Feb 20 2018

Did he ask “Why” for us?

Did he ask “Why” for us?

As Easter approaches, I begin thinking about the Good Friday before. The sleepless night filled with unfair trials. The beating and mocking carried out with unbelievable cruelty. The long, long walk toward Golgotha that led to nails pounded through human flesh. Darkness fell, and Jesus cried out, “Why?”

And I wonder…

Was that question meant for me? For you? For all of humanity?

//

My God, My God.

His words are clear and pointed up.

Up to the One and Only who knew the plan.

To the Father in whom he spoke,

Not my will, but yours be done.

He spoke knowing what would be.

How hard the cross would weigh.

The weight of bearing the sin of the world.

Jesus knew. He knew.

So, why the question?

Did it come from his humanity?

From the unimaginable pain?

Or, did he ask for us?

So we would ask,

back then

and still today.

Why?

Why?

Why? Did God take a perfect man and

allow the utter cruelty?

Why was his body broken and blood shed?

Isn’t the answer of ages old?

Back in the garden, it was pronounced.

He would bruise the deliverer’s heel, but the serpent would be crushed.

For you and me.

That’s why.

Redemption is ours.

And then Jesus cried

It

is

finished.

//

Are these words encouraging to you? Share.

Would you consider sharing this with a friend who needs it? If you haven’t already, subscribe to my email list, click here.

What is Five Minute Friday?

I’m joining my Five Minute Friday friends with the word why. My five minutes are between the // marks.

Permanent link to this article: http://realinginlife.com/did-he-ask-why-for-us/

Feb 10 2018

The Privilege of Prayer

The Privilege of Prayer

The Privilege of Prayer

I sat in my office with coffee hot. I gathered my notebook, prayer book, and pen. Opening to a new page, I write the date and look at the plan for today. Then I read the first step: pray. Truly, that should always be the first step in any step I take. But, I always need the prompt. It’s there, and I pray.

I breathe deeply and let my thoughts settle on the One who joins me, who listens to my voice. A lump grows in my throat, and I’m taken aback by the emotion and feel the awesome privilege before me. I’m talking to the Creator of the universe.

It’s always good to start prayer with words of truth about God. When we know to whom we speak, we either shrink back because we see our unworthiness or step forward with a deep sense of privilege.

//

God is…

all-knowing. all-powerful, ever-present

perfect in love and purpose

never missing the tiny details

God knows…

my whole story, even the parts I’m too embarrassed to speak out loud

the ways he’s working in my life that are too wonderful for me to see

exactly what I need

the right path for me to walk

the past, the present, and the future…for everyone

how to make a way

God provides…

wisdom

strength

grace

mercy

salvation

sanctification

resources…always just right, and just on time

comfort for the deepest pain

peace that is beyond understanding

//

That’s not all. I’ve only just begun my list. Five minutes won’t cut it. With more time, the list will grow—more time to ponder the wonder of God…and time to grow in knowing him better as I read and read again his word. An awesome and everlasting God is he.

Yes, I pause to revel in this thought: because of Christ, I have God’s ear. It’s hard for me not to feel gratitude at the privilege of pouring my heart out to him.

Scripture tells us…

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

 

I need him, so I pray.

We all need him. Don’t we?

This song is a wonderful reminder.

Do you pause and ponder the privilege of prayer?

What’s on your five-minute list about God? What moves your heart toward a sense of privilege of being in his presence?

If you’ve never taken time to pray the truth about God, how do you think it would change your prayers?

Learning more about prayer

Prayer isn’t complicated. It doesn’t have to have special words. But if you’re new to prayer, I have a few recommendations:

Are these words encouraging to you? Share.

Would you consider sharing this with a friend who needs it? If you haven’t already, subscribe to my email list, click here.

What is Five Minute Friday?

I’m joining my Five Minute Friday friends with the word privilege. My five minutes are between the // marks.

Permanent link to this article: http://realinginlife.com/the-privilege-of-prayer/

Feb 04 2018

Are you falling for the ol’ Hook, Lie, and Sink-her trap?

hook lie and sink

Are you falling for the ol’ Hook, Lie, and Sink-her trap?

If you fall for someone’s hook, line, and sinker, you’ve been deceived. It may be because of naïveté or a convincing lie. The hook gets you interested, the line is the “story,” and the sinker is the result of being duped.

We’ve all been tricked at one time or another, but there is one who roams about who is seeking to devour you.

 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)

He comes with a clever hook (usually something true) and mixes in a subtle lie. His goal is to sink his victim under a pile of guilt and shame—or whatever will leave her stuck at the bottom, thinking only of lies.

Intelligent, with-it kinds of people get tricked by this deceiver.

Here’s how the story has been played in my life:

//

The crowd in the lobby is overwhelming. Pockets of people form, each one having an excited conversation. They look inward, and I stand. Alone. No one looks my way. People walk past me. I feel invisible.

No one likes you. You’re an outsider. The hook is set, and it agrees with my secret fears.

You’ll never be on the inside. What’s wrong with you? If you were…something other, you’d be popular. The lie feels right, and I agree.

I shrink back and look for the nearest exit. I don’t want to be here. I don’t belong here. Where do I belong? Am I really so…unacceptable?

Hook, lie, and sunk. It’s just that quick.

But I’ve learned to fight the lie. And that has helped me stay un-sunk.

//

We can’t avoid the hooks that come

Hooks come at unexpected times. They’re part of our history mixed with a dash of common human stumbling blocks. The hook brings us in just like any effective marketing. Satan will use a real situation and twist it for his purposes.

The situation gets our attention, and then he slips in his lies.

We can speak to the lie

Lies don’t have to be big to be crippling. One little lie can put us into a quick depression—if we agree with it.

So, how do we do move from a lie to the truth?

  • Identify the lie—Don’t believe whatever you hear, read, or think. Nice people don’t always have good motives. Just because it’s in print doesn’t make it true. And thinking a thought, especially one heavy with emotion, needs to be checked. We are to hold our thoughts captive. Examine your thoughts and hold it up against the truth. If you’re not sure, seek wise, godly counsel.
  • Identify the truth—If a stealthy lie has slipped in, consider the truth that calls the lie to back down.
  • Speak the truth—It’s not enough to roll the thought around in your head, speak it, write it, walk in it.

My story revisited

I’ve been in the crowd and slunk away many times. But I don’t fall for the lies like I used to. I know people aren’t flocking toward me, but I have friends that know me and speak value into my life. Besides, my goal in life isn’t to be popular. Sometimes popularity comes with a steep price tag of caving on principles or being fake.

When I talk down my lies, I follow up with a change in my step. Instead of walking away, I walk toward people. I look for others standing alone and introduce myself. I smile. I join a huddle.

At other times, when the struggle is more intense, I give myself permission to hold off on believing the lie. I entertain the possibility that what feels true could be a lie. I give myself time to let those feelings fade as I stop feeding them. Hormones have fed lots of lies as well as unhealthy habits.

When I’m feeling like I’m going under, identifying a lie isn’t my first line of attack. It is self-care.

Have you fallen for hook, lie, and been sunk?

What do you do to keep lies from pulling you under? Where have you found victory? What’s worked in helping you identify lies?

Are these words encouraging to you? Share.

Would you consider sharing this with a friend who needs it? If you haven’t already, subscribe to my email list, click here.

What is Five Minute Friday?

I’m joining my Five Minute Friday friends with the word agree. My five minutes are between the // marks.

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