October 31, 2016

DAY THIRTY ONE - Closing in Prayer - 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray!


October 31st... We made it all the way through the month and even with all the posting and writing and reading... even with the handful of days when it was more-than-usual hard and I wanted to quit... now that the end is here, well -I'm a little sad!

As I said yesterday, we'll do an actual Wrap Up post later, but today I thought it would be fitting to pray through two portions of Scripture that Jesus actually prayed while He was in flesh and blood on the earth! 

Because what better way to wrap up a series on prayer and on how when Life Happens that should be our Go-To response than to pray Jesus' words and agree with what He laid out and threw down?


This is back when Jesus just couldn't help Himself but to end every message with a mic drop.


You know... He threw down Kingdom Truth like it was His job (--it was!) ...and like it was nobody's business (--they mostly didn't get it!) and He healed and loosed and freed and loved everyone, everywhere!  


But, y'all...
  When He prayed!!!

October 30, 2016

DAY THIRTY - Listening Prayer - 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray!

One more day and we made it, friends.

I don't know about you, but Tuesdays and Sundays have been among my favorite days this month thanks to Praying the Psalms and practicing Listening Prayer together!

As I said last weekend, my hope is that God has been stirring within you a call to pray... that you are experiencing a deeper level of communicating with God through out your days and that whenever Life Happens for you... your knee jerk reaction now is to turn to God in prayer!

This is our last Sunday together... so take a deep breath, lean back and close your eyes... inhale... exhale... and then read this prayer --but don't just read it with me. 

PRAY it!

Join me once more!

***
Jesus,
As this month winds down,
and November is coming straight for us,
filled with elections and holidays and
added measures of busyness and bossiness,
of pressure and passion...
We take this moment to
Inhale deep and Exhale slow...
and we set our eyes and our hearts
and our hope on You!


Lord, before we seek anything else...
we seek Your face
Before we ask for what we need
(which You know of already)
or what we want...
we simply ask to sit
and spend time with You!

October 29, 2016

DAY TWENTY NINE -The Power and Importance of UNITY (31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray!)

It's our LAST Saturday together, sweet readers!
Well, during this Series anyway! 

I normally do not write on the weekends... nor do I normally write THIS many posts in a week (or a month!)  But you have endured... or stopped by whenever you were able.  Please know that if you want to read the whole series or catch up on any that you may have missed along the way, you can click HERE for a Landing Page for 31 Days of Life Happens and so We Pray! 

Today, as we wrap up our week focused on the Church... well, how could we not talk about the Power and Importance of Unity, right?

It's so important!

In fact, we are going to pray through Jesus' prayer for us found in the Gospel of John on Monday, but the fact that as the hours were ticking down, what the Lord was crying out to the Father for, for us, was Unity.  



He's crying out for that still... 

October 28, 2016

DAY TWENTY EIGHT of 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray!

Can I be real with y'all? I know I can... I am tired and I am trying to push through the last couple of days of this #Write31Days challenge early so I can actually have a weekend.  As in... I don't think we have anything on our calendar that is bossy other than a couple of things that actually FEED my soul. Praise God and Hallelujah!

So when I saw the prompt for tonight, even though I am feeling all the feels of almost reaching the end... well, I got nothing, folks.

So who can know what will spill out or how if I will be able to tie it in to the series, but that is what this whole Five Minute Friday crew is all about, right? Set the timer... and just see what happens! Let's go!

This is Five Minute Friday (- a five minute timed free write) and our One Word Prompt for the day is: EAT


{GO}

At first, I am at a loss.

How do I use "Eat" in this series about Prayer... 

Then, of course... He reminds me...

He reminds me of Matthew 6, where Jesus tells us to not worry so much about the things He knows we are in need of! He tells us not to worry about what we will eat or what we will wear... I love how it reads in The Message...




October 27, 2016

DAY TWENTY SEVEN - Life Happens (Outside the Walls of Church) ...and so we pray!

Happy Thursday, y'all!

Day Twenty Seven.  Can you even believe it? We are almost done with our series, 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray!

This week we have been talking about church... as in, The Church... and how Life Happens. We have prayed for our pastors and leaders, prayed through Psalm 84, and we talked a bit about what we should find INSIDE the walls of the church. (Hint... family.  We should find family.)

Today we're going to talk a little about how we are Kingdom people and how we are called to be OUTSIDE the walls of our churches, too.


We gather INSIDE, to fill up, encourage, teach and learn, and grow as a family to be refreshed and sent back OUTSIDE of the walls to live our lives out loud!

