Which nature do you view yourself through?
By that, I’m asking if you view yourself through the lens of your old nature or your new nature?
I was not the mom that I wish I had been when my kids were little. I so badly wanted to parent well, but all I saw at the end of the day were my parental flaws. I yelled instead of patiently asking questions. I accused instead of looking at my children’s heart motives. I responded with anger instead of gentleness and love.
For years regret tormented me. I so badly wanted to go back and undo all my mistakes and re-parent with the love and understanding I have now. Read More…
How badly do we want to belong?
I believe we come hardwired with a desire to belong. To feel connected.
Some of us crave it more than others—–which is probably based on how secure we felt growing up and how deeply connected we are to others right now in our lives.
For those of us with strong, loving relationships, we don’t notice the pulsating need to belong. It’s only when we lack those relationships does that aching need surface.
When I was a junior in high school, my parents transferred me from our small, rural high school of one hundred twenty-five students, to a thriving school of twelve hundred. It was a radical change for me and I felt terribly insecure and alone. Sixteen is a rough age for an introvert to try to slip into social circles that are already firmly established. Read More…
How often do we crawl back into the prison of condemnation?
Why can we not believe that Jesus has truly freed us from it?
When we hear of abuse done to the innocent, it moves us to righteous anger. We want the perpetrators punished for the injustice.
But how would we feel if rescuers were sent in and the abused girl just shook her head and said no…choosing to stay with her violators?
Has the feeling of condemnation become so familiar that we’ve bought into the lie that we deserve punishment? That we have to suffer to prove we understand the severity of our infraction? Or that we have to “do” something to make up for it?
When we live in that place, we live opposed to truth. We have aligned ourselves with the enemy and his lies. We are choosing to agree with him, rather than the One who gave His life to rescue us. Read More…
Have you truly experienced God’s love?
I mean, have you felt His pleasure in you? Just for being you?
Not because you purchased someone’s groceries, or gave up your seat on the bus, or let an injustice slide past without picking up an offense.
Has your heart experienced the pleasure of Him smiling over you?
When we experience His love, we can’t help but smile at everyone around us. We can’t contain the love filling us and it spills over as joy onto others.
What would it be like if we walked through life feeling God’s pleasure and love for us? Even when we messed up?
Of course, we won’t always feel His love in an experiential way. But sometimes the knowing creates the experience. Read More…
How do people experience us?
Honestly, I’m not sure I’d like to know how some people experience me.
There was that time, many years ago, when I got really irritated with an employee at a pizza parlor. Words are my gift and if I’m not connected with Jesus I can draw more than a little blood. I called back and apologized and she was so grateful. The level of her gratefulness painfully revealed how she had experienced me.
Each one of us is wired for a different purpose in the kingdom. Some of us bend easily, like grass blown in the wind, when someone pushes too hard. Others push back. Neither is wrong. All temperaments were created by God, just some need more polishing to let love shine through when they need to stand firm.
I used to think I was right about most everything and that it was my responsibility to educate those around me. Fast forward many years, and lots of skinned knees, and I’ve gained some wisdom and maturity to recognize that each of us views things based on the lens of our spiritual giftedness and our upbringing. Each uniquely different. Read More…
Is it our job to motivate God to answer our prayers?
Somehow, in my growing up years, I picked up the concept that it’s my fervor and persistence that will move God to answer my pleas.
And rarely were those fearfully motivated prayers answered the way I desired.
So, the obvious reason my prayers lay unanswered on heaven’s floor, was I wasn’t fervent and persistent enough. But I found that amping up desperate prayers is exhausting. And not any more fruitful.
So how does prayer work? Why do we petition God when He is powerful enough to move mountains without our input or help?
I don’t have answers, but I do have some thoughts and amazing experiences of prayers answered. Read More…
What is our assignment as believers?
Most of us would quote Matthew 28:16-20, the passage where Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world preaching the gospel and making disciples of men.
God desires to send us out to spread the good news and reveal the Father’s love to lost and hurting people. Just like Jesus did.
But I wonder if we miss a key component when we are trying so hard to accomplish this feat?
Where does the greatest commandment fit into the picture?
Six chapters earlier in Matt. 22:36-40, Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all of your being. And the second greatest is to love yourself and those around you.
I wonder if we get so fixed on pleasing God that we jump to the great commission and skip over its crucial foundation? Read More…
Do we live as orphans or as God’s children?
God’s been shining light on an area I thought I had more freedom in. He exposed a giant crack all the way across my heart.
I know what an orphan is in the body of Christ. They work really hard for love and acceptance. And they carry a hollow place inside that never gets filled. All their hard work and effort goes to proving they are worthy of love and to hiding their faults (1 Cor. 2:12).
It can be hard to know if we live from an orphan spirit when we have so much head knowledge about God’s love for us. It’s our hearts that determine whether we believe it.
Liking who we are is one indicator to whether we have that spirit or not. Can we gaze in the bathroom mirror and smile with genuine warmth and affection at the face looking back? Read More…
The other day I found myself praying like a beggar instead of a daughter.
“Please be with them. Please help them.” It was a default prayer. I had a concern and pushed the play button on my auto-recorded prayers. The ones from yesteryear when I didn’t believe God would really listen unless I tugged on his robe long enough to get His attention.
And then I would have to pray frequently and fervently enough to draw that attention onto my concern. I lived in a place where I believed I was more concerned about my issues than He was. That was my faulty belief system.
I was picking cherry tomatoes from my tiny little garden (think big plot, few plants and an abundance of weeds skirting my broccoli and peppers) when I caught myself doing this. I crunched down on a sun-warmed tomato and pushed stop on the orphan prayer.
Why was I praying like that? Did I really need to petition God for His attention when He is wholly focused on my life and the lives of those I love? And cares even more than I do. Read More…
How do we battle the enemy? And who is the true enemy?
When I was growing up, hearing anything related to satan and his demons scared the bejeebers out of me. I didn’t want to think about him, let alone say his name out loud for fear of attracting a hellacious attack.
After college, I learned that while satan is very real, believers have been given the power and authority to defeat him. Unfortunately, many of us lack understanding when it comes to spiritual warfare and end up getting our hinnys kicked by not showing up for the fight.
We are in a battle for our minds. Satan is masterful at planting thoughts and manipulating our emotions. And since we tend to believe our thoughts and feelings originate with us instead of questioning where they come from (2 Cor. 10:5), we end up putting our oars in the boat and floating along where he wants to take us.
What would happen if we challenged our negative thinking?
Satan is crafty and I believe he’s pulled the wool over the eyes of the world and the church. Read More…