Packing made easy

Packing

Packing (Photo credit: courosa)

I will put my law in their minds

and write it on their hearts. – Jeremiah 31:33

There is always a challenge for me when packing for a trip. I want to make sure I have enough clothes plus having them be the right type for weather and activities. If I pack too much, then I am carrying extra baggage, but if I pack too lightly, I will regret not having something I need. Then there’s the toiletry items, hair care, toothbrush, etc. Plus if there is paperwork or presentation materials I need, I have to make sure they are with me. Packing can be quite the job.

Aren’t you glad that you don’t have to worry about making sure you pack God to take along? When you and I leave the building, God is there. When we get on the cruise ship, God is there. Backpacking in the mountains … God is there. Stepping on stage to talk about him, he’s there. We don’t have to worry about leaving him behind.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for always being with me in everything I do. I pray that I continually acknowledge your presence as we journey life together. Amen

Faith Tip: In all you do today, acknowledge God for he is there.

Hiding in Comfort

English: unrecognized dessert.

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. – Romans 12:2

Walking in a downtown area yesterday, it’s interesting to see all the people and activity. A good friend took me to lunch at a very nice restaurant. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was relaxing even though the place was busy, and the booth we sat in felt like a great hideaway from the struggles of the world. The temptation was to stay there forever and eat all of the fancy desserts they offered.

Staying in a place because of its comforts and delights is the pattern of this world. There’s not a lot of opportunity to be transformed for the kingdom when we are hiding in worldly pleasures. It is when we are hungry, tired, sad, and lonely that we are being transformed. The tools of transformation include God’s word and prayer. Transformation entails getting rid of the things in our soul that hinder us from being all we are meant to be in God.

Prayer: Lord, although it’s difficult, I thank you for the times you are transforming me. I pray that I embrace your teachings today. Amen

Faith Tip: Read God’s word and pray in agreement with God for the transformation to be done.

A great cloud of God’s gals

A portion of the great cloud of God's gals

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” – Hebrews 12:1

This past week, I was part of “a great cloud of witnesses” at the She Speaks conference in Concord, North Carolina. The 650 women that were there to run the race that God has marked for us grew together as we worshiped, listened to instruction, were evaluated, visited the prayer room, talked with editors and agents, encouraged one another, and served one another. In this kind of business where sin can easily trip us up, the prayers that were said for and by so many of the women and staff set the tone for the glorious presence of God during the weekend.

It doesn’t take a special conference for this to be put in place in our lives. We are today surrounded by a many witnesses as we journey through life. Sin can easily entangle us, but if we make it a priority to pray for one another, the race we run for God is smoother as we freely jump the hurdles on the track.

Prayer: I thank you, Lord, for the many women who prayed for me during the weekend from She Speaks and also the people who prayed for me from my home church. I pray that we can continue in a spirit of prayer to life one another up throughout our race in life. Amen

Faith Tip: Who does God bring to your mind today to lift up in prayer?

The Real Struggle

Archangel Michael tramples Satan

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Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:10-12)

I remember holding my first large prayer leaders meeting at our church. Prayer leaders from the community gathered to meet, pray and discuss prayer ministry. About ten minutes before the meeting started, my cell phone rang in my office. I just happen to walk in there for something and my phone started ringing on my desk. I picked it up and it was my husband. He said he was in an accident with his truck and was hurt. No police came when they were called because they thought it was a joke. My husband was riding down the road, and the weather was hot, and a car passed him from the other direction, but before they passed they threw a cold water balloon at his windshield which shattered it and made him run off the road.

I quickly gathered the prayer facilitators from my church, explained what happened, and that I had to go. They were confident and equipped to run that meeting. In fact, prayer went up a notch because of the incident that night. The devil’s schemes to end the prayer meeting were beaten by the Spirit of God.

But day by day, the struggle continues for all of us in regards to praying and worshiping God. What happens during your day that diverts you from prayer and worship? Is there a misunderstanding? Does the car break down when you need it to go to church? Remember, there is a spiritual battle going on. You need the spiritual armor that God has provided for you.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the ways you protect us from the evil one. You thwart his plans and bring honor to your holy name. I pray that I remember to always be wearing your armor and be ready for any attack. Amen.

Faith Tip: When you run into a struggle today with someone or something, step back and remember that it isn’t against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness. Pray for God’s discernment, strength and peace to maneuver through the situation.

Learning to Soar!

Bald Eagle

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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.
(Isaiah 40:31)

“I want to stay here! I don’t want to go home,” the woman cried as the retreat was ending. She experienced God during the retreat in a new way that affected her in such a way that she felt so loved and encouraged. This was her mountaintop experience with God. Returning home meant facing issues that may still be there.

Mountaintop experiences are great and definitely a great part of our spiritual journey, but while God refreshes us with his presence at times, we still need to live in the real world. The great thing is that when we are refreshed and empowered, we can face those issues with the confidence of God’s continued presence and know that he is helping us through the journey. We can soar!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for those times of refreshment when we can “mount up with wings like eagles” and soar in your power. I pray that I always look to you for refreshment. Amen

Faith tip: Spend some quality time with God today and experience refreshment in him.

There’s more than you know

View of the the Grand Haven Lighthouse

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Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. (Luke 9:16-17)

I remember organizing a women’s retreat some years ago for a small group and praying to God that everything would turn out good. I found a place in Grand Haven near the lake. That was the first blessing for it was within the price range. The second blessing was that everyone could make the retreat. The third blessing was the weather was perfect. The fourth blessing was the lesson material impacted the group. The fifth blessing was when we went to a restaurant that none of us had been to before, we were given a special room to ourselves that was very nice. The sixth blessing was a hot tub. The blessings of that weekend went on and on. God was there and we enjoyed his presence.

Isn’t that the way God is though? God knows how to give good gifts to his children. The disciples in the scripture were hoping to have just enough food, but God gave more. There was plenty for all to enjoy.

Think about how the Lord has blessed you abundantly. Give God thanks and praise!

Prayer: Our Provider God, you know how to give more than we can imagine. I pray we are thankful for all you have given to us, and not take it for granted. Amen

Faith tip: Count your blessings…list them one by one.

Roller Coaster of Life

Magnum XL-200, the first roller coaster in the...

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Don’t be afraid; just believe…” (Luke 8:50)

I remember some years back going to Cedar Point with a friend who loved to ride roller coasters. Cedar Point came out with a relatively new one at that time called the Magnum XL-200. It was called the highest roller coaster at that time at 205 feet high. The speed of riding that roller coaster would get up to 72 mph. If you go to this link: http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/park/rides/coasters/magnum/index.cfm you can actually watch what it’s like to take the ride.

Going on a ride like this takes belief that you will survive it. I wasn’t so sure the first time I went on it. I rode on this roller coaster three times…and screamed just as loud every time. This is a ride where you forget all your troubles, because the focus is on survival.

There are things in life that are frightening. God does not want us to be afraid. Throughout the Bible, he sends the message of “fear not” and “do not be afraid.” God wants us to focus on him, his promises, and his presence. If we can keep our focus on God, and believe what he says, our fears will disappear.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, with the ups and downs of life, I pray that my faith will keep me on the firm foundation of you. I need not fear because of the victory I have in you. Amen

Faith tip: Look for a couple of scripture verses in the Bible regarding fear, and see what God says about it. Memorize these verses to keep in your heart and mind as you journey through life.