Open Hands

“I pray to GOD —my life a prayer— and wait for what he’ll say and do.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭130:5-6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

What does it mean to pray with open hands?

It means that instead of trying to hold on to what you are afraid of letting go of, you trust God with it.

Present your request, heartache, fear and hurt to God and then let Him do what only He can do – the impossible.

Then release your expectations of how you want Him to answer it while at the same time knowing that He will. 

He is for you.

Go ahead – unclinch your fists and give it to God.

Open you hands in faith and wait for His answer.

Hope Now

Friday

What are you hoping for today?

“Wait, Israel, for GOD. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always!”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭131:3‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Hope now.

Right now.

While you wait.

While you are stuck.

Open wide your heart and let hope flood in.

Let it wash over your mind and fill your spirit to the brim.

There is no better day than today.

There is no a better time than right now.

No matter what is going on around you, hope is available to you.

Jesus died on the cross, took the punishment of sin, and rose again to eternal life.

He is alive.  He is working.  He is saving.  He is holding out eternal hope to you.

Don’t procrastinate hope, you have permission to hope now – no matter what.

 

Ready and Waiting

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“But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything.  Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.”
Isaiah 30:18

When the boys were in elementary school they got out at 2:20pm and I would try to get to the school at the latest by 2:00pm so I can get a good spot in the pickup line. If you have ever experienced the stress of picking your child up in the craziness that is the end of an Elementary school day, you know how important this is.

One day I had to pick them up early from school and as we walked from classrooms to the car, Kyle looked at all the cars waiting in line and said: “Oh, they are already here?” Then he said, “I thought you just got here right when school is out”. I said, “Nope, if I waited until then I’d be way in the back of the line, so I get here early so I can be right on time for you.”

As I pulled in to wait in the pickup line the next day, I thought about Kyle’s perception, “I thought you just got here right when school was out.”

We forget that most things are not always as they seem but only as we see them.

Just as I made a point to be at the school early so that I can be “on time” for the boys, so God is working in ways we can’t see and don’t know about in our lives. He is going ahead, preparing the way and getting His grace and power ready to be right on time in our lives.

Even as we pray, Jesus is preparing to be right on time.

I can’t see what God is doing “behind the scenes” in my life or in yours, but I know He is working. I don’t know how he is going to meet your need, but I know He will. I don’t even have to worry about the whys or hows. I only have to “wait” for Him which means to expect, look and long for Him, for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship!”

I am praying that you will experience God’s matchless, unbroken companionship today. That you will know that while you may be surprised about what is happening in your life, Jesus is not.

He is ready and waiting for you with His love, peace, victory, favor, and joy to give you what you need today.

Retreat to Advance

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The word “retreat” is a military term. It means to get off the battlefield, to quit fighting, back out and regroup.

Prayer is often a retreat.

A time to take a step back.

Flee the battlefield.

Regroup, reassess, restrategize and recover.

“May God look you full in the face and make you prosper”.

Numbers 6:26 MSG

The word for “prosper” in the original Hebrew is “shalom” and often translated as peace. It is a peace that comes after the conflict, it is a quietness after the chaos and at its core, it means the type of wholeness that comes after being broken.

Fighting the battle when you’re exhausted, wounded and discouraged never works.

Are you exhausted, wounded, or discouraged? 

Then it is time to retreat. 

To take a step back, find a quiet place with God so He can repair what is broken, remind you of His purpose and arm you with His vision to fight the battle before you.

My prayer for you today is that you would get off the battlefield and allow God to look you full in the face and love you until you feel whole. 

Jesus has given you full access to God’s presence.

Enter in and rest.

He is waiting for you.

 

Thursday Mornings

Are brutal – worse than Monday mornings for me. We work late every Wednesday night as the Student Ministry Pastors at Bayside of Citrus Heights. The better the Wednesday night, the harder it is to drag tired bodies out of bed Thursday morning. Last night was a great night at The Hub (our High School ministry). Bobby preached a powerful Illustrated Sermon and we had a guest worship team that rocked it.

Last night was awesome, therefore, this morning was brutal. I think that it is very wrong that the more tired I am, the less patience I have. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I think an extra storage of grace should automatically kick in when I am over tired – like adrenaline does when you are in shock or afraid.

From 6:30 am- 7:30 am, I have one goal: get the boys to school. Preferably clean, fed, clothed with packed lunches in hand. Each child has a few morning chores they have to do as well. This morning it was Justin’s turn to feed and water the dog. He was being extra ADHD this morning, or at least I felt like it he was. These are the mornings when I am tempted to just do things for him rather than hound and follow him from one task to the next because he WILL forget what he is supposed to be doing (at least until the meds kick in and that isn’t until he is safely at school).

(“Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them.” Proverbs 19:18 MSG was echoing somewhere in the back of my tired mind).

Halfway through the morning, he was still shirtless! It was agonizing to watch him slowly put on his shoes and socks. Finally, he was ready. I reminded him to feed the dog. I watched as he got the scoop, filled it, walked over to the bowls and (now in slow motion) watched him slide all the dry food into the water bowl.

Yes, it was that kind of morning. I am proud to report that I didn’t fly off the handle or yell and scream at him (I did all of this in my head, though) He fixed it, we gathered everything up and I took the boys to school. That hour feels like the longest hour of my life. Okay, maybe I am being a little dramatic. I get dramatic when I am tired. I know you do to.

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (Romans 8:26-28 MSG)

What are we waiting for? We are waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises. The day when faith becomes sight and heaven breaks out on earth. We are pregnant with purpose and blessed with God’s vision for our lives. It keeps us going and growing. The enemy might taunt you with “that day will never come” or “you will never grow enough to be good enough”. It is a lie – that is what he does, he lies. Until that day comes, we have a God who doesn’t expect us to be perfect beings but to be human beings.

On Thursday mornings, I don’t always know how to pray or even have words. That is okay, I can lean on God’s Spirit to help me out. He knows my condition and gently reminds me that God is present, not because I am perfect but because I am loved. It is the grace I need to know that there is no way to be the perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one.

That is when I can laugh at the dry dog food going into the water bowl and be thankful for the chance to train up a child.

I hope your Thursday is blessed with God’s grace, that you lean on His Spirit if you are tired and that you laughed along with me as I laughed at myself this morning. I love being able to sit down with you and share a few moments. I love hearing from you and knowing that you are on the other side of the screen. I love knowing that despite the distance, time and busy lives we lead, we are still connecting. Thank you!

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday (or whatever day you happen to read this on!)

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