We know the Scriptures tell us that the church is called to be a city on a hill.... to be Light that shines in the darkness... to be in the world, not of it. 


We know this... but we don't always DO it!

As we've been saying all week, we sometimes forget that we ARE the Church! She's us... we are Her... and I believe that we are entering in to a time and a season where the Lord is asking us to gather, yes... but it is in order to go back out!

I think He has always asked this of us... but I feel like the time is NOW to actually stop talking about the Kingdom stuff... all those Red Parts in your Bible... and to actually start stepping out and DOING them!

October 26, 2016

DAY TWENTY SIX - Life Happens (Inside the Walls of Church) ...and so we pray!

On Monday, we talked about Pastors and Leaders and I encouraged y'all to be praying for the people who fill that role in your own lives. On Tuesday, we prayed through a Psalm, and today we're going to dive right in and talk about how Life Happens inside the walls of Church and again, our best plan is to turn to prayer.

Life Happens all. the. time. in the Church, right?

We know it does!

I think we have all gone beyond searching for the perfect church, yes?  I wrote Monday about how we are ALL human... so we will all fail. 

And yet... let's try not to! 



Let's try to be the Church that purposes to speak life... to be love... to shine on! Let's be hope bringers and Kingdom releasers... Let's be the first to offer grace and forgiveness, to lift up and love wholeheartedly. Let's represent our good, good Father in how we not only treat the world, but in how we treat each other, too!

Let's remember that if we are believers of and in Jesus, then we are ONE Body, we have ONE Lord, ...we are adopted in and called Sons and Daughters and we are the family of God... the Bride of Christ!

And I don't know about your family, but in my family? Well... in my family, Life Happens!

The same is true in the Family of God inside the walls of the church...

October 25, 2016

DAY TWENTY FIVE of 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray! Praying the Psalms

I don't know about you but I know for me, I am sort of sad that this is our last Tuesday together this month!

I have really enjoyed praying the Psalms together with y'all!



As I said before, picking favorites is not my strong suit... but when it comes to talking about the Church... how could we not take on --and pray through-- Psalm 84?

October 24, 2016

DAY TWENTY FOUR - Praying for Our Pastors and Leaders... 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray!

I hope you prayed along with me yesterday, practicing a bit of Listening PrayerIf you heard something from the Lord while praying, I'd love to hear! 

Before we dive right in to how Life Happens when it comes to church life, I want to give this little, strange disclaimer:

I am a Pastor.

As in... for real.




My Honey and I are Associate Pastors and if you hang out here, this is not new news...

But here's the thing: 
   It still sort of freaks us out.

I mean... we have pastored for all of our years because that is just who we are!  We believe that ALL of us are called and gifted and the days of full-time, us-and-them, build-myself-a-ministry, one-man-shows are over.  It may have been nice when it lasted for some, but I think most of us are happy to say Buh-Bye to those days! #ByeFelicia

We have now been in full time ministry for a little while and even though we spent the majority of our years with God in leadership with the Church -- sometimes inside, and sometimes outside, Hello! --  there is some small shift when you step in to the 'official' role of pastoring.

We always prayed for our leaders and felt our call was actually not just to pour into the people God would set in front of us, but to pour into the pastors and leaders God placed over us as well. 

We knew it was hard to pastor and lead... but we had no idea, really...

October 23, 2016

DAY TWENTY THREE - Listening Prayer

Hello again, Sunday, and welcome, my friends!

I have been really enjoying our little Listening Prayer times together on Sunday mornings! I love that you have been praying along! 

My hope is that throughout the entire series, God has been stirring in you a desire to pray. And that He has reminded you that Prayer is important, that is essential and is a weapon we can use in the battles we face!  

I hope that you have been awakened to the call to pray --for yourself, for friends and family, for all kinds of healing, and for the church.  Yeah. We'll dive into praying for the Bride of Christ this week and it's going to be fun!

Today, however, we have a few minutes set aside to simply come and meet with Him!

Join me, won't you?

***

Jesus,
This week has been hard.
We have lugged around some heavy burdens...
some yokes that are not easy...
Maybe we forgot a little bit
that You still hold this whole world
in the palm of Your hands.


We are so very thankful that,
as always,
You stand before us,
offering a trade!

October 22, 2016

DAY TWENTY TWO - When Healing Requires Forgiveness

Happy Saturday, friends!

