Friday, December 31, 2010

leaving regrets at the throne

Leave any 2010 regrets at the throne. Tomorrow is a new year, a fresh start. Let's press into the One who made us, sustains us, protects us, heals us, and loves us relentlessly.

Blessings to you and yours!

Bringing it home...

What are your hopes and prayers for the coming year?

Daniel Fast-ers...

If you are beginning the year with a spiritual fast, then here are two quick things to think about before we turn to the January calendar tomorrow.

  • Determine your purpose. Remember, fasting is NOT dieting. Fasting is abstaining from foods with a spiritual purpose. Get alone with the Lord and ask Him for wisdom. Then write down your purpose(s).

  • Plan some meals. If you are joining me on the Daniel fast, then check out this website for some tips on foods to eat and foods to avoid.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

actually believing

It does not matter what it is, if He calls us to something--anything--then we can believe Him to both equip us and bless us as we take those faith-steps towards obedience.

Friends, we have an active, moving, powerful, unique, mighty, unwavering God. He filled His Word with accounts of how He works in the lives of those who believe Him.

I don't know what He is calling you towards in this coming year, but He thinks good thoughts towards you--thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Let's get into His Word allowing it to simmer in our hearts. Then, let's be radical followers who actually believe what He says. Who run the race of faith with endurance. No other life of victory exists on this planet.

I honestly love and pray for you, friend. Thanks for doing this life-thing beside me.

Bringing it home...

To what is He calling you in this coming year? Are you standing on the sidelines, walking, or running towards His call?

And if (only if) He is leading you towards beginning 2011 with the Daniel fast, then I would love to hear from you personally.

Please email me at so we can encourage one another on the journey. Faith begets faith.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the "why" from the Word

I like to be liked. I do. So posts like yesterday's post make me a little uncomfortable as I enter into the realm of "odd." In fact I ended my evening last night by asking my man if he thought I was odd. He lovingly said "yes."

So here I am. The odd girl who is about to partake of a 40-day Daniel fast. Trying to lay down the world's approval and settle back in to that audience of One.

Today I want to tell you more about what He showed me from the book of Daniel as I sought him about this crazy fasting thing. Quite a bit fell from the pages, so I am going to bullet-list it for simplicity sake.

  • Daniel 1:8-9, Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies. And God brought him into the favor of those ruling over him.

    Granted, we do not serve a king in this country, but Daniel's heart goal is what draws me--not to be defiled, stained, or polluted by the world. God then blessed him and brought him into the favor of those over him.

    On this side of Christ, we are under grace. Food itself does not defile. But our world is defiled. And one way to set ourselves apart from this world is to abstain from some of its delicacies. In this case, for me, I'm following Daniel's lead and setting aside certain food and drink.

  • Daniel 1:11-16, Daniel and his three friends asked the steward over them if they could simply eat vegetables and drink water rather than partake of the king's rich foods and drink. The steward agreed to a 10-day trial. After 10 days they appeared better than all the other men who had eaten of the king's foods. So he took away their king's portions and gave them only vegetables. It appears they did this for at least the three years of king's training that they were under (see 1:5).

    The word translated "vegetables" actually means "something sown." This is what I call "God-foods." Foods grown from the ground, free of manipulation. In my personal fast I will limit myself to eating those things that grow from the ground--fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts. God-foods.

  • Daniel 1:17-21, God blessed their setting apart. He gave them knowledge and skill and understanding so that they were 10 times "better" than all who served before the king.

    I'm not trying to be some wise-guru of sorts, but wow. I want my King to find me worthy of His best. Worthy of a taste of His knowledge and understanding. It appears that setting ourselves apart from the world at large sets us up for His pouring out, both for our good and for the glory due His name.

  • Daniel 10, just read the entire chapter. It is now approximately 60 years later. 60 years! Daniel sets out again, humbling himself before the Lord and seeking understanding. For three full weeks he eats the same way that he ate in chapter one while communing with God in prayer. And he was visited by an angelic being with a heavenly message.

    OK, so I am not expecting to be visited by an angel. I am certain I would completely freak out. But the thing that hit me here is that God moved towards Daniel as he set himself towards prayer. He communed with the God of the universe, humbling himself and seeking understanding, and the Most High responded. That. is. amazing.

  • Daniel 10:12-14, This is where it gets crazy. The "angel" explains that on the first day that Daniel began praying during his fast, this angel was sent. But that the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood him for 21 days. So Michael, one of God's chief princes, came to help him get past.

