Saturday, May 9, 2020

Deathless Prayers

Hey Friend,

I know deep in my soul that ANYTHING is possible with God.  Here comes the "but."  But...I've been praying this same prayer for years now and often it feels like it falls on deaf ears.  

Mother's Day, for me, looms on the horizon.  In a way, I'm secretly glad that we are quarantined and I don't have to go to church and hear the "Happy Mother's Day" well wishes.  I know I'm not alone.  

For many, Mother's Day is a reminder of what "isn't."  Women who long to be mothers; mothers who have lost children; children who've lost mothers; children who've had abusive or addicted mothers; mothers estranged from their children...

I know many who are not perfect moms (including me) - who've made many mistakes.  Perhaps you long to be remembered, appreciated, or forgiven, yet the divide remains?

When my children were young, like Mary, I treasured these things in my heart.  My desire, more than anything, was that they would have an intimate relationship with their heavenly father.  I want that for them, even more than a relationship with me. 

I pray that the marvelous seeds that developed in the springtime of my daughter's heart will one day flower.

I am resolved to pray for my son every day, and I take comfort in the fact that God looks forward to the day he grows in his faith, even more than I do.

"The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary."  (Isaiah 40:28)

His amazing strength is able to pursue my children long after my own is gone. Because of His faithfulness, the prayers I've placed before my Father's throne will still be there, waiting to be answered in His perfect will and His perfect way.

E.M. Bounds, a minister and chaplain during the Civil War has this to say about prayer:

"God shapes the world by prayer.  Prayers are deathless. The lips that utter them may be closed in death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and God's heart is set on them. Prayers outlive the lives of those that uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world."

I take heart that God will receive my prayers, offered in faith, with an everlasting love that never fails.

As much as I treasure my children, God treasures them more.  Their worth to God is incalculable.  And so I bring them before His throne once again.

"Your prayers, dear child of God...shall be answered - some of them, perhaps, during your lifetime on earth, and all of them, certainly, during your lifetime in heaven."  - Samuel Prime

Dear Heavenly Father, I bring before you all the people reading this who have prayers they have prayed over and over again with seemingly no answer.  Give them strength and faith to know that you are always working behind the scenes and never turn a deaf ear.  I thank you and praise you that my prayers and the prayers of those praying this not only meet your ears, but meet your heart.  Thank you for loving those I pray for even more than I do.  May your good and perfect will be done.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  Are there prayers you've been praying with no answer in sight?  How does it affect you to know that your prayers continue on long after you are gone?  Do you believe that your prayers will one day, all be answered?  How can you adopt a more eternal perspective?  Will you share?

Be blessed...

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Monday, April 27, 2020

What Would You Do???

Hey Friend,

It's three o'clock in the afternoon.  You've forgotten what day of the week it is because the days just seem to run together.  You are aching to hug someone...anyone, but especially your beautiful new granddaughter.  Her red apple cheeks and tiny fingers and toes beg to be kissed, but they elude you.

In boredom, you've binge-watched all your favorite shows and you've visited the refrigerator and pantry more times than you would care to admit.  Somehow, the ice cream soothes an emotional itch you can't seem to scratch.  

Your kids have each taken turns having seismic meltdowns.  Tears, like hot lava, have flowed down your graduating senior's cheeks for all the memories that will go unmade.  You and your spouse are learning the true meaning of "for better or for worse."  Their little quirky idiosyncrasies are now driving you crazy.  It's a sign of too much togetherness.  Even the dog balks at going for yet another walk.

Or maybe you are going it alone - wishing there was someone to annoy you.  Maybe the isolation just stamps a big exclamation point over your loneliness.  If only your spouse hadn't left...if only your grown children cared...if only.

What if, on top of this, you'd lost your job cleaning sewers?  Your country's government and all the non-government aid groups have said, "We will NOT give you food or humanitarian aid because you claim Jesus Christ is Lord and that is blasphemy." Others on the lowest rung of this caste system have nothing to share with you. Now, more than ever, they call you "the unclean ones."

Your children are starving.  You can't put food on the table.  No one will give you so much as a scrap of bread.  The only way you could possibly have a chance at getting nourishment to quash the hunger is to denounce your faith.  Just say that you worship the prophet Mohammad and Allah is your god.  Say it and you and your family will eat.