Saturdays in October are among my very favorite things! I hope you are taking time this month not only to pray, but also to enter in to a bit of Rest. That means different things to different people. For some, Sabbath Rest may include gathering with friends and reconnecting over a meal or a fun activity... for others, a quiet corner on the couch with a good book will do just fine, thank you!

Today as we wrap up this week focused on Healing, I wanted to give a quick recap as well as dive in (briefly) to one of the biggest things that often stands in the way of our fully receiving our Healing.


Yeah... we're gonna deal with a root of bitterness and the stranglehold of unforgiveness (...briefly!) #insertwinkyemojihere 

October 21, 2016

DAY TWENTY ONE of 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray! PARK - A Five Minute Friday post

I normally set Thursday evenings aside to connect with my tribe at #fmfparty over on Twitter before Kate gives us the prompt, however My Honey and I were asked to help take care of three of the most amazing tiny humans on earth, sooo... (I missed y'all!)

This is Five Minute Friday (- a five minute timed free write) and our One Word Prompt for the day is: PARK


{GO}

I missed out on the party tonight on Twitter because, yet again, we were double triple-booked.

It's fine.  It was something we wanted to do... and yet this bossy calendar-keeping is starting to drag me down.

I know about self-care... but I don't always DO it!

I wrote about it not too long ago... about the dangers of being too busy.. About how when He beckons you to rest... whispers softly to come away with Him, or begs you to pay attention and be intentional... well--it's best if you just do it!

And here's the thing: 
  Life is ALWAYS Happening!

October 20, 2016

DAY TWENTY - National Healing... Praying For Our Nation (31 Days of Life Happens... and so we pray!)


So --YOU GUYS!!!  
This is something you have to know:

I am so not political. 
I am not this organized or well-informed. 

When God gave me the outline for what to write --and WHEN TO WRITE IT-- I had NO CLUE that one of the Presidential Debates were scheduled for last night.

No. Clue.


(So yeah... I was feeling a little set up yesterday when a sweet friend was laughing hysterically over Voxer, telling me that the debates were going to be on last night.)

Gah. I feel so set up... and yet...

October 19, 2016

DAY NINETEEN - When It's Your Soul That Needs Healing...


How are you doing, sweet readers?

Here we are already halfway through the month, and halfway through our week focused on Healing, and I just wanted to check in. 

Listen, I know. 

I know this stuff is hard and often times we have more questions than we do answers. I know that sometimes talking about the supernatural or the unexplainable makes us a little uncomfortable or queasy.  

We like all our ducks in a row.

Maybe it is the Western culture in us, but we have a thirst for knowledge... and yet knowing things doesn't always shed the Light that is needed.


No. Sometimes embracing the mystery of not knowing while choosing to trust God anyway is what actually opens the door to the inner healing that we are longing for!

Sometimes, as we let our
list of demands fall to the floor, 
we find God is closing old wounds
and opening new doors.

October 18, 2016

DAY EIGHTEEN of 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray! Praying the Psalms

Hello, sweet readers!

I hope you are excited to join me in praying the Psalms today!



Since we're talking about Healing this week, this one was a no-brainer! There are many psalms that talk of healing, but... well, this one is sung in our home all the time!

Today, we are praying through Psalm 103!

October 17, 2016

DAY SEVENTEEN - 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray! Physical Healing

So - you guys! I have to tell you... 

I literally opened this post to start writing about Healing and got SLAMMED with sickness. My Honey, too! As in - sneezing and coughing non-stop, achy and feverish, no voice (which is tricky when you have a Wedding to officiate!)... as Lorelai Gilmore would say, "Oy with the Poodles already!"

So if this is a little wacky, I blame the cold meds but here's the thing: 
I refuse to let the enemy win...
  or shut me up... (even if he steals my literal voice!) 

Because here is the other thing: 
  Healing is for real --and it is for today. (As in, if you are in need of healing, I am praying that as you read this post, you will encounter the healing touch of Jesus and begin to feel better!)

It's in the Bible and it's within His will. I wish it happened immediately, supernaturally, every single time. 

I don't know why it doesn't but we all know that it doesn't. We have all prayed for healing -whether it be a little bothersome cold or sore throat, or it be an emergency... cancer, a car wreck, careers imploding.

It's no secret here that I am a crazy faith girl. I believe the Word of God is full of promises and testimonies and I have prayed for and seen and experienced God's Healing touch enough in this lifetime to know it is for today.

I believe that our God is the God of the impossible.  I believe He can do anything... and I believe He wants to surprise us and overwhelm us with His goodness. I believe He answers Yes and Amen. I do. 



