Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Prayer for Healing

I googled scripture on healing today.  I was looking for comfort and direction on how to pray for a beautiful friend who needs a miracle (or several).

After finding a promising website I searched through a number of different verses from various books of the Bible - writing some down and even speaking some aloud.  There are so many good verses about healing and amazing promises to claim, however, the one below stood out.

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;  the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. The Lord protects and preserves them - they are counted among the blessed in the land - He does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness. Psalm 41:1-3

I love it.  It contains a promise.  A promise that God will sustain those who have regard for the weak. Even in sickness He will restore them.  I need this scripture today as I pray for a dear friend who embodies this scripture's ideals.  She has spent her life speaking out for those who have no voice, befriending the friendless, and providing hope for the hopeless.  Her life's work has not been her own, but the work of the Savior she loves and leans on.

Even though my friend has been steadfast, I know that God's promises do not rely upon her goodness. God's faithfulness doesn't depend on our faith.  God is bigger than our understanding and better than our imagination.  Praying in Jesus name is not a good luck charm or a bedtime routine.  Praying in Jesus name is the promise of His Power and Presence alive in us.  Death has been defeated, and by His stripes we are healed.  

God, I surrender my understanding to you.  I stand on your promises.  Keep me seeking and submitted to you.  I plead the blood of Jesus over my friend Karisse.  Bring healing and restoration to her body and circumstances.  Destroy every form of cancer and bring strength to her body, spirit and soul.  Thank you Jesus!

"And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well;  the Lord will raise them up."
 James 5:15

"I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord."  Jeremiah 30:17

"This is what the Lord says, I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you."
2 Kings 20:5

"And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."  Matthew 21:22

"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"  Mark 9:24

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fear or Freedom? The Choice is Yours

It’s been awhile since I’ve written – really written.  Why?  Well, the simple answer is I can’t find the time?  Not hard to understand with a husband, four kids and a packed schedule.  But, in truth, the slightly more complicated answer to my writing dilemma is FEAR – fear of exposing my heart and soul to whoever is out there reading, the fear of being consumed by my need to craft the perfect thought, and the fear of writing something without purpose and meaning.

For much of my life I have been kind of a perfectionist.  Not the OCD, my house has to be spic-n-span type, but the, “Oh my goodness, I have to do and say and write the “right” thing,” kind of individual.  The thought continues if somehow I don’t succeed at this task I will have diminished my value as a writer, a leader, and ultimately a person.  So, if writing is such a burden then why do it at all?  If only it were that simple.   The problem is, when you seek perfection and bow down to it, as any idol, it affects not just one area of life but every area of life.  

Fear as a method of self-preservation really stinks!  It does just the opposite.  It isolates, shrivels and embitters one’s spirit.  It is a cruel and greedy slave master.  There is no need to bother with a prison guard when we lock ourselves up so easily on our own.

Fear is not content to stay and bind us in one area.  It wants complete control. When we give ourselves to that fear, it holds us captive.  It causes us to relive past failures and keeps us from allowing others to see our weaknesses.  Ironically, it’s when others glimpse those imperfections in us that they feel less awkward and more able to relate.  Sometimes our bad days, weeks and months are the doorway to sharing the Good News of Jesus love and freedom!

Freedom is the answer.  Freedom is the opposite of fear.  Fear keeps me focused inward and causes me to look at life with a microscope.  When I am so focused on the minutia of life I miss the 30,000-foot view that God wants to show me.  When I am consumed with what is in my headspace I resist joining God on the Mountain and gazing on the grandeur of His creation.  I essentially take the paintbrush from His hand and try to add something to His masterpiece.

Rising above our own fear is a risk.  Risk-taking is difficult for those of us that like to set agendas and plan life out to the second, but risk is also tough for “free-spirited” individuals who have flown high and been shut down.  So, that includes just about everyone.  

Failure and rejection are scary things to be avoided at all costs.  When we insulate ourselves and hold people at arms length we feel like we have control, but do we really control anything?  It may seem as if we hold the reins for a time, but at what cost?  Is it harder on one’s spirit to risk pain and failure or to deny our dreams and passions, the God-given purpose that has been placed inside each one of us?

Fear says, “Stop; you’ve gone too far.  You’ve been here before.  The risk of pain and failure is too great, and it’s just not worth it.”  Fear ties our hands and weighs on our hearts.  It prevents us from taking risks that might hold true purpose and meaning.  Fear brings death to dreams and the spirit.

Freedom says, “What new adventure lies behind the door?  The options are limitless.  After all, 'there is nothing to Fear, but Fear itself.'  Let’s open the door!”  Freedom is rooted in trust and security.  Since freedom grants us peace of mind, it banishes fear.  Freedom opens us up to both failure and success, a broken heart and true love, hope and longing, doubt and faith.  Ultimately, freedom found in Christ leads to life with purpose here on earth and prepares us for an eternity with God.  

During the American Revolution Patrick Henry, one of our forefathers, brilliantly posed,  "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, sat to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!"  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"  Freedom is precious.  Interestingly, it is through death to our own pride and ambition that we find liberty.  In fact, it is in complete surrender that we enjoy victory.  "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin."  Romans 6:6-7 

I surrender my all to Jesus, and I choose Freedom!