What would you do?  

That's where the children of Redeemer Christian School, and their caregivers, are right now.  They live in a dark corner of the world - a third world Middle Eastern country that persecutes and tortures Christians in the most horrific ways.  Now there is a new way to persecute those who claim Jesus Christ is Lord - starve you to death.  That is what is happening.

Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. is committed to go where others won't go to reach the lost and forgotten.  With the help of caring and compassionate donors, we are putting together food and humanitarian aid packages in order to feed those who are hungry and starving. 

We are also sharing food with our starving Muslim and Hindi brothers and sisters in the name of Jesus and hearts are being drawn to Him.  We are walking in the sandals of the Good Samaritan, but we need your help.

If you are out of work, lost your livelihood, or are hungry yourself...please disregard this post.  But, if you are still working, sitting comfortably while riding out this pandemic, we NEED your help.

Every dollar we collect will go directly to starving families in this Middle Eastern country (for security reasons we cannot share which country on public internet).  Nothing will be taken out for overhead, administration, or any other reason.  Your dollars...straight to the market to buy food to be distributed, in the name of Jesus, to those who are starving.  

Even after the social distancing mandates lift, the poorest of the poor will have a very difficult time finding work.  Long after we've gone back to gathering with others and hugging those we love, these brothers and sisters in Christ will still be hungry.  But, YOU can bring them love and hope.

Check our our website:  Click HERE to read more about RCF, Inc.

If you want to feed the children in Jesus' name...Click HERE to make a donation. Any amount will help...  We are a registerd 501c3 non-profit.  The CARES stimulus act now allows a $300 tax deduction per person for those who normally don't itemize.  

And, will you pray?  Pray that the enemy would not prevail in isolating and destroying those who trust in Jesus?  Pray for a hedge of protection to be around those who claim and stick to their faith.  Pray for strength and perseverance in the midst of this crisis.  

Thank you and be blessed...

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Thanks for reading....

Friday, April 17, 2020

Dare To Sing A New Song

Hey Friend,

My birthday dawned and the clouds, like dark grey battleships, moved swiftly across the ominous sky.  The trees bent and swayed with each strong gust of wind.  Just as I pondered not wimping out on my morning walk, the rain started pelting the glass of the storm door then ran downward like tears.  

The COVID-19, quarantine birthday - you couldn't have scripted it any better.  All that was missing was some ominous, sad, creepy music and it would have captured my mood perfectly.  

Perhaps it's still the little girl in me that looks forward to my birthday.  Who doesn't like being "Queen for a Day?" But this birthday?  It wasn't looking too promising.  The one highlight I had planned was skyping with my birthday twin late morning, but the rest of the day was one big blank space on my calendar. 

That was until my husband called up the stairs. He beckoned me to come down. Hair in a ponytail, tie-dyed shirt and yoga pants, I was a vision of loveliness as I bounced down the stairs.  

"Hurry up," he insisted.  "I want you to see something."  

Tripping over the pile of shoes in front of the door, I managed to scramble into some leopard print crocs.  The ensemble was complete.  He opened the garage door and unlike the commercials, there wasn't a shiny new Lexus with a bow on top in the driveway.

"What do you want to show me," I queried with skepticism.  

"You'll just have to wait," he encouraged as he fiddled with the camera on his phone.  Thankfully the rain had let up though the skies were still grey and there was a chill in the wind.

Then I heard horns up the street started honking in an exuberant cacophony.  My husband scooted me out to the curb.  Just then the first car rounded the bend and a caravan of cars followed.  Some had streamers, others balloons.  Colorful birthday greetings covered the windows and doors.  Even a friend's dog had her head out the window - thrilled to be part of this crazy parade.

Maybe it's the HSP (highly sensitive person) gene in me, but the crocodile tears welled up to the surface.  I was so touched by these friends putting together a parade in my honor.  The parade, however, wasn't the finale, but just the beginning.  

