A Prayer for Broken Moments

“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” –1 John 5:5

One soft rug finally pulled the weight out from under me. After an hour-long state of frozen emotion, a stream of hopelessness fell beside the beautiful claw-foot tub. The hand on my shoulder felt familiar and firm, present now as in other periodic breakdowns. Even honest efforts to walk in our calling can leave us vulnerable to the cling of control.

“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” –1 John 5:5

Overcome,“nikao” in the Greek context of this verse, means “to conquer: to carry off the victory, come off victorious.” John wrote his letter during an era in which believers faced death and persecution. The strength to conquer the impossible adversity they faced came from Christ.

When we stand with Jesus, He links arms with us in victory. The release of broken emotions allows us to relinquish control. A lack of forgiveness, extended or accepted, can strangle our efforts to walk in peace. A burden to be strong for others can suffocate our own ability to breathe. Un-illuminated disobedience can leave us feeling as if no effort is good enough.

Click here to continue reading …

Advertisements

A Prayer for God’s Direction

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14 (NLT)

Direction, “a purpose or orientation toward a goal that serves to guide or motivate,” has an inevitable flow in our lives. In consideration of our daily direction, the above verse from Romans aligns our internal compass with the One who breathes strength and purpose into the very muscles that compel us.

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible states that,“conclusions sometimes summarized key points in a work; love is once such point.” When we seek direction, does Love have the final say on our propelled steps? In Matthew Henry’s Commentary, he states many reasons the Corinthians were instructed by Paul to “be on guard.” There were people looking to deceive and corrupt their faith, to manipulate their direction. “A Christian is always in danger, and therefore should ever be on the watch,” Henry stated. Even today, we must stay alert to the current status of our life’s direction.

Our direction stems from faith. Paul encouraged the Corinthians to “stand firm in the faith.” Scripture tells us to take captive every thought, and to align all we hear with the truth of the Gospel. Reading Scripture daily builds godly confidence, preventing the propulsion down a path that doesn’t align with His unique purpose for our lives.

Click here to continue reading …

A Prayer for Pre-Teen Parents

I fumed about my older daughter’s lack of timeliness, as I thrust the car door open and lunged in. Her little sister sat alone in the backseat, and worried tears streamed down her face. Stunned from watching her best friend run out of her sight, her seven year old voice was as panicked as her eyes were.

“I don’t know where she went!”

The engine hummed and the door hung wide open, as I tore around the yard. We called out her name and searched the hiding places. Flashes of missing kids paraded through my mind as I ran along the edge of our property. Stopped cold, I reached into my pocket to execute every parent’s worst nightmare. 

“My daughter is …missing,” I managed to verbalize, as I ached in prayer for God to protect her.

How had we gotten here?

That morning, I allowed the one thing that my daughter struggled with to snap my patience and leverage a war on her pre-teen emotional state. As she explained herself to the three police men parked at the end of our driveway that day, a guilt that I had failed her washed over me.

Click here to continue reading …

10 Things Parents Might Not Realize they are Doing Right

Parenting is no joke. There are few people we simultaneously love and loathe more than our children. They push us to the brink of our mental capacity. It’s a lifetime commitment to foster faith in another human being. A decade into motherhood, myself, and I’m amazed at how the responsibility for another’s life has caused me to take the direction of mine more seriously.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

It’s a hard job, but all too often, we parents are too hard on ourselves. I can only pray that my children will choose to adopt a “forgive forward” philosophy. Parents, take heart, for in our weakness, we are strong. As Paul spoke of a thorn in his side, it is often our failures and mistakes that allow us to teach our children the most valuable lessons.

Here are 10 beautiful things you probably do for your children everyday without realizing it.

Click here to continue reading …

“I Declare War,” by Levi Lusko, Book Review

“You can’t live right if you don’t think right.” Levi Lusko, “I Declare War.”

We have no control over the thoughts that enter our minds daily, but we can filter them. Not every thought leads us in the right direction. Not all we hear or think about every day is true. Deciphering lies and distortion between our ears is an important life skill. It can launch us into our purpose or it can severely trip us up along way. This book meets us in that practical struggle, and provides applicable lessons to harness our thoughts.

From beginning to end, Lusko weaves personal stories into four basic lessons that are easily relatable and entertaining. The Biblical roots of the “4 Keys to Winning the Battle with Yourself,” give Lusko’s message strong legs to stand on. After reading it, I felt a little better equipped to walk boldly into my daily life than I did before. It created a renewed sense of purpose and better understanding of how hard work and Holy Spirit power work in tandem. 

The detail of the stories, especially in reference to middle school life and amazon prime, are hilarious and relatable. The book is broken up into four major sections with great take-aways, making it easy to read through quickly. Lusko’s passion for helping others tap into the power of Christ in their lives is evident, and the Scriptural teachings along the way make the inspirational tones credible and applicable. This book goes just deep enough to intrigue and inspire change, but not so much that it reads like a Bible Study or research heavy material.

I recommend this book for anyone struggling with self-confidence, doubt, anxiety, discontent, or for those simply seeking a little extra motivation to dig deep and accomplish everything God has laid out for them to do. 

“Time doesn’t change you, it just makes you more of who you are.” Levi Lusko

Click here to purchase “I Declare War,” by Levi Lusko.