Tag Archives: Prayer

Prayer is talking to God. Just that simple. The power of prayer is not knowing about it…it’s in doing it! God still answers prayer…but do we still pray. Jesus taught His disciples, “when you pray” not if you pray. Prayer connects believers with God and the resources of heaven. What a privilege we have to pray.

I’ll Grow Again- Strength

I’ll Grow Again

The shortest route and his all too frequent business trips took Normand down the same road, past the same houses, past the same ponds and past the same trees. But one day Normand noticed a strange looking tree. He felt that there was a message in the tree, but he didn’t stop. 

 

After a while of persistent reminders, Normand stopped long enough to take a picture, no doubt it was a strange sight. One that I probably would have never even noticed. Maybe he wouldn’t have either, but God had something to say to Normand.

 

Down But Not Out

If you look closely you’ll see that the tree had experienced a terrible storm. Maybe it was one of the hurricanes that had stomped through that area, leaving a trail of devastation. Maybe it was a really bad thunderstorm or a sudden twister, but regardless of what the storm was called it knocked that massive tree completely down. The tree thundered to the ground, tree limbs crashed and shattered and scattered and withered and died. Most of the roots were uprooted, exposed to dry and die in the hot, southern summer heat.  Only one limb survived the crash, soon it began to show signs of death. First the leaves withered and dropped and then the limb completely died of malnutrition.

 

The massive trunk of the fallen tree was down, but it wasn’t dead. It had roots that went deep into the ground. Those roots were bringing nourishment to that fallen tree and it began to grow new branches. Branches and limbs that turned upward, reaching for the sun! Erect limbs, strong limbs, full and lush like the original tree. When I look at the tree, I don’t hardly even see the trunk that still  lays prostrate on the ground. I see the beauty of a lush tree, sprawling branches that produce a haven for wild animals. A place where cows can escape the glaring sun and ruminated in its shade. It might have been taller if it hadn’t been knocked down by a storm, but the fact that it endured the storm and thrived afterward is a message that surpasses just being tall.

 

As Normand studied the picture, God gave him a precious message. Sometimes trouble comes that absolutely knocks you down to the ground. Sometimes storms so furious hit our lives that they would absolutely destroy us, except for one thing–there are some roots still in the ground. And for a believer those roots are rooted deep in the Word of God and the love of God. Those roots bring life and hope. Those roots bring nourishment and peace. Those roots bring encouragement and strength. And as that life flows into the trunk, the tree begins to grow. It’s so gradual no one, except the tree even notices. It’s even too slow to be captured on one of those time-lapse videos. It’s slow, but that tree is growing and it’s growing toward the sun.

 

I don’t know what has happened in your life. Maybe you’ve been knocked down so hard, that it knocked the breath out of you! Maybe it stripped you of all the beautiful things in life and you feel absolutely worthless. But that tree is a reminder, you may be down, but you’re not out– if you stay rooted in the soil of God’s Word and love! It may not be the same as before, but it can be even better. Normand passed hundreds of trees that day, but he only took a picture of one tree, one tree that not only survived the storm, but thrived after it. And so can you. You may be down, but honey, you’re not out! And you will grow again.

 

Maybe you’re thinking, even my roots where shattered in that storm…I don’t know if I can trust God.I don’t know if I even believe that stuff anymore. My precious friend, as lovingly as I know how to say this, STOP IT! Don’t go down that road. There’s quicksand in the paths of those thought patterns. We don’t understand the why, but I can tell you, never, never for one second has God deserted you. He is with you and He wants to help you in this dark time. If your roots have been shattered, then I want to tell you…grow some more. Get in the Bible. OK, I don’t mean literally try to get in the Bible, what I should have said is get the Bible in you! Read encouraging verses. Skip over the “begats” for awhile and eat some meat from the Scriptures. (I know, I know…even the begats have a purpose, but trust me here, sink your teeth in a promise that builds you.) Declare the truth of those verses over your life, numerous times each day. Declare them and pray them until you believe them. The Scriptures should do more than feed your intellect, they are food for your soul. They should nourish you, but this only takes place when you assimilate them through thinking about them and allowing them to change the way you think.

 

Thank you Normand for stopping, for listening and for taking a picture! And thank you God for using a tree to remind me that I will grow again, even after a terrible storm.

 

Daniel 4:26 nlt But the stump and the roots were left in the ground. This means that you will receive your kingdom back again when you have learned that heaven rules.

 

Isaiah 43:2 nlt When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

 

 

 Think MISSIONAL. If you know someone that would enjoy this blog, please pass it on!

 

 

 

 

No Mayonnaise. No Pickles. Be Specific

No Mayonnaise. No Pickles.

I wanted to see the Mountain Laurels in bloom so we decided to go  to church in Spruce Pine.  As I entered the restroom a nice lady greeted me. We began to chat. She was originally from Florida too. Actually, everyone I met that day had lived in Florida at some point in their life. Here’s the story the nice lady shared with me in the restroom. She said I could share it with you, so here goes.