    Did you catch that?! Daniel set himself apart to humble himself and pray for understanding and an angel was sent to him. BUT, the angel had to war in the heavenly realm against evil forces of darkness. Take a breath.

    Is this not crazy?! Paul tells us of these principalities of darkness in Ephesians 6 but to think that our prayers can call down heavenly beings to war against those strongholds kinda blows me away.

So those are some things that He showed me from His word. A time of humbling, a time of setting apart from the world at large, a time of seeking His face and His understanding, a time of warring against strongholds. All for His ultimate glory and, graciously, for our good.

Bringing it home...

What thoughts does this text stir up for you personally?

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Monday, December 27, 2010

back to routine

Wow. I missed you! I missed tapping away on this computer while praying that He would overwhelm us in this little space. So, hi friend! I hope your Christmas was beautiful and that the birth of our Savior tasted sweeter this year than ever before.

My aim this week is to get back into routine, with pine needles still covering the living room carpet and snow stacked outside our doors (which equals kids at new levels of hyper). So come back tomorrow. I am going to be telling you about something very exciting!

Until then remember Who reigns in love, mercy, justice, and power. He has not forgotten or forsaken you, my friend. Believe Him faithful.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

a blog fast

I am fasting from blogging this week (though I need to be fasting from those yummy Christmas treats). And I am going to miss you guys!

I mean, really miss you!

This blog has never been a burden to me. God has called and faithfully equips me. So I can honestly say that this place is a complete blessing.

You are a blessing!

But I feel led to a moment of silence in this space. A few days to focus in on the coming celebration of our Savior when we rejoice over His stepping into time.

So until next week {sniff, sniff}, "Merry Christmas, from our family to yours."

Bringing it home...

How about you? Is He prompting you to sit something down this week that your hands may be more free to partake of His glorious coming?

I would love to hear!

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Friday, December 17, 2010

bound by His promises

It's so tempting. Something "unexpected" crosses my path and I'm tempted to question His reign. Or His love. Or His power. Or something.

When my eyes settle in on this physical world or the circumstances that enter my days, fear comes knocking. And without any real conscious effort, I'm there. I'm using what I see as the measure of Truth.

But He makes something very clear. The Lord God reigns above and beyond the day's happenings. He sits secure on His throne and remains faithful to shepherd His children. Always.

Our victory comes when we believe Him faithful.

The King of the earth is not at the mercy of those who declare laws from an earthly courtroom. The doctor's report does not bind our Lord with chains. He does not say "oops" or "I wasn't expecting that." The enemy can only go as far as He allows.

So stand firm, my friend, allowing His Truth to invade our moments.

There is One who ultimately reigns.

And He is only bound by His promises.

Bringing it home...

What circumstance tempts you to doubt God's sovereign rule today?

What causes you to question His immeasurable love and His mighty power?

There are some excruciating things in this world. Excruciating. But hope arises when we allow His Truth to invade our moments. Nothing can separate us from His love.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

quenching that parched land

Shutting Him out of the moments comes natural. The loud from our world drowns out the conversation. Things fly into our day without warning and we stand there holding hurt feelings or bad attitudes...or muddy shoes that just trailed onto the clean floor.

Then, conversation with Him fades.

by kfocus

Reacting to that fluctuating heart or that minute-hand quickly making its way around the clock comes easy. Reacting in fear or fluster or fatigue simply flows without effort.

But breathing Him in means purposeful living. The waves of Truth begin crashing again as we push His name out of our lips, even when something within us insists we keep quiet.


Maybe it's a whisper spoken in soft desperation or a shout insisting that He show up, but's conversation beginning yet again.

He created us to be in communion.

We need it to live. Like water to a parched earth.

And He looks His daughter in the eyes when she speaks, giving full attention to her precious heart. Then He meets us there. In that very moment. Quenching. Refreshing.

Bringing it home...

How can we practically bring Him into our moments today?

From the Thursday mundane to the life-altering monumental, keeping the conversation going.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

start afresh today

Wherever our feet stepped yesterday, whatever heart-attitude stole our moments, today is a new day. This day.

Covered in the fresh mercies of our Lord.

He promises to forgive us and cleanse us from all the mess-ups that we confess. From shortness with our spouse to major breaches in confidences, He washes clean.

How thankful that makes me. Though a speck of dust, I am beloved of my Maker. And so are you. His patience and loving kindness overwhelms.

Bringing it home...

Do you have anything that needs confessing?

First talk with Him, then ask forgiveness from anyone else that may have been hurt.