Like circus clowns piling out of their cars, the ladies popped out with crazy hats, leis, feather boas, and pretty parasols.  In true rockette style, they danced, twirled, and managed to sing Happy Birthday somewhat in unison.  It was hilariously funny and delightfully sublime at the same time.  I think they had nearly as much fun as I did because this circus had given them permission to get the heck outta the house!     

I've never had a parade in my honor...and I probably will never have one again, but thanks to this crazy, strange, scary, surreal, uncertain parallel universe we'd been thrust into, a birthday parade just seemed like the fitting thing to do. 

Friends and family bombarded me with texts, and Facebook messages, and phone calls.  It was as if they needed to shower me with love as much as I needed to be showered.  Terrifying times made for a powerful out-pouring.

The song in my heart, that had been playing over the last several weeks, sounded more like a funeral dirge.  Yes, people had been dying and people had lost their jobs and livelihood.  The news was oppressive and the uncertainty had exhausted us. We had blamed, hated, pointed fingers, made slurs, and hoarded toilet paper.  It hadn't been pretty.  

Perhaps, that day my friends dared to sing a different song and I needed the serenade.  The one thing that coronavirus couldn't quash was people's need to show and receive love.  This virus has taken some of us back to basics...back to the bible...back to the greatest commandment..."Love one another!"

There's been a certain urgency to tell others that we love them and to show it.  Perhaps that's what led me to pull out an old cd and play this song at the end of the day.  I was thankful that my friends had dared to sing a new song - even with what was going on in the world.

This song by James Taylor isn't a great hymn of faith, but it was an anthem for my birthday.  I'll leave you with this video and the words of the song.  If the news is too depressing, maybe you'll find yourself humming along...shower the people you love with them the way that you feel.  Things are gonna work out fine if you only will....

"For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy."  (Psalm 63:7)

"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."  (Psalm 32:7)

"He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise."  (Psalm 40:3)

Be blessed...and dare to sing a new can you add to the chorus...will you share?

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Take Heart; Easter is Still Coming!

Hey Friend,

If you've been reading along with me for awhile, you probably know that I head up a non-profit ministry called Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. I have 80 children that I dearly love in Pakistan that are going through a terrible time right now.  Click HERE to help precious ones in need...

I was speaking with our Director of Development, with regard to how to handle our social media and outreach campaigns during this time of COVID-19 being splashed all over the headlines.  We discussed not wanting appear out of touch with what everyone is dealing with, but on the other hand, we didn't want to be another voice of doom and gloom.

We both came to the same conclusion - that despite what's happening in the world... we, those we serve, and those who donate need to be reminded that Easter is still coming...PRAISE! 


During this time of "shelter-in-place" mandates, perhaps I'm getting a small taste of what it was like for Jesus to wander for 40 days in the desert.  I'm sure Jesus felt quarantined away from the rest of the world.  He was certainly "socially distant" from those He loved.  He endured loneliness and isolation - feelings that many of us are having.  

Perhaps His greatest hardship was being easy prey for Satan.  

When we are isolated, we become easy prey as well.

Some of us have fasted during this Lenten season, but Jesus was downright starving during His forty day fast.  The enemy tempted Jesus, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."  

Jesus answered him, "It is written:  Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." 

Satan went on to tempt Jesus to sin - to go against His Father.  Jesus was tempted in every way yet He clung to the strength of His Father and He leaned on His knowledge of the truth in scripture.

I know I have been tempted, and I've sinned and given into temptation during this heinous virus.  I have worried.  I have looked ahead, with fear, and have hoarded more than I really need.  I have relied on my own self-sufficiency to get me through what may or may not come.  

I have done the things that I've sworn not to do and I've fallen short on doing the things I'd promised to do. I haven't dwelt on whatever is true, good, pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy.  I've fretted about my bank account.  

It's only been a few weeks, but it certainly feels like more than 40 days in the wilderness.  

So what now?  

There is still time to turn my heart around.  Even if my circumstances stay the same, I can rededicate myself to meditating on the Word of God each and every day.  I can ask Him to enable me to trust Him and I can be grateful for who He is and everything He has done for me.  Now is my time to cling to God's strength and lean into His holy word.

When I'm feeling vulnerable, it's a red flag signal to switch to gratitude.

In short, I've fallen into temptation.  I have not looked the enemy in the face and resisted him like Jesus did.  But...

