Do you feel like you waffle in your faith? Do you want more faith? Do you think what God does through you is strong one day and week the next? Sometimes the enemy buffets our mind with doubt. Well, pull those weeds out of your mind today friends and get rid of them! Have faith! Who is your God? He says this:

Step into the stream of HIS consistency and walk in it.


Numbers 23:19-20 “God is not a man, that He should lie,

Nor a son of man, that He should repent;

Has He said, and will He not do it?

Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

Behold, I have received a command to bless;

When He has blessed, then I cannot revoke it.”

Doing Hard Things – God Blesses Those Awkward Steps of Faith

Two days of ear pain during our week off. It was a bummer. This morning was day three and I now had constant ringing in my ear. I’d been praying continuously for myself and for others while down on the couch with no relief. I decided I’d go to the Medpoint and just have them look in there. So I went and on the way there said, “Lord, if I’m going to go this place I’ll bet there are some sick people who will need prayer there.” I prayed faintly for courage to do something about that, and for divine setups. I checked in and sat down.

It wasn’t an inviting atmosphere full of sunny people with smiles. Where do you start, everyone is sick. Do I have to do this? – I thought briefly. I knew that the best medicine for my own pain was being obedient in praying for other people to be healed. AND..The thought of how I’d feel if I went home having done nothing was flashing through my mind. The thought of the later conviction I’d feel if I missed this opportunity was far worse than the thought of HOW I was going to invite all these non-responsive looking people to get prayer. It would be like the feeling of having money in your pocket and passing by one of those people with the cardboard signs. I heard myself think – God has healed so many of my afflictions that if I am going to stay sick long enough to have to come to this waiting room, I must be assigned to do something.

For many years, I have done the usual thing, sitting in the waiting room and not letting anyone know that Jesus, the Great Physician was alive and had sent me here that day to do something. I knew God healed and that he would heal, that he’s excited to heal people – now!

You know, it’s Easter tomorrow. Have you ever thought about the reality that Jesus is alive – like alive! I had to remember that today.

Across the room there was a woman who looked miserable. I found my moment. I stood up and casually said, addressing the whole room, sort of awkwardly, “Since we’re all here because we’re sick, who needs prayer for healing, after all, it’s Easter. It’s a good time to pray.” —I’m sure Jesus would have had a better opener, but he’d have to work with my level of wisdom.

This was the first time I’d tried this in a hospital waiting room, but I’d always wanted to do it. So I said it. I said my awkward opener. Guess what, NO one jumped up and said, “Hey, start with me!” It was one of those awkward moments, where people slightly look at you and you are not really aren’t sure of what they are thinking —- but — are we supposed to care about what people think of us, or are we supposed to do what Jesus said to do.  I could have said, “God is going to heal people in the waiting room today!” If people were in line waiting, I’d have faith for that, but like Jesus in Nazareth, I had no idea if anyone would let me pray for them.

As I sat there looking around for eyes with invitation in them, Easter expectation was in my heart and I remembered the simple commands Jesus had left. “Go, heal the sick and tell them the Kingdom of heaven has come near you.” (I was saying this to myself in my slight nervousness.) Confidence came from past experience. I knew that if I had something that wasn’t getting healed, praying for other people would be the way to war against it.

In spite of all of the disinterested looks, and blank stares, I sat down and looked at the miserable woman across the room. She looked at me. She was too miserable to not want prayer, I knew in my heart. After a while she said, “I’ll take prayer.” So we had a great conversation and she and her daughter were really happy to get the prayer. We prayed for this pain that moved all over her body, her lungs and congestion. She was feeling quite a bit better and looked way better.

A God moment was soon to intervene – On the way out, I spotted a cheerful face of someone I knew. We had met once before. At the checkout I asked what they were there for. Her husband was in constant pain. They were talking about how frustrating it was to be on this medication with no sign of permanent relief. I told her that I wanted to pray for her. She said this must be a divine appointment! (I felt like this was God patting me on the back for hanging in there that day.) We found a corner cubby in the waiting room and asked God to come and heal. The man’s formerly unmovable ankle could now move. While I was praying, I had a tiny twinge in my lower back. Ah ha.. I thought. This could be a word of knowledge from God. I asked him if he had back pain in that spot and he DID. So I prayed for God to heal that and asked him to bend over. Pain gone. Yeah God.