Clear the slate. Start afresh. Today is a new day.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

circle and star the day



Prayer vigil scheduled in Greensboro, NC, Westover Church, 6:30-7:30, on 1.11.11.

Would love to see you there



A date to mark on our calendars.

A date for our hearts to pause,

our knees to hit the ground,

and our lips to speak for the speechless.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

In preparation, I am personally partnering with Abolition!
for a month of focused prayer.

The statistics are horrific and the task humanly impossible, but we serve the God who reigns supreme. These are spiritual battles--evil strongholds--and we must raise weapons mighty in Him for these chains of bondage to crumble.

The God who parted the seas and tore down city walls, did so when His people marched forward by faith.

By. Faith.

Would you join us in believing Him for the victory?

Would you ask Him how He wants to use your hands and feet
in this battle against injustice?

Would you stand with us with wartime mentality
to abolish this travesty of our day?

You. can. make. a. difference.

  • Be informed. Read. Surf the web. Discover. Start at Abolition!.

  • Find local agencies serving out of your own city and contact them. Ask them how you can help. They need workers. The fields are ripe for harvest.

  • Give time and resources (and cash).

  • Tell others. How will they know unless we speak?

  • PRAY! Pray. Cry out for those who have no voice. He hears the prayers of His children. And He responds.

He uses us to bring His glorious Light into the dark corners of our world.

Link up below if you grabbed a button and posted it on your own blog or website.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

winter wonder slam

My man and I joined some friends last night for the Winter Wonder Slam tour featuring Toby Mac, Skillet, and Shonlock. Wow. Not only was the worship amazing, but the entertainment factor blew me away. Fun times.

{Here is where I would insert
a picture of us at the concert
if I could figure out how to
upload photos from my phone

So today, I press through with lack of sleep.

Enjoy some clips...(from You Tube, not my phone).

Click here if you have trouble viewing.

Click here if you have trouble viewing.

Click here if you have trouble viewing.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

discipline from a heart of love

It started with a mom who dedicated her son to the Lord. A mom. And the Lord held him close, bringing to pass all the words that fell from his mouth. (See 1 Samuel 1-3) I want that.

I'm an optimist. I like to find the silver lining on that grey cloud pouring treacherous rains. But parenting is hard! Plain and simple. (And we aren't even close to the teenage years!) Some moments it's near impossible to see through the downpour of whines and disobedience. Often coming from my own wayward heart!

graphic by pritisha

But I want my kids to love the Lord. I desire that they run fast after Him. I long for them to follow His will and ways rather than chasing their fleshly whims (which could easily lead them to prison).

Then I read of Samuel, a boy dedicated to the Father by his mom, who grew in faithfulness in the midst of a dark culture. Not only that, we see him juxtaposed next to Eli's sons. Yikes. Talk about a holy fear settling in.

Here's the bottom line. God's judgment upon Eli's rebellious boys was founded upon Eli's lack of restraint. Let me rephrase.

Eli's lack of discipline with his sons
eventually led to the Father's severe judgment.

"I (the Lord) have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever." 1 Samuel 3:14

Wow. That was no time-out on the steps for poor behavior. We're talking severe smiting action.

Discipline does not always feel nice. And I like nice. I can easily come up under a weight of mommy-guilt after having to discipline my child for the 489th time over the same offense.

But our kids need firm, consistent restraint. They crave it. Behind the insistent "no!" (said with a lip sticking out and brow frowned low), they want it. They flounder into the deception of self without it.

I fail--alot--on this discipline thing. I can get too emotional, be too sensitive, or react in the heat of the moment. But He remembers we are desperate for His guidance. He wipes the slate clean. And He honors the heart desiring to dedicate our children to Him.

Keep on, my parent-friend. You are not alone.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

purposeful chains

Paul was imprisoned. Chained. His physical freedom stolen because he preached Christ. Yet he donned eternal glasses and rested secure in his Father's faithful hands. And he rejoiced.

"I want you to know, brethren,
that the things which happened to me
have actually turned out
for the furtherance of the gospel."
Philippians 1:12

He saw purpose in his chains. His chains were not arbitrary. His chains were not accidental. He had not for a moment fallen off of the radar of God's love, provision, and care. The chains were part of the furtherance of the gospel.

And joy erupted.

If we are His--inscribed on the palm of His hand through the blood of Christ--then nothing can enter our lives without ultimately being for our good and for His glory. Nothing. Even rusty, cold, lonely chains.