 

She explained they had lived in Melbourne, Florida for many years. Her husband had been an engineer at NASA. Their daughter understood the power of prayer and finding the right man was high on her agenda, so she prayed. But her prayer was incredibly specific. So specific it worried her mother. The girl prayed, “God this is what I want in a husband. I want him to be a committed Christian. (Amen) I want him to be musically inclined and love music. And…I want him to hate mayonnaise and pickles. In spite of her mother’s concern and mild protests, this is how the high school senior prayed.

 

During her senior year, God began to deal with her dad to quit his job and move to North Carolina. At the end of the school year, the family moved to North Carolina, 400 hundred miles away. They moved to Spruce Pine. A small town with only a few hundred people. There that young woman met and married a young man that loves God, and music and hates…mayonnaise and pickles. Now he is the worship leader in that church.

 

altDon’t you just love it when God’s plan comes together in such a way you just know it has to be God. There have been times in my life I prayed so specific that I knew only God could have made it come to pass. Those times are memorials that  keep me believing and standing in faith when I want to give up. Remembering those significant times stimulates my might to  fight!

 

So pray, and yes pray specific. Don’t be hesitant to tell God what you need and want. Sometimes in the process God will fine tune the prayer and narrow it’s focus with clarity and understanding. That’s how a conversation works. As God fine tunes your heart and prayers, your relationship with Him will grow. Your faith will grow. Your answers to prayer will increase. I really like that part of the process. But I also find that the richness of my relationship with Him is as precious as receiving my answer to prayer.

 

More Links on Prayer:

 

Then Why Don’t We Pray 

 

Teaching Children to Pray teach children to pray

 

Take a Leap of Faith 

 

No Might to Fight 

 

 

Think Missional! Pass this on to someone you think may enjoy it or need it.

 

Think Missional! Pass this on to someone you think may enjoy it or need it.

 

 

No Might to Fight

Kimberly made an interesting comment in my blog yesterday…”I know your prayers have helped me get back up when I wasn’t sure I had any fight left!” Her post actually fed a thought that was already rattling around inside my head.

 

clip_image001[4]Everywhere I turn I see people facing huge challenges and battles. Many of those faces reflect what I imagine young David must have seen when he approached the battlefield at Elah.

 

He was there to supply bread for his brothers and cheese to their commander. He came with youthful enthusiasm to root and cheer for his team-the Israelites.

 

But David laid down his pompoms when his expectations of what a battlefield was like was dosed with the reality of what it is. David saw men running …not in the direction he expected. They were running away from the battle. Frighten men. Trembling men, trying to hide. Hiding from a single adversary, whose voice shot arrows of terror into the hearts of the would be heroes. They were too far away to see the muscles of the giant antagonist’s neck bulge as he bellowed , “Send me a man.” But they felt the blow of intimidation with every syllable he spoke.

 

Nobody wanted to be that man—the man sent to face the giant, so they hid. They cowered. They trembled while their accuser blasted them day after day. They had no Might to Fight!”

That’s what I see in people’s faces and hear in their words. People seem to be looking for someone to fight their battle for them. And it simply doesn’t work that way. Maybe you’ve seen that same look or heard the resignation to defeat, come from the lips of tired warriors. Or maybe you’ve been there yourself, facing a battle without a clue what to do next.

 

But you must fight..there is a battle to be WON. Whether it’s a battle for your children or the nation, you must fight. Whether it’s a financial battle or a health battle or both. You cannot lay down or give up.

 

We all want victory, but victory is never automatic. I understand Jesus won the battle for us at Calvary. That victory should be our rally cry, not our excuse to be lazy. Remember the cross is our declaration of faith in the same sense that the Texans declared, “Remember the Alamo.” Remember, Calvary catapults us to take what is rightfully ours. It inspires us to stand our ground with the shield of faith and declare, “satan, you cannot have my kids. You cannot have my health. You will not steal my faith. I remember the price Jesus paid for my peace,you cannot have it without a fight. I resist you in the name of Jesus. Jesus you are my victory. You always causes me to triumph.” Victory doesn’t come without a fight.

 

In my next few blogs I want to talk about what we need to do to regain our might to fight. But before I can address the “how to get our Might to Fight back, let’s look at how we lost it in the first place. I think they fall under four maybe five categories. I’ll list them, then I’ll talk about them in the next few blogs, over the next few days.

 

Reasons we have No might to Fight.

· We loose our focus.

· We get discouraged. (That may actually be the same as loosing our focus, but I think it deserves special attention.)

· We compared ourselves or our situation to others.

· We get complacent.

· We feel hopeless.

Do you have some reasons to add to my five reasons? What have you seen that robbed people of their might to fight? Please share it in the comment section.

 

Think Missional! Pass this on to someone you think may enjoy it or need it.

 

Links on Prayer:

 

Then Why Don’t We Pray 

 

Teaching Children to Pray teach children to pray

 

Take a Leap of Faith 

 

 No Mayonnaise No Pickles

 

 

Think Missional! Pass this on to someone you think may enjoy it or need it.

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