I get in the car to go home, thanking God and noticing that my ear pain was almost completely gone. I felt almost great!

Now I’m believing God is rewarding me. Next divine setup – I go to the CVS to get the prescriptions. (I get them anyway.) I get a message from my husband saying he’s on the way to the camper with the boys to clean it out, since we were hoping to sell it.  At the same time, I had a voice mail from a lady who wanted to see the camper. How convenient! As I’m pulling out of the neighborhood to go up there to meet them, the thought comes to me, “Go back for the title.” So, I do. The couple meet us there and are enthusiastic Christians. They said our camper was by far the best that they had looked at. I said, “I brought the title if you want it.” She said, “We want it.” Yeah. She was so happy she cried! They will be great witnesses in this spot and are a perfect fit for it. As we talk about the kayak, we learn that the man has back trouble so it may be hard to lift. I said, “We need to pray for you!” They were very excited about that – things are looking so vastly more encouraging better than my initial step of faith in the waiting room this morning. His wife says, “He’s a mess!” I start out praying for his back and then asked him to bend down. He could touch his toes and said it felt good. His wife said, “He’s deaf in both ears with 70% hearing loss.” My husband put one hand on one year and I put my hand on the other while he commanded the ears to open in the name of Jesus. OPENED! We tested his hearing in the mid-range up to 15 feet away and he could hear clearly. His foot had trouble too; bone spurs caused him a lot of pain. My husband told my 16 year old, that it was his turn. He bent down and put his hand on the man’s foot and prayed an awesome prayer over that foot. The wife had her hands on him at the same time. She jumped back and said her hands were burning hot. The man didn’t feel it but it was very encouraging how God was responding to that prayer. So I told her to put her hand on his foot and pray. She was just as able to pray for his healing as we were, I told her. His foot didn’t change right away, so we agreed we’d wait and see when it would be healed and I told her to pray for more if they needed to.

The day ends with Saturday night church, where a young man comes up for prayer. (There was another man who came up too, but I’ll share the most dramatic one.) He’s got a walker and a colostomy bag. He wanted prayer for healing and faith. I explained to him how the prayer process would go, to just open up to receive healing from God and to put his attention on his body and what was happening. We prayed for his heart, and for burdens to be lifted from the accident. He had a visible sign of relief. That was cool. Next, we prayed for his back, then his broken pelvis. His pain went to 50% of original, then down to ZERO. The nurse told him he had to use his walker. He said, “But I have no pain.” Those who were with him were not used to seeing instant miracles and continued to repeat what his condition was, that he couldn’t walk without the walker. He’d taken a few steps without pain. I told him it was fine to use it because it would be hard for them to understand and we did want him to follow the doctor’s orders. I wasn’t sure what exactly had happened in his total healing yet.  But – what an awesome day followed two miserable days of sickness.

Happy Easter! Jesus is alive! If he lives in you, I hope this will encourage you to let him walk with you and influence what you do. Believe what he said, “Go, heal the sick and tell them that the Kingdom of Heaven has come near you.” He doesn’t ask us to do things we couldn’t do. He said to go and that he would be WITH us always to the end of the age. That means that today he is with us, working miracles. He used multiple people – at least six different people to bring these miracles about! We all get to participate in sharing the love of Jesus in healing. Remember, He is WITH you. Share that hope today. I pray you would find courage to step into your own potentially awkward moments with the love of Jesus on your heart. I bless you with courage in times that seem like God is asking you to do  more than you feel you can. He is WITH you. You don’t do it, you invite the Holy Spirit and Jehovah Rapha, the God Who Heals, comes to your aid. Have faith. All things are possible for those who believe.

Captivated by Christ

This is a beautiful vision I saw during worship one Sunday. I had my eyes closed and before me I saw a large, softball size diamond.

White and gleaming.