There are tough things in this fallen world, where evil taps on the doors of our homes, steals childhood innocence, imprisons the righteous, and breaks hearts with dreams crushed.

Standing firm on the revealed and proven character of our God gives us the foundation where hope can be awakened even chains hold tight to our wrists.

What has happened to me
has actually turned out
for the furtherance of His name...

Bringing it home...

Are you in the midst of circumstance that feels like you are chained?

How can the Truth of God's sovereign hands cause a glimmer of hope and joy to spark regardless?

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Monday, December 6, 2010

battle plan against hoplessness

Hopelessness over a thing can weigh heavy. I recently battled it in my own spirit.

Awaiting the fulfillment of a promise, falling into that same old place of sin, or getting bogged down with regret over a should've or could've--all leads to that heavy hopeless.

Thankfully He remembers that we are a dusty people. Originally crafted from dirt.

photo by ymmit22

When hopeless enters, the enemy attacks. When he sees the tears of impatience welling up, he whispers lies that insist upon our being forsaken.

Deceiving with a banter of hopelessness.

But here we have choice. Hope arises on the wings of Truth. We choose to remember the character of our God, His faithfulness in the past, and His unfailing promises. And we recite those things out-loud.

Remember. Out-loud.

My kids know when mommy needs a minute because I start preaching out-loud. When I need Truth to invade those spaces being pressed with lies, I sneak into the laundry room and hold revival.

If hopelessness weighs down, choose to remember our God--out-loud--and believe Him faithful to move again and again and again. Hope will rise.

Bringing it home...

Are you hopeless over a thing?

What character traits of our God or promises from His heart can you proclaim out-loud so that hope will rise?

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Friday, December 3, 2010

keeping the sacred in the season

photo by pixiechin

Do you feel the pull?

The pressure to mingle the holiness of the Advent season with all the trends of our world lingers in the pine air. It starts knocking loud at my door as Christmas draws near. But ever-so-slowly, I am starting to ignore its beckoning.

I just get tired. The insistence of lists and lines and more stuff to clutter our closets. Something deep inside desires to lay down the madness and simply breathe in the stillness of that quiet morn when the Light entered into the darkness...and set things aflame.

Take two minutes and 39 seconds to watch this video about the

Advent Conspiracy.

No more of my words are needed.

Click here for a direct link if you have trouble viewing the video.

Bringing it home...

How about you? What do you do to keep this season sacred?

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

my near collision with the ground

by jotusico

I about bit the dust in the grocery store yesterday. With a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a box of Life cereal in the other, I took eight steps in slow motion while flailing to prevent my teeth from meeting with the floor. It was movie-quality drama mixed with gymnastic brilliance. Miraculously I never fully fell.

OK, I admit it. Those so-cute boots instigated the event. The heel is only an inch tall but the soles are as slick as ice. Did I mention how cute the boots are? In the matter of seconds, material was captured on the hidden cameras that could win someone millions.

When I reached the end of the aisle, I limped to the cashier while swiping my hair from my eyes and straightening my clothes. And by the time I made it to the parking lot, the laughter overtook me. It was hilarious.

Unfortunately by late afternoon the pain set in and by dinner I couldn't even walk. In fact I have been crawling.


I stopped. I had to. I left the laundry sitting patiently in the dryer. My man ordered pizza. And my foot stayed elevated.

My kids were precious. The doctored me, cuddled with me, brought me my plate, and snuggled on the floor before bedtime. They even had sympathy pains and practiced their hopping on one foot.

And (you know me) I cannot help but hold this instance up next to the Truth of my God.

Obviously He allowed it. He doesn't say "oops" or "oh, man, how did that happen?" He didn't push me down, but the movement of my feet were not outside of His realm of control.

He is God.

He is sovereign,



and motivated by love.

I actually think He held me up so my face didn't break against the concrete.

So if He allowed it, then I believe there is something I can learn from this slowing down. Something that is for my good and His ultimate glory.

I want Him to invade my every moment. I want Him to change my perspective based upon His unchanging character.

So. I choose to trust and rejoice in today, even if I have to walk on my knees to get where I need to go. Even if I will be in the doctor's office by 9 a.m. to get an x-ray.

(Oh, and, all this looking at my feet makes me see how desperate I am for a pedicure. Maybe later.)

Bringing it home...

I know this ankle-thing is a trite example compared to some of the life and death, heart-excruciating pains we go through on this earth. But regardless, God remains the same.

How could meditating on the character of our God change your perspective regarding a certain situation you currently face?

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