The best news of all is this:  EASTER IS STILL COMING!!  There is hope!

Even if the coronavirus is still raging, I can remember that on Good Friday, Jesus uttered the words that changed our lives forever..."It is finished."

That very moment, He took all the sins from all my temptation upon Himself once and for all.  Every failure and sin born out of my humanness went to the grave with Jesus.  It's gone.

And, just as Jesus rose again on the third day, I have been resurrected with Him and am a new creation void of any sin.  

Because Easter is coming these promises are true for me...for you:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from ALL unrighteousness."  (1 John 1:9)

Furthermore, Psalm 103 says that He removes our sins as far as the east is from the west.  Jeremiah reminds us that God promises to forgive our sin and NEVER remember it. 

We are in tough times right now, but I/we need to remember:  "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

These are words in which to rejoice!

Dear Heavenly Father, I know that by worrying, I cannot add a single hour to my life.  Forgive me for leaning on my own understanding instead of trusting in you through these difficult days.  Protect me from the tempter's snare.  Enable me to rely on your strength and wield the sword that is your Word.  Help me not to forget, that despite what is going on in our world...Easter is STILL coming.  Let my heart rejoice in that truth and let me take comfort that Jesus has overcome this world by his death and resurrection.  It, truly, is finished.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you...have these days made you forget that Easter is still coming?  Have you fallen prey to the tempter's snare?  Do you feel like you've been walking in the wilderness?  What hope can you take from God's words of truth?  What changes do you need to make?  Will you share??

Congrats' to Becky L. in Oregon who won the drawing for Sarah Geringer's book "Transforming Your Thought Life."

ps.  If you've been encouraged by what you've read here today, perhaps you'd like to SUBSCRIBE to my blog?!  Just go to the SUBSCRIBE tab above, enter your contact information and then be SURE TO CLICK ON THE CONFIRMATION LINK THAT WILL COME IN AN EMAIL.  Be sure to check your spam filter if you don't see it.  Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hoarding God's Word - Plus Giveaway

Hey Friend,

I thought I was heading home in my car, when visions of toilet paper began to dance in my head.  I knew I had enough to last a couple of weeks if we all have to hunker down, but the little imp called "Doubt" kept poking me.  "What if we have to quarantine longer?" I queried myself out loud.

Before you knew it, I was making a bee line toward the T.P. aisle at Target.  I scooped my ration of one package into my cart and headed toward the checkout.  

A store manager was in a rather animated discussion with a customer.  "This is your second trip back into the store in the past 15 minutes," she announced with a scowl.  "There's a reason why we say one per customer and that doesn't mean come back in a second time," she chastened.  Soon afterward, the manager had to scold a second customer for doing the very same thing.

These are strange times and they can tend to bring out the best and the worst in people.  

On my drive home, I reflected on this thought: What if we hoarded God's Holy Word like we have been hoarding toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, and hand-sanitizer?  Instead of storing up treasures here on earth, that will be gone tomorrow, what if we stored up heavenly treasurers? 

Hiding God's Word in our hearts essentially means memorizing and meditating on the Bible.  

God uses his Word - the Bible - to speak to us and show us how we ought to live.  It is our responsibility to guard our hearts and to keep track of the things we hide inside it.  So, what's in there?

“The heart is deceitful above all things and it is extremely sick; who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?"  (Jeremiah 17:9)

We think we can trust our hearts and the opinions it holds.  Many are the thoughts of our heart, but most are not from the Lord.  

When rain falls on parched land, it quenches like nothing else can.  Cracks and dust disappear and the land expands with goodness and nourishment. The earth is soaked in a life-giving balm. 

We need to water our thirsty hearts with the only thing that can quench our parched heart and soul - God's Word.  

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  (Philippians 4:8)

The only way I can have God's word at my fingertips for reassurance in troubled times is if I meditate on it each and every day.  Nothing else, but God's word, is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy...nothing.

The Jewish priests of old used to literally put God's word in little boxes and tie them around their hands and foreheads.  It was symbolic of what we are to hoard into our mind and heart...God's word.  