My hands were held out in a cup shape and it hovered just above, but did not touch my hands. My gaze was captured by the light and beauty of it – and the size! It went before me and captivated me. There was nowhere else my eyes were allowed to look, but into it. I believe this diamond represented Christ. Magnificent, holy, blameless and pure. Awe-inspiriing. He is to draw all of our focus.

As I walked to others, their gaze was captured by it and we’d marvel at it together. Then I saw a treasure box of diamonds – and a waterfall of diamonds.  When we keep our eyes on the light of his beauty, more diamonds are reproduced. The smaller diamonds are us, people who are cleaned and purified in the light of the original. Christ reproduces himself in us as we gaze upon him in worship, in our conversations, in every step and moment of our lives. In every conversation, it is in front of us – radiating. The many facets keep our attention and prevent us from being pulled in any other direction but to Him. We marvel in the light of the Glory of Christ. The same glory Jesus said in John 17:22 that he has given to us. “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—”

We are being recreated into His image as we keep our eyes on his beauty and look nowhere else.

Hearing the Heart of God – To go or not to go, that is the question

How many times do we feel called to do something and then wait for someone else to push us, help us or join the vision. The passion God puts on our heart is for US to act upon. It is beautiful when others receive the same vision and even more wonderful when we actually connect with them, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes a call is lonely and we wonder why others aren’t hearing the same thing and jumping in the car to drive with us. God uses the people who are available and stirs us up when we seek Him. Some calls seem big, some seem small. It could even just be a call that lasts a moment, or it could mean your life with change forever. It could be a fleeting idea or a driving burden in our hearts, but it’s still a call to move.

Sometimes we are the answer to someone else’s prayers, or the answer for a whole group of people. I think of the times God has connected me to others and spoke through the body of Christ to me, or used me to speak to others. It is amazing what gifts he has given to His children! When we receive a calling from God, we often wait for someone else to feel the same way or for others to be equally concerned before moving. I was led to read Jeremiah this week. He was called and he didn’t have a church to back him up, or an organization to fund him. He just was asked to speak the heart of God to a people who didn’t want to listen. It was lonely, and they thought he was crazy, but God told him it was important and it had to be done.

Are there places you are called to speak out?

Have you considered what is burdening God’s heart?

It isn’t a fun feeling when you have a calling and you don’t do all you should with it. I speak from my own heart of remorse. Let today be a day of redemption. God, redeem all the missed moments and renew our zeal for the burdens of Your heart. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!

ImageI’m asking forgiveness today for myself, for mixing my priorities with God’s priorities, for setting His priorities aside when it was inconvenient, and for the times I have forgotten how BIG HE IS! I’m taking up my cross today and receiving grace for where I’ve not lifted it high enough. I’m giving to God all the things that could have been done better and starting a new day today. You can include yourself in the prayer if this speaks to you….

Lord, have mercy on me for the things I’ve put off and for the lives left abandoned because I relied on others when I should have relied on you. Forgive me for not having courage to be the flood light where you have called me. Forgive me for thinking less of your purpose than you do. Whether big or small, what is important to you needs to be urgent for me.Excuses are so lame. Put your torch before me and let it burn constantly. Keep my eyes on it and fan it when you want me to flame for You. I am humbled by what you give me to do, but I am helpless without you. I pray for redemption of all the missed opportunities and for full restoration of all of your plans in areas I’ve messed up. Let the sun shine where I’ve left it dark and fill me with the joy of your salvation!

Jeremiah (Full text)

The Call of Jeremiah

4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”

In God’s Image

In God's Image

Lord, it’s another beautiful day to sing your praises. The whiteness I see all over is deep and every flake of a single color. It reminds me of how you see all people as equally beautiful. Snowflakes fall in different groupings, some alone, some clumped together, but each one an individual, stunning crystalline work of art. I can see your perfection in every one.

Help us to see your greatest creation that way, Father. Help us see those created in the image of God like a beautiful snowflake that is waiting to be seen and admired. Some fall in the road and get muddy and some land on a branch and catch your glory as they shimmer in the light, but all came down with the same intent, to make the world a beautiful place. Redeem them all my King of Glory and let not one go untouched by your love.

