Joyful Prayer in the Midst of Trouble

“I will sing of the LORD’s unfailing love forever! 
Young and old will hear of your faithfulness. 
Your unfailing love will last forever. 
Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens”
(Psalm 89:1-2).

In the midst of his anguish, the psalmist (Ethan) begins his prayer with praise and worship. He recounts God’s majesty, power, mercy, faithfulness, and covenant that David’s descendants would reign as kings forever. Jesus is a descendant of David.

Continue reading Joyful Prayer in the Midst of Trouble

Prayerfully Pausing … A Marvelous Moment

There are times when the words don’t come. Days when I’m so distraught, that words can’t describe the depth of my pain. Nights when I’m too exhausted to pray. Hours when I’m not sure what to pray. Minutes when I realize that the compromise soured. Friend, have you been there? What if the perplexing moments, the seconds that cause us to pause, are the touchpoints that God uses to lead us to joy?

The art is in the pause … the prayerful pause.

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Continue reading Prayerfully Pausing … A Marvelous Moment

Prepare Him Room … A Review

Susie Larson’s Christmas gift to readers is a new Advent devotional that walks the reader through the book of Luke, taking us on the less-traveled path of self-reflection and resetting our priorities because of the life-changing gift that Jesus offers to each of us. “He not only offers us His presence, He offers us His very life” (Susie Larson).

Often, we’re distracted with our Christmas preparations. Have you begun to think of all the gifts, decorations, food, celebrations, cards, and toys you need for Christmas? When we become so distracted with our to-do lists in preparation for the season, we find no room for the holy moments that prepare us to receive our Savior and blessed King of Glory. 

In Prepare Him Room, Susie Larson explores the book of Luke in a unique way. She invites us to push away the clutter of the world’s Christmas season and refocus our priorities. In other words, Larson asks readers to fast from distractions and clutter. She challenges us to feast on King Jesus.

Fast from distractions and clutter. Feast on King Jesus.

Larson approaches the season in a different way in this beautiful devotional. She walks us through the book of Luke, a chapter a day for 24 days. Readers meditate on the chapter in light of God’s gift to the world – Jesus.

Each devotion ends with a prayer that helps the reader prepare room for Jesus and a prompt to fast from worldly distractions like impatience, a commercialized holiday, worry, and much more.

This prayerful devotional might be what you and others around you need to prepare room for Jesus this Christmas. It was for me.

I received a complimentary advance reader copy for my honest review. 

Father, thank You for Susie Larson’s unique approach to preparing our hearts and spirits for memorializing the coming of our Savior into the world to bring us life eternal. Thank you for Susie Larson. Bless her with an advent season that is fuller and deeper with You at the heart of the season. Bless each reader so that they take action to prepare room for Jesus this Christmas in their hearts and homes. May You be honored by this. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How are you preparing room for Jesus this Christmas?

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Before You Were Born

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.”
Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)

Five long years of waiting to have a baby while Keith completed law school. Finally the day came to begin trying to have a baby.

In those days, women who thought they might be pregnant had to wait for awhile to find out. There was the lab test, a few days of waiting for the result, and then a call from the doctor.

It didn’t take long. Soon, I knew Kristin and started calling her Kristin, even though pregnant women didn’t regularly have ultrasounds back then. Most didn’t know the sex of the baby until the baby was born. But I knew. Everyone, including the doctor, tried to talk me out of referring to this beautiful baby in my womb as a girl. I didn’t know her like God knew her, but I knew her as Kristin.

God knew every cell in her body. He knew every day of her life and loved her. Every moment of her life had been planned. She was His masterpiece and created for good works, which He equipped her for, just as He delights in you as His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).

Friend, before you were born, God’s thoughts about you were more than you can count. He formed you in love. He knows your every thought, and He still loves you.

Before you were born, God knew you intimately.

Because God loves you, He sent Jesus into the world to repair our relationship with God. That relationship was hurt when we didn’t obey God’s commands. It’s like when we hurt a friend or family member. There’s a price to pay and forgiveness to be given.

The price for not obeying God is separation from Him. We chose to go our own way and sin against God. He grieves but honors our wishes. But He provides a way to turn from our sins and draw near to Him.

Jesus, our Creator and Savior, shed Himself of His glory for awhile and entered the world as a baby. He taught God’s ways, healed the sick, raised the dead, worked miracles, and paid for our sins. He took your sins and my sins upon Himself in a painful death on the cross. He was buried, but three days later, He rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God speaking on behalf of all who accept Him as Lord and Savior.

He holds out a free gift – life with Him forever. There’s nothing we can do to earn eternal life with God … it’s the free gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). We just have to accept this gift and open it.

Won’t you accept this free gift from the God who knew you before you were born and loved you? The God who knows your every thought, your every sin and fault, and still loves you. The God who wants you to live with Him forever in Paradise.

You can unwrap that gift right now.

Pray with me

God, I have not followed Your commands. I have sinned against You. Please forgive me. I want this gift of salvation. I want to spend eternity with You. I know that You know me better than I know myself and You still love me. You can make me new. I know that Jesus took my sins upon Himself and paid the price I owed. I accept Him as my Savior and Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

May I pray for you?

Father, thank You for this dear one who accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior. Fill those who just started walking with You and those who have walked with You for many years with Your wisdom, Your love, and Your peace. Guide us, Lord. For You knew us before we were born. You fearfully and wonderfully formed us into Your masterpieces. You knew our days before we were born, and You equipped us to accomplish Your works that are always good. We rejoice in You and honor You. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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You Are Not a Mistake

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