thess. 5:17 NKJV) This means I am to pray about everything. The big things in life and the small things. When I arise in the morning and all throughout the day. Not just during my devotion time, or before I close my eyes at night, but all the time! My continuous prayer has become, “Dear Lord, grant me an attitude of prayer in all of life circumstances, no matter what I am doing.”

3rd Action Step – Humility begins at home. I am being called to become a better model of a godly wife for my husband. “The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.” (I Peter 3: 1-4 MSG) I am to honor him with my actions, my words and my deeds. I am to be quick to praise and slow to anger. God is teaching me many ways that I can improve my performance in this area.

4th Action Step – Make showing Jesus to my sons a priority. “Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:7 MSG) I must be daily in the word. I must be ready, at any given minute, to respond to the challenges of parenthood with Godly instruction. I desire to point the way to Jesus by the manner in which I live my life. This is critical in raising children. Without knowledge of God, a child has no true compass; no way to reach the full potential for their lives that God uniquely designed them to fill.

Looking over this list of action steps, I realize that I have my work cut out for me. Each one of these things will challenge me, and test my resolve to follow Jesus. All combined, I realize that apart from the grace of God I would have no chance for success. I realize that, this side of heaven at least, I will never grow to the point of living in a state of perfection on any of my action items. But, praise God, He doesn’t call us to live a perfect life. He calls us to have a heart that desires to do a little better each day, and to strive to live out the desire to grow in Him.

“Father God, Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your amazing word and how it has the power to soften my heart and change my life. Thank you for not expecting perfection from me. I pray that you will give me the strength, willpower and determination to open myself fully to your revealed word. I pray that I might willingly surrender any stronghold that keeps me from hearing your voice and following as one of your faithful sheep. Help me to allow You to become greater while I become lesser, assist me toward giving myself to a life of prayer without ceasing, please help me to become more humble, and give me the knowledge and wisdom to point my sons to your unfailing love. I ask this in the precious Lord and Savior, Jesus.”