“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders." (Deuteronomy 11:8)

What would it look like if I "committed" myself wholeheartedly to God's word?  What if I coveted it like I did another package of T.P.?  What if I hoarded His life-giving word in my heart - hiding it in all the corners and crevices that I could possibly find?  Would my outer life look different?

Now, without the distraction of busyness and rushing from place to place, is the time to sit and soak in His word.  Like parched land, let us soak in the dewy goodness that can only be found in scripture.  Let's let our hearts be marinated in that which can bring forth life.  Now is the time to hoard His Word.

Giveaway Time:  "Transforming Your Thought Life" - Sarah Geringer
My good friend, and writer, Sarah Geringer has a new book out that has rocketed up the charts. Each chapter of "Transforming Your Thought Life" focuses on a particular kind of negative thought pattern and offers guided meditation through key Bible verses and prayers that will help you train your mind to stand strong.  Day by day, as you hide God's word in your heart, you will mover closer to the mind and heart of God.

To win this free book, all you have to do is SUBSCRIBE to my blog and you will automatically be entered...that's it. Next week I will finish my series on being "Stuck."  SUBSCRIBE and join me for when we are stuck in our brokenness...may it be a healing balm for your heart. 

Go to the subscribe tab above, enter your contact information, and then be SURE TO CHECK YOUR EMAIL INBOX FOR A CONFIRMATION EMAIL AND LINK TO CONFIRM YOUR SUBSCRIPTION.  (Check spam filters if you don't see it.). 

Winner drawn Mar. 28th (Winner will be contacted by email)

Be blessed and stay safe....  Cabin fever?  Check the Archives on my blog for a post title that speaks to you.  Know you are being prayed for...

Monday, March 2, 2020

My Way or God's Way?

Hey Friend,

Next week, I'll post the third and final part in my "Do You Feel Stuck?" series.  This week, I digress to something that's been weighing heavily on my mind. Bear with me, I'll get there...

When I tell people the story of how God used a middle-aged, suburban-living, SUV-driving, surgery-sidelined woman from North Caroling to begin a Christian school for orphans and impoverished children in perhaps one of the scariest and darkest corners of the world, they look at me with a mix of wonder, curiosity, and disbelief.  How? Why? are two of the first questions I'm often asked.

After I give them the full account, they often say something like, "Wow, that must have taken a lot of trust on your part.  I don't think I could have said 'Yes' to that."  

Yes, it took a lot of trust (which I didn't have) and No, I didn't say "Yes" right away.  

I put God through, what I call, my ABC's of Trust.

A:  I Argued with God.  I told Him, "God, I have absolutely no clue about starting a non-profit ministry, let alone one that operates in the Middle East??"  I even went so far as to tell God that He didn't have a clue about what He was doing. "God, that's the wildest idea I've heard...I know there is someone out there who is much better qualified than me!!" 

I get where Moses and Jonah were coming from.  I would have wound up in the belly of the big fish for sure!

B:  I Bargained with God. "You see God, I've got this plan for my writing. Yeah, I get that it was YOUR idea to start writing again, but I've got this great blog and book idea and I think I'm headed in the right direction.  This idea of yours is just going to mess it up.  I'll tell you what, I'll give you my time in some other ministry (Your choice) if you just let me pursue the writing thing."  

C:  I Came around to God's way of thinking.  But first I had to do a lot of wiggling, squirming, and side-stepping.  I gave God my very best persuasive speech on "Why Not Me."  It didn't work.  I came to that critical fork in the road where my fear intersected with my faith and I had to decide if I really trusted God?  I had to decide if I was going to let go of the "known" to pursue the "unknown."  

I had to answer tough questions like Who's smarter?  Me or God?  Who see's the bigger picture?  Me or God?  Do I trust God with my intense fear of failure?  Did I trust God...totally?

The ONLY thing I knew, for sure, was WHO I'd be traveling with.

I wish I could say that I jumped up and said with conviction, "Here I am, Lord, send me."  

You've heard the old saying, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."  Well, I don't think that saying is very Biblical.  What God was asking me to do was to let go of the one secure, known entity that I held in my hand - my comfort zone, my skill set, my "I've got this" certainty, my smart yet safe one bird.  