Sometimes the answer is a long time coming... sometimes we lose hope in the waiting... sometimes our faith waivers and we accidentally let fear and doubt whisper lies that can feel like truth. But God never waivers...

But God...

October 16, 2016

DAY SIXTEEN - Listening Prayer

Hello, my friends!

I don't know about you, but I am loving these Sunday sessions where we just breathe a little bit, and lean in... worship Him in spirit and truth, and practice a little Listening Prayer

As I said last week, I will begin to type out a prayer, and then as He leads, I will ask a question.  That is when we pause, "Selah"... and wait for His response. 

The answer He gives you will be different than whatever He says to me because He is so personal and He loves uniquely. He's a good, good Father and He wants to communicate with you!

Let's pray!

***

Jesus,
We love you!


We will never tire of telling you
of how much we love you!

October 15, 2016

DAY FIFTEEN - Life Happens... Praying for Our Family and Friends

Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Hopefully, if you've been reading along, you have figured out that this weeks' theme was all about the different important relationships in our families. We talked about Marriage and Parenting Littles and Not So Littles, and Parenting Teens.  We talked about how Life Happens within each of these unique connections and how our best first response is always turning to God in prayer. 

Prayer invites God in to the heart of your relationships and gives Him room to speak, to heal, to restore, and to revive!




Now who couldn't use that?

While this Saturday post is supposed to be set aside as a Wrap Up of sorts, I wanted to touch on our Extended Family and Friends and on how prayer is powerful and needed in growing those relationships, too!

October 14, 2016

DAY FOURTEEN of 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray! MAIL - a Five Minute Friday Post.

I always know it's a risk to plan to stick with Five Minute Fridays in the midst of writing a series... but God gave me the outline and He allowed for these Five Minutes prompts, so we will trust that He knows what He's doing... 

This is Five Minute Friday (- a five minute timed free write) and our One Word Prompt for the day is: MAIL


{GO}

In yesterdays' post about parenting teens, I tapped out this:
We can raise Tinies to be Littles and Littles to be Not So Littles and Teenagers to be Adults that we would actually want to have as friends! I can attest to you that this can be done!

And through every season, we get to be the ones who love them --always; who speak life and shine on and point them to the One who loves them best and who has a plan and a purpose that is created just for them!
 Yes. That.


The one word prompt is Mail and all I can think about is the first time I mailed my Girlie a card and had to write a different address on the envelope. 

October 13, 2016

DAY THIRTEEN - Praying Through Parenting - Part 2: Parenting Teens and the Transition of Moving Out!


I hope y'all are finding yourselves pressing in to prayer a bit more this month as we dive in to how Life Happens for all of us and how our best battle plan is to turn to God in prayer!

Yesterday, we dug into Praying through Parenting with Part 1: Parenting Littles and Not So Littles! If you are in that season and missed the post, you can read that HERE.

Today, we will talk a bit more about shifting into Empty-Nesterhood and the Art of Letting Go - but before we get to go there, we must make it through the Joy that is the Teenage years!

Now listen, I know many of you may have read that in a sarcastic font, but I am more in line with Jen Hatmaker here. I loved parenting through the teen years! 

I don't think you need to fear them or plan for how horrible they are going to be! I think we tend to forget that we hold the power of life and death in our tongues and we can either speak life and expect to have what we say, or we can be like Job and what we greatly fear just may come upon us!

So if you are just entering these 'trying' times of teendom, let me first and foremost encourage you to shift your thinking... Speak life --to yourself and to your kids, and expect God to guide you through and keep your hearts connected!  He can do it... in fact, He WANTS to! 


He WANTS your heart to heart connection with your teenagers to be strong!

October 12, 2016

DAY TWELVE - Praying Through Parenting - Part 1: Parenting Littles and Not So Littles

Here we are on Day Twelve and OH MY GOODNESS, how Life Happens when we become parents, right?

I mean... like ALL. the TIME. --Life Happens! 


In good ways and hard ways... in joyful ways and heartbreaking ways... 

Life Happens all over the place and it stretches us, bends us, shapes us, and if there is anything that will make you turn to God in prayer - it is becoming a parent, yes?

October 11, 2016

Praying the Psalms - DAY ELEVEN of 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray!

Happy Tuesday, friends!

As previously discussed, we are spending Tuesdays together this month, praying the Psalms!



I hope you were able to pray with me last week when we prayed through Psalm 23 together!

Today, we are praying through Psalm 128!

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