Just like each flake snow melts, not matter how muddy it got when it was here, you separate us and recreate us in your image at the cross. Through the bright blood of Jesus, we become white as snow.

Set Me On Fire! Let the Gospel Live Out Loud!

Lord, don’t let us forget what you paid for! Fill us with the fire that lights our bones into a burning passion to make Jesus known and His mercy shine. Let the righteousness of God prevail in all of us. God! Purify our hearts with the power of grace that sets us free from sin! Kill the lie that we will all keep sinning. Your word says that our new nature CANNOT continue in sin, so if we’re still feeling mastered by sin, take us deeper in surrender to you and free us of that monster. (1 John 3:9) We don’t need to live defeated lives of struggle. When trouble comes, we need to be a people who know who our God is! The gospel doesn’t mean we’re still sinful beings and now we’re just free of the consequences. Jesus declared us DEAD to sin, free of sin itself! We’ll have NONE of it. None of it. Nothing that would mis-represent you should be a part of our day. Let the fear of the Lord leave us in awe and make sin repulsive to us.

When we see those trapped by sin, don’t let us tolerate it in their lives either but show us the enemy behind us and let us battle with and for them for the complete freedom, peace and joy that being joined with You brings. Let truth sing out and let it empower people to live the law without a second thought because their new nature compels them. Father, You are holy. I bow before you and ask you to take every thought or word that would cause you cringe. I want to be like you, holy and full of light with feet of peace and hands of healing. Jesus valued the people in front of him and I do too.


God, dismantle the lies that give us excuses to be less the the glorious new creations that Jesus paid for us to be on the cross! In our hearts, we know grace doesn’t mean we can continue to be drunk, or continue to look at men or women with an ounce of lust in our hearts. Cleanse our thoughts with your purifying fire that we would never disgrace you before those who don’t believe or set a bad example for those who are weaker.

Heal our land. Heal our churches. God! Purify our minds and our hearts so that we don’t get up wondering how we’ll get through out day. Purify our minds so that we can see what YOU can do through our day. Take us. Push us. Don’t let fear rule our hearts. Fear is a spirit from hell. We are not subject to that Spirit when we are IN CHRIST. We are IN CHRIST, one with him through baptism. We rose with him. He shines and so do we. It is not humble, nor is it LOVE to withhold the truth from the person in front of us, it is cowardly and hateful. Kill that in me Lord. Kill it. Let your love pour out of me and set people free. Let the light just shine out of my eyes and into their soul, then out of your massive love displayed on the cross, move their hearts to conviction let every lie be crushed in their lives.

Jesus said there was going to be a day that it would be too late and He, more than anyone in the Bible, talked about the reality of an eternal hell, but he ALSO talked about the mansions he was going to build for us in heaven, for the time we would be where there is no more pain. There is no in between. No lukewarm. Jesus was crushed but not destroyed and persecuted but not destroyed. He rose, left and gave us his spirit so we didn’t have to look like the world anymore. Thank you for freedom. Thank you for killing the pain of rejection, fear, depression and loneliness. I am alive in You and it is the way I choose to live forever. In my mighty Savior’s name, who’s blood I see on my hands and whose light bathes me in glory. Praise Your holy name forever. Amen.

Love and Serving in Hard Places

What is love? We’re supposed to walk in love, in the midst of it, like warm boots in the deep, wet snow. Love is comfort and security in new places. It is the armor that keeps us firm in places that look like chaos. Love is amazing. It disarms anger, it calms fear it remains true when others fail. It casts hope where hope looks dead.

How far will we let love and compassion take us when we follow Christ? Is there an end of the road on our walk with Christ, where Jesus keeps walking and, even though we feel a tug on our heart, we say, “No, sorry Jesus, that’s not my gift. I’m not ready for that. Find someone else.”  What do you call a “follower” at that point- a stopper? Stoppers lead to clogged drains in the ministry flow. This isn’t a guilt trip to move you to do any one particular thing, it’s a reminder that we need to take that step in faith, not matter what the task is. Followers continue to follow, even when it looks like they are not able, or not equipped or utterly helpless. When a follower is helpless in their own strength, they then have to look to the one who they are following and trust that when they don’t know the answer, He will. They rely on God’s power and not their own. (You do know that I’m preaching to myself here, don’t you?)