Furthermore, He was asking me to take a risk that there was going to be "two birds in the bush."  I couldn't see two birds. I may have to stand there empty-handed for a long time.  I would have to have the very essence of faith - trust in what I could not see.  

Let me just say that it was a super-duper leap of faith.  But, boy did God blow my socks off.  What He made happen was beyond anything I could have possibly dreamed or imagined.  What has been transpiring over the past seven years is something that only God could have scripted.  Redeemer Christian Foundation ministry is TOTALLY a God-story.

I learned that God is not some sort of cosmic killjoy, but just the opposite.  He wants us to have life and have it abundantly.  But takes faith.

Fast forward seven years until today.  I'm wrestling with something, yet again, that I have been wanting to do MY way instead of accepting GOD'S way.  Isn't it prideful, but sometimes I think I know better than God?!  Yes, there, I said it.

For over two years I have been estranged from both of my adult children.  To say that this grieves me is a gross understatement.  I have cried an ocean's worth of tears and lost many a night's sleep over this.  I've talked to a counselor, pastor, mentor, and friends to gain insight and advice.  I have literally gone, not to my knees, but prostrate on the ground before God in prayer.

I've asked God to examine my heart and if there is anything in me that needs addressing, to make it known.  I've been ruthless with myself.

I've Argued. I've Bargained. I've tried to manage, orchestrate, and even manipulate circumstances to bring about a reconciliation and I can't effect a change.  When my children were little and they were being selfish or head strong or disobedient, I could pick them up and put them either where they needed to be or put them in time out.  I can't do that anymore.  

I set boundaries; I asked forgiveness for my part; I reassured them of my love; yet nothing I've done has moved the meter.  I think it's time to Come around to God's way of thinking.

When the disciples dropped their fishing nets right where they stood and took off to follow Jesus, the Bible says they LEFT EVERYTHING BEHIND and 
followed Him.

After they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example]. (Luke 5:11)

They left their hometown, their livelihood, their income, their possessions, their security, their safety, their well laid plans for retirement, their families; they even left their children.  

Sometimes trusting God makes us let go of everything we hold near and dear with no certain guarantee other than God's goodness and faithfulness.  

Do I trust God enough to let go of my kids?  Do I trust that God can move even if I'm not in the mix?  Does He need me out of the way in order to move?  Am I smarter than God?  Am I going to do it MY way or God's way?  

That's the question I've been wrestling with.  I've tried everything I've known to try and God is asking, "Bev, do you trust Me? Do you trust me enough to completely let go?"  

What about you?  Have you ever come to this...or another fork in the road where you had to go with blind trust?  What fears hold you back?  What proof propels you forward?  What is your trust struggle?  Will you share?

Be blessed....

ps.  If you like what you've read here today, would you consider SUBSCRIBING so that you don't miss a weekly post (and nothing else).  Go to the SUBSCRIBE tab above, enter your contact information and then BE SURE TO LOOK FOR AN EMAIL WITH A CONFIRMATION LINK TO CLICK ON.  This will confirm your subscription.  Thanks for reading...

Monday, February 24, 2020

Do You Feel Stuck? Part II

Hey Friend,

Last week, I asked the question, "Do you feel stuck?"  Along with comments, I got quite a few emails from people telling me about how they are "stuck."  I'd like to share some of these emails (with permission) and address them.

Lauren writes:  "I really enjoyed reading your recent post.  I am definitely feeling stuck.  I really thought that once I got out of this abusive situation (marriage) and finished with court that I would be able to start to thrive.  But, I am struggling much more than I anticipated.  Part of that, no doubt, is losing the amazing church community that I had established.  I felt we had to move away in order to be safe.  I really want to feel peace and freedom to set down roots for my daughter and myself."

In my previous post, I gave the "car sliding off the road" analogy.  Lauren's car has slid off and landed in the ditch of doubt, despair, and disbelief.  In other words, life is not meeting her/your expectations and you/she begins to wonder, where is God in all of this? What should I be doing?  Will I ever get "un-stuck"?

The biggest thing needed when stuck here is ENCOURAGEMENT.

The first source of encouragement needs to be from God so that we can  remember Whose we are and Who is in control. GET IN GOD'S WORD.

