Pray Ave

Matthew 6:5-13  “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This then, is how you should pray:

” ‘ Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

One of the greatest gifts we have been given is the ability to communicate with our Lord, the creator of the universe! How mind blowing is that? The one who breathed life into all of creation takes the time to not only listen, but respond to your requests.

May you find peace as you travel down your Prayer Avenue!

 

The Dog Days Of Summer

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2 Timothy 4:2-5  Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 

As we walk through the long, hot days of summer, know that you are not walking alone. Jesus is with you through every season of life. Listen to his calming voice in the sounds of summer. He will protect you from overheating if you slow down enough to find shelter in him.

May your summer days be filled with laughter, joy, praise and thanksgiving!

 

The Verses That Keep Me Up at Night

James 3:1-2  Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. 

Last week I attended the Northwestern Christian Writers Conference in St. Paul. It was amazing! I was most inspired by Kathleen Kerr who spoke during my first break out session. She didn’t sugar coat her message as she reminded me of the responsibility I have as a Christian writer to share Jesus’ story of truth and hope.

Jesus taught many truths through story telling. I learned about Jesus through story telling in Sunday School when I was just a small child. Stories make a difference in lives every day. How will you tell your story of Jesus’ impact on your life? You have a unique voice. No one can tell the story of Jesus the way you can. What if John never told his story. Instead he said “yeah, I have nothing more to say, Matthew, Mark and Luke have already said it all”. We never would have heard John’s story.

Is it worth it? You bet it is! If just one life is changed by the words I write, it is all worth it. What Bible verses keep you up at night? Praise God for those verses. He is speaking directly to you!

Watch Your Step

Psalm 37:23-24  If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

In London, when I traveled on the Tube, every time the doors opened a prerecorded message announced “Mind the gap” (with a great English accent, of course). In Indiana, when I traveled on a train, every time I boarded, I saw a “WATCH  YOUR STEP” sign on the steps. Warnings are everywhere reminding me to choose careful footing so I don’t fall.

In Psalms I am reminded that it is OK if I stumble. The Lord has my back. He will catch me with his hand! Think about it….. I stumble every day. But that is OK. Because of Jesus redeeming grace, I am caught, loved and set back on my life’s path!

This week as you walk through life, I pray your steps are firm. If you stumble, fall into the hands of Jesus. He will lift you up.

 

Firecracker Faith

Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot. Be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

We spent the 4th of July weekend at my sister’s house on a lake in Wisconsin. Every night we were there, after dark people began shooting fireworks over the lake. It was spectacular watching the dark sky illuminate with the most beautiful colors. Each explosion was unique in its individual beauty.

May your faith light up the lives of everyone you meet. Let your love for Jesus explode in this dark world like the 4th of July!

Fruit In Season

Psalm 1:3  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

One of my favorite summer activities is picking strawberries. OK, really I enjoy eating fresh strawberries while I pick them. Our boys began this summertime activity the year they were able to hold a basket. We would work our way down the strawberry field rows until our baskets and tummy were full.

A wise person will plant themselves close to Jesus. As their roots grow deep they will begin to bear fruit. Summer is the perfect time to become deeply rooted in the soil of God’s Word.

May you enjoy nourishment from the sweet fruits of summer!

Time To…..

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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8  There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Have you ever experienced those times when life seems to be whirling at a fast pace and everything seems to be changing? Our family is in one of those season right now. We have children moving in and out of our home. Friends moving to new states and family moving across the country. It all feels a little overwhelming.

I find comfort in Ecclesiastes knowing that God has a time for everything in our lives. Life is crazy right now, but there will be a time when things slow down enough to catch our breath.

Today I will enjoy the time I am given as I live out my faith. I pray that you are able to enjoy your time this summer doing what you love, with those you love.