Friday, April 29, 2011

Pray with Fresh Faith

The above link to Jim Cymbala's post was a good jolt for me.

In the article, What Happens When the Church Prays, Pastor Cymbala asks the question, Do we really believe God can draw anyone to Himself? 

I have been dragging my feet on corporate prayer. But I don't happily tame my prayer life. My heart needs passionate prayer. I need to pour out my heart to God and with others who want to see God break into our ordinary hum drum. If God doesn't show up, why bother trying hard for meager results?

I just had the privilege of speaking with an African follower of Jesus. She reminded me of the power of Christ that comes when God's people humble themselves and count on His power.

What might happen if we really believed that God would make a difference -- in our lives?  community? trouble spots?

And what would happen in me as God used me as part of the answer?

Do yourself a favor and read the article.

You'll be tempted to start praying with fresh faith.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


When I called, you answered me
You made me bold and stouthearted  (Psalm 138:3, NIV).

Don't you love the image? Stouthearted. A sturdy, stuffed heart bulging with God who's come to live in us.

Stouthearted is not a word I normally use, but I have been savoring it the last few days.

Helping care for our Mother who now needs around the clock care, looking for flexible work in a strange economy, watching people get blown up all over the world, knowing we are in precipitous times, these tempt me to wilt. My heart sometimes feels punctured. Deflated.

Walking around wilted and thin-hearted does little good. When I call out to the Lord He answers.

Sometimes God reveals a course of action or a scripture to pray. Sometimes I call friends to pray for and encourage me. Sometimes I quiet myself by leaning into Jesus' breast. I put my deflated heart against His sturdiness, breathe in heaven's breath, and let the Holy Spirit remind me of God's presence.

Then, like a pump steadily inflating a leaky tire, fresh strength flows into my heart. I'm able to go on. Stouthearted.

For Your Consideration

What does "stouthearted" mean to you?

What situations are deflating your strength. What do you need to ask God for?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sometimes It Takes Darkness to Appreciate the Light

Darkest night helps us see billions of sparkling stars. But we can appreciate that treasure only if there are no obstructing clouds.

The dark night of the soul is like that. A heavy heart, a burdened mind, and a crushed spirit become opportunities to encounter powerful light when we bring each situation, each emotion to the cross of Jesus Christ.

When we come to the end of ourselves, exhausted from lugging burdens God did not design us to carry, we  lift our tear stained faces toward the Creator of both night and light. Even a limp reach for Jesus Christ with a genuine desire for reconciliation brings the wind of God's Spirit that blows those clouds out of the way.

God's prevailing grace wipes away our tears, forgives confessed sin, and reveals the marvelous power of the cross.

For Your Consideration

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them (Isaiah 42:16, NIV).

Can you celebrate a time when your darkness was changed to light as you called out for the LORD?

If you are currently under a dark sky, please call to your Lord Jesus Christ. He will send the Holy Spirit to help you.