"I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - the fruit that will last..."  (John 15:16)

We are CHOSEN.  Forgetting we are chosen leaves us stuck. Claim your inheritance.  Even if you don't "feel" it, "choose" it.

In addition, call upon the Lord. He's listening. Here is His promise of encouragement for those who are stuck.  God's heart is FOR you...

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.

(Psalm 40:1-3 life verse.)

Getting "un-stuck" is a work that the Father will do in us and for us if we ask...He hears our cry!  Our pleas will not go unanswered.  

When I lived outside of Chicago, I was traveling along an icy two lane road with ditches on both sides.  Even though I was going slowly, I hit a pure patch of ice and I soon realized I was going off the road and right smack into a snow bank.


I was definitely stuck.  I tried, unsuccessfully, by myself to get my car out of the ditch. Thankfully a couple of drivers stopped to come to my rescue.  One had a big 4 wheel drive truck.  He had a cable that he hooked to my car from the hitch on his truck. The other car had two carpentry fellows heading to a job.  They had wood planks in their vehicle.  

Between the tugging of the big truck, sand underneath my wheels to give them traction, and wooden planks being shoved under my wheels, for leverage, as the two carpenters pushed my car from behind, it wasn't long before I was back on the road again. But, it took a team of encouragers.

When we're stuck we can't go it alone.  We need a "team."

Who is our team?  The body of Christ

Who is the body of Christ?  The Church which is made up of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  

Even if we need to swallow our pride and admit that we need help, we need to run to those who can come alongside us and cheer us on.  This may require hard work on our part - like putting ourselves out there to join a small group or a Sunday School class.  Ask God for the courage.

When I was going through my divorce, I told a few close friends that I REALLY needed their help because I was struggling.  They became my "Perseverance Posse."  They didn't allow me to stay stuck.  They prayed me through. But I had to make myself vulnerable and lose the self-sufficiency way of thinking.  This is healthy dependence.  

Getting un-stuck means setting aside our pride.

Why do we need this team of encouragers?

The enemy of our soul is always prowling about.  He wants nothing more than to isolate us from the pack.  That makes us easy prey.  If he can isolate us, he can more easily destroy us.  He can pour his lies into us and when we're stuck, it's harder to refute them.  

A team of encouragers will remind us of God's Truth and help us hold it up against the enemy's lies.  Being stuck is most definitely a spiritual battle.  One we are bound to lose if we go it alone.  There is safety and comfort in the pack.

Back to my starting point of needing to be in the Word.  

When stuck in a spiritual battle, we need the sword of Truth.  We need to know Whose we are and that God is in control.  We need encouragement.

As I told my new friend Lauren...if she is coming out of an abusive relationship, she could, most definitely, use a Christian counselor, pastor, or mentor.  Though she was physically removed from the abusive relationship, the baggage from years of abuse had not yet been removed from her. 

Sometimes the weight of our "baggage" keeps us stuck.

** Sisters in Christ, if you are in an emotionally, verbally, or physically abusive relationship or marriage, God DOES NOT expect you to submit to this person.  God does not want His precious daughters being used as doormats.  Seek help about getting out if your husband shows no signs of changing...REAL change not empty promises. **

Dear Heavenly Father,  please turn to me and hear my cry.  I'm stuck in the mud and mire and I need You to lift me out with your righteous right hand.  I claim that I am chosen by you and dearly loved.  If you are for me, who can be against me.  Help me to set aside my pride and seek encouragement in your Holy Word and in the body of Christ.  Give me a safe hiding place there.  Hide me underneath your wings and keep me safe from the enemy.  I wait, expectantly and thankfully, for the miracle you are about to perform and the way out you will open for me.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  What is God calling you to do to get "un-stuck."  How can you be an encourager to someone around you who is stuck?  Are you struggling in the stuck and need prayer?  Please feel free to Comment or contact me and I will pray for you.  

Be blessed....

ps.  If you'd like to read more of this "Stuck to "Un-stuck" series, go to the SUBSCRIBE tab above and enter your contact information to receive my weekly blog post (and nothing else).  Be Sure to check your email inbox for a CONFIRMATION LINK that you will have to click to finish your subscription.  Thanks for reading...