For us, this may mean clearing out a closet and storing stuff elsewhere so we can have a tiny private room to pray in. It may mean putting a desk or kneeler in some place off the most beaten paths of our homes. Wherever we set it up, it should be sacred and have the accoutrements conducive for prayer.Read More
Go hide yourself.
That was God’s word to the prophet Elijah and the short phrase that helped to make meaning of the season I had just entered into, a season that would make prayer as vital as eating. I would love to share a more glamorous entry into this life dependent on abiding prayer, but desperation was my gateway.Read More
Learning prayer is a meandering path for many Christians. My journey with God in prayer has taken me from a period when I dismissed prayer as unnecessary to the present where prayer has become an integral part of each day. Along the way were long stretches of inconsistent time with God followed by short bursts of focused effort. On my own I tried my best to learn how to pray by reading books on prayer. “I need to pray! So, I’ll read a book about prayer.” Huh?
However, what I needed to do was actually pray. Learning comes in doing. You learn to play the guitar by playing the guitar. You learn to swim by swimming. You learn to cook by cooking. You learn to pray by praying. Jesus knew this.Read More
"...I was so inwardly stirred by this thought I had to seek God concerning it. There was a lesson here I knew I didn’t want to miss. As I prayed and searched the Scriptures, I came to this conclusion: if soldiers of this world can be game-changers on their battlefields, how much more should Christians be game-changers on their battlefields?"Read More
Amen seems the token conclusion of our prayers, but in reality it is the reason our prayers can be prayed, for in it lies the hope for their answers. Answers to prayer are made possible in Jesus who is named The Amen.Read More
Not long ago, a man I did ministry with here in Chattanooga, Anton, went into cardiac arrest. Then things only got worse: he was put into a medically induced coma, was 100% on a breathing machine, and worst of all, the front portion of his brain ceased functioning. Anton’s family was facing the question of letting nature take its course, or putting him in a nursing home for the rest of his life...Read More
God’s original plan and continued desire is that from our earliest moments, an approving face-to-face would be one of the vital means of nurturing a healthy identity, having an understanding of intimacy, and acquiring a deep sense of well-being - of shalom*.Read More
If you have found yourself in a season of isolation, loneliness, dryness, loss, emptiness, feeling like things have been stripped away, take courage. It’s in that very place that the Lord often reveals the majestic sound of His voice, the tender provision of miracles, and uses the harshness of the wilderness to shape us into His people of power, prophecy, worship, and ministry.Read More
So where, beside the theological, do we find the presence of God - where there is fullness of joy?
Well, certainly we shall find it as our souls migrate to the life after this one. But finding the places in life where the presence of God exists is also an unmistakable reality not far off into the future, if we have time and the discipline to pursue Him.Read More
When things swiftly go to pot or we are feeling suddenly oppressed, it is worth asking the simple question, “Could this be spiritual warfare?” Warring not against flesh and blood but spiritual enemies requires us to develop prayer lives capable of combating such forces.Read More
When you close your eyes and recall the faces of those who have most profoundly shaped your life, how are they looking back at you? Is their expression kind or harsh? Loving or angry? Happy to see you? Or displeased?
Let’s face it. It matters.Read More
Years ago, while still in college, I remember being furious with God. For months I had been praying for an answer to a specific question I had about a difficult situation in my life, and had only been met with silence. Even more offensive to me was the fact that God had provided clear, direct answers to a myriad of other things I had been praying about during this time period—we’re talking the kind of answers that make you look up to Heaven and say, “WOW! There is a God!”
So why in the world was He remaining silent concerning this issue?Read More
I wonder how much we would grow in our own sense of worth, security and identity if we were just to allow ourselves to be fully present to God, even for just that prescribed 30 minutes a day. Just cognitive of His awareness of me --that he sees all of me, hears what is spoken and unspoken and intimately knows and loves me.Read More
Two weeks ago I went through a life-threatening, traumatic and extremely frightening experience. I hadn’t done anything to provoke or deserve the intrusion and as many innocent victims understand, the feeling of powerlessness and fear leaves scars and leaves you wondering if it’s possible to return to the state of mind and heart that existed before the event. To be honest, at this point I feel like I may never see the world in the same way again. I don’t feel it necessary to describe the event as I write, but I do want to speak into what I’m learning from it.Read More
“THIS IS NOT OKAY!”
The dam of emotion broke as her verdict was pronounced.
I don’t fully understand why those words brought so much comfort to our family, but they did. Perhaps she nailed the conviction we were too weak to scream. Perhaps it spoke solidarity: we were not alone.Read More
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I spent a lot of time working out in my parents’ garden. See, I was struggling with depression, and being able to put my hands in the dirt, root up the bad stuff, create new flower beds, plant new things, and tend to them brought so much wonderful healing to my life. I found so many “life lessons” in gardening.Read More
Cue images of beauty pageant queens proclaiming their desire for world peace, bumper stickers with “imagine whirled peas,” tie-dye and peace signs, and some nebulous inkling of sunrises and calm water and doves.
What even is peace?Read More