Too Good Not to Share

“look — we’re facing some pretty big things, Lord,
And You whisper: “Child, look — look at Me.
Now You’re facing the Best thing, who dwarfs all the other things.”
And we exhale.. and we get it, God, because that is the thing:
Prayer isn’t so much to remind our God of what all the problems are —
but to remind all the problems of who our God is.

And You cup us close tonight and tell us: No matter what you’re facing, look into My face — and know it, feel it: Your God is greater than what you’re trying to face, your God is bigger than what you’re trying to escape, your God is better than anything you’re trying to chase.
And our problems fade in the light of Your gentle face, Your tender embrace….” (Ann Voskamp).

That’s it. “Prayer isn’t so much to remind our God of what all the problems are– but to remind all the problems of who our God is.”

That sentence. For the win.

I got my health insurance premiums for 2016. Apparently, they’re going up over $150 a month. That’s a whole lot of moolah.

But no matter how big my insurance premium gets, God is bigger.

No matter how overwhelmed I’ve felt over the pressing issues facing me, God has been and will always be able.

That’s not a news flash, but it’s a good reminder out there to all the weary and heavy-laden hearts tonight who need to hear it one more time. It’s a great comfort to all those who feel like they’re less than adequate to meet all that life has thrown their way this past week.

No matter what, God will be enough.

Let that be your mantra for the days to come. Let it resound in your heart and mind when the lies come and try to drag you down into defeat.

No matter what, God will be enough.

 

Those Sleepless Nights

I had a rough night last night. Well, that may be overstating things a bit. Last night, I didn’t sleep as well as I normally do. That’s more accurate.

I tossed and turned until after 1 am, then managed to wake up several more times in the night. At least I didn’t wake up one minute before my alarm is set to go off. That’s the absolute worst.

So I’m tired.

The Bible says that God grants sleep to those He loves.

I know that more than a few of you know what it’s like to go whole nights without sleeping. It can get to be a frustrating process, with you getting more and more weary and less and less able to sleep.

Maybe God has you up in the middle of the night for a reason. Maybe He’s putting something (or someone) on your mind to turn over to Him in prayer.

Pay attention to what God whispers in your ear on those sleepless nights. Maybe cease from all your tossing and turning and be still. Listen for that still, small voice that calls you Beloved.

I hope that I’ll sleep better tonight. I think I will. But in case I don’t, just know that I will likely be praying for some of you.

 

Revisiting the Old Fears

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All fear is but the notion that God’s love ends” (Ann Voskamp).

Sometimes they do come back.

I’m talking about fears. Every so often, you will run into one of those along your path, usually when you least expect it and thought you had dealt with it.

Here’s a few examples.

Someone stops responding to your texts. The fear says, “See? You’ve offended that person in some way. You’ve ruined the relationship and it will never again be the same.”

A good friend moves to another town. “The fear moved in and whispers, “She won’t tell you to your face, but the real reason she moved was to get away from you.”

The one that dogged me for years was this: “Every one will eventually abandon you. Once they’ve seen what you’re really like, they won’t want to have anything more to do with you. They’ll start by growing distant with you and then disappear altogether. Nothing you do matters. No one notices anything you say. You might as well never have been born.”

Or maybe your fear goes like this: “You’re not worth someone’s love. No one could ever be attracted to you. You are repulsive to the opposite sex. You will always be alone.”

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Fear lies. That’s its nature.

Fear doesn’t come from God. Ever. Fear comes from the father of lies and means to keep you from God, imprisoned in your anxieties and phobias

Remember, perfect love casts out fear. And you are perfectly loved, just as you are, not as you should be or could be.

Name the fear. Expose it. Demons die in the light. Rebuke that fear OUT LOUD in the name of Jesus.

You in and of yourself will never defeat fear, but the power of Christ in you has already beaten it once and for all. That power is yours now to claim.

If you’ve allowed yourself to be mastered again to that fear, repent and move forward. Shame is a close relative of fear and is just as bent on keeping you away from God. Shame is also a defeated foe.

You as a child of God fight not for victory but FROM it. Keep that in mind and have a blessed Monday!

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A Good Weekend

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As I stepped into my car to head home from a Sunday School class party, I could hear the hypnotic drone of cicadas and felt 10-years old again and ready for the next big adventure. That’s what life really is. At least for those who have their eyes open to appreciate the mystery and wonder in each gift God unwraps daily called life.

I still fondly remember running through the streets of downtown Nashville with my friend Katie to catch the next act at Live on the Green, Michael Franti. It was a moment I never imagined happening, yet if you were to ask what my all-time favorite moment was, this one would be climbing the charts. And no Gatorade ever tasted better than the ones from the Exxon convenience store on the way home.

How can I forget an impromptu Starbucks session of great conversation and good coffee drinks? I can’t remember two hours flying by that fast. It was yet another in a long line of unexpected treasures and blessings God has showered on me lately.

I remember Friday and Saturday in downtown Franklin, seeing some of my favorite McCreary’s people and savoring yet another beautiful summer night visiting my usual haunts and trekking my familiar path up and down Main Street. I especially recall how quiet it was in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church as I sat silent and still and expectant, waiting on a Word from God.

I finally fell asleep at 4:30 this morning after another night of tossing and turning. I think I’ll sleep better tonight. At least I hope I do. But even that time awake gave me time to reflect on all the little gifts that eucharisteo had opened my eyes to see.

I remember something my Sunday School teacher Derek Webster said. He said, “God believes in you even more than you do.”

I have to write that down somewhere. Oh yeah, I guess I just did. But I need it in a place where I can find it and see it every morning, because I know some mornings I’ll wake up and not be as excited to be alive. Those old self-doubts will creep in. The enemy will whisper, “See? Nobody really cares about you. No one would notice if you weren’t around. You don’t make one bit of difference to anybody.”

That’s when this Truth of God comes in. God says differently. To me. To you. To anyone who heard and followed the voice of Jesus. God said you do matter because I made you. Jesus said you matter because I thought you were to die for. You have a gift and a purpose that no one else ever in the history of mankind has ever had. Only you can play the part God wrote for you in the Great Romance He’s written out in history.

You being you makes God smile. You being who God created you is what the world around you needs to see more than any Billy Graham or Mother Teresa. You coming alive to your gifts and talents will be the ripple in the ocean whose effects will last far beyond your own lifetime.

Yep. All that from four days in August.