In the parable of the talents, Jesus makes an example of three servants who received different amounts of talent. In the story, the talents were money, but they represent any gift God has given us. We sometimes begin with a night volunteering, an encouraging card, a few dollars, or maybe God reminds us of a need when we notice that coffee is on sale. Those little thoughts are the parable coming alive through the Holy Spirit. If we are faithful in these small things, according to the parable, we receive more. The more could be so many things, new gifts, talents, money or openings in your time.

When you use THOSE wisely, God says, “Hey! Here’s someone I can work with and trust with what I’ve given.” He opens the storehouse of gifts and talents again. The hardest part of the story is the part that has caused me to repent of many times. It’s when Jesus goes back to the one who just kept his talent hidden because he was afraid do anything with it that we must pay attention. We hear so much about grace and mercy, we often just think we can just go on and expect continued blessings even when we’re disobedient. The kingdom really doesn’t operate that way. When the servant hid his little talent, Jesus didn’t say, “Oh, I understand, it’s ok. I’ll just give you more anyway.” He said exactly this, “You wicked and slothful servant!…Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:14-30

You see. Love costs something. It’s a valuable gift. People die every day. Love moves beyond noticing that someone looks a little down. It looks past anger. It looks into a bad day and cares about why. Love sits down next to that person and asks why.  When love sits down and hears a hard story, it asks God what talent he has that may be used in this situation. It could be finding an answer, sharing wisdom or praying. When love doesn’t know what to do, it calls on the one with five or ten talents to come in to the picture and show him what more experienced love can do. The point is that love never does nothing nor does it think that it can do nothing. 

Sometimes it costs us time to learn how to help in deeper ways at that point and we ask, “Am I willing to make the sacrifice? This may disturb my family life. I’m not sure I’m equipped for that. I’ve never done anything like that before. Isn’t it dangerous? What if………what if…….. what if……what if”

Who’s voice is that? God’s, yours or the devil’s. Maybe these verses will help identify the source and reassure you that the only weapon we need is love.

 1 Timothy 1:7 “for God gave us a spirit NOT of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

The better question is this…”What if I DON’T do something.” Down at Project Warm, a winter weather amnesty shelter we spend much time at, livers are failing, families are broken, heart attacks happen, feet get frostbite, alcohol numbs pain and unforgiveness and self-hatred batter people on a daily basis – but what love and the power of God can do!  Friendships blossom, people find Jesus, sharing occurs and we war for each other in the battles we face to keep the place running every night. To that, there is no limit. Prayer is moving those mountains for the ones we can reach and testimonies of His faithfulness are being repeated at devotion time. Have you heard a homeless person testify of God’s grace, provision or even physical healing in his life that week? Come and hear that too! Love will grow in your heart and faith for your own struggles.

We all start somewhere on the journey of greater love and action. I promise you that jumping into a completely new environment, we don’t all start out feeling like superman or Jesus. New environments take time to adjust to but if we persevere in love, how we see that environment changes. We get burdened, like Jesus was, to BE the help that people need. It’s not on our own strength. We have the tools Jesus left us and he directs us IF we are available to learn and seek Him – if we are willing to step out of our comfort zone. Jesus didn’t have a comfort zone. He saw what people didn’t see because they looked at the outside and not the inside. People look at the consequence of sin. Jesus healed the hurt. Every problem had a root and Jesus was a good gardener. He had a vision for every person he met. He knew who He created them to be. He will show YOU who he created the people around you to be. Ask him and you’ll love people better and see the good instead of the things that now annoy or scare you. Love brings a great response from people.

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

Are you willing to use that talent you have? Want to spend it? Our God says “Nothing is impossible for those who believe.” We believe that. When compassion hits us, and our sense of injustice at someone’s condition boils our blood and stirs our heart to righteous anger, we have a God who says, “I’m in that with you. Let’s go.”  At that point we humbly say, “Lord, what you do you need me to do.”  Ask him that today. “Lord, what do you need me to do?”