It is for Freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:1-2

Monday, February 03, 2014

Simplification and the Refiner's Fire

A simple life is hard to imagine in this current day and age.  Many wonder if it's even desirable. Our lives are filled with activity from the moment we wake up till we fall into bed at night.  Between work, school, and family, not to mention the endless to-do-list that accompanies each, it's hard to slow down and just listen. Yet, God deserves all of my attention and all of my worship.  Is simplification really the answer? If so, what does that mean...

Click on the link below to read my latest post.

Simplification and the Refiner's Fire

Monday, January 27, 2014

Outward Appearance

You can't judge a book by it's cover, but we often do! No matter how wrong it is, we pre-judge people according to what we see on the outside. By taking a look at two women from the Bible, we discover what a mistake that can be.
Check out my new post at the link below.

Outward Appearance

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.1 Samuel 16:7

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five for Fighting - What If

So proud of my boys (the younger two) featured in this video by Five for Fighting!
Please watch, like and share.
This a great song with a great message!
Thank you #RomanWhite #54F #RevoPictures

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Stop and Listen

I haven't written, really written in a while. Sometimes thoughts and emotions aren't ready to be shared with the public. Often, what we have to say isn't really worth saying out loud. Maybe that's why I've stopped myself short of writing.

So, what else needs to be said? After all, Solomon wrote, “What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again; 
there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9. If that's true, then what truths do I need to echo? What anecdotes does my life experience add to the forum of ideas?

Earlier this year I felt God's familiar press on my heart, along with his voice in my ear saying, “Stop.” A parent knows that the command to stop is almost always followed by the word, “Listen.” And while it is easy to stop, it is much harder to listen, especially if the directions include a waiting period. Have you ever observed children while they are waiting? They squirm, they complain, they ask questions, get distracted, and finally begin to do their own thing. The same holds true for me and God. I'll stop for a while, get impatient or distracted and often simply wind up doing my own thing. It's hard to stop and listen, much less resolve to obey.

Jesus told his disciples that he did only what he saw his Father doing. He spoke only what his Father commanded. (John 5:19, John 12:49). I've asked myself more recently, “Is it worth saying or writing if it doesn't come from the Father?”

Stop and Listen.

God has been dealing with me directly in regard to pride, ask my husband, it's been fun ;-). So I ask myself, “Is what I'm doing or saying, right now, out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. (Philippians 2:3) Am I in humility putting the interests of others ahead of my own? (Philippians 2:4).

Stop and Listen.

Speaking of Jesus, John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” There has been way too much of me in my head and too much of the world influencing my actions and reactions. I must stop and become aware of the voices I'm listening to. I need to refocus and readjust my ears to God the Father. He must increase, and I must decrease.

I must Stop and Listen.
Obedience will follow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

So We Rode in Silence

It was the return trip from ballet. I had just picked up my smiling, 8-year-old ballerina. She was filled with the usual amount of adrenaline and proceeded to give me her after-class-update. I was listening and playing around with words - working on a new song using my voice recorder - normal for us. The presence of the voice recorder always elicits requests from my kids to make their own recordings. Tonight was no different, except it was just Haley and me.

I play with words. I write them. I sing them. I love them - how they flow, illuminate, startle and soothe. My daughter likes words too and has begun to string some together to create her own songs. Songwriting is a very creative process, and we songwriters crave independence and the freedom to pen our own clever combinations, unique phrases and catchy choruses. While creative control is essential we are bound by certain parameters like rhythm and meter. Meter helps a song make sense. By using the same pattern in the verses, and then another in the chorus, songs become recognizable and even singable. When words in a song don't follow a discernable pattern they don't work together and likely need to be changed in some way. 

Now Haley is eight and is already a bit of a diva. The particular song she was singing tonight is one that has been on her lips for months. We've worked on it a little and recorded it before for fun. Tonight she asked me for help in recording it again. I agreed, but gently suggested that we cut out a few words so that the rhythm was even - to make the song more "singer friendly."

I braced for the impact realizing I was challenging her sense of style and in a way her identity. Her response was precisely what I expected, "But I like it that way." We went back and forth as I made small suggestions finally explaining that sometimes we have to be willing to change things that we like. When we make hard choices sometimes things turn out even better than we expected. She wasn't convinced. 

So, we rode in silence.

Haley can be stubborn, but I knew what I was witnessing, because I've seen it in her before and more often in myself. It was pride. It is one thing to fight for your own vision and see it through to completion, but it is another to resist good, healthy counsel just to have your own way. 

I understand the risk a writer takes when they put their heart and soul into a song and leave it out there for you to accept or reject, so I chose my words thoughtfully. But, at some point this ceased to be about a song and simple word choice and became more about character, discipline and malleability.

I could have let it go, and I have in the past, but sometimes we have to risk hurt feelings and teach the truth with love. Better minor disappointment in the car with mom than a false sense of greatness and horrible mediocrity later. The world is watching and the world is not as forgiving.

We may not want to move past our childish ways.
We may not want to be challenged.
We may fear losing control.
But, so that we might grow in our understanding, so that we might do things with excellence, we must humbly submit ourselves to godly leadership and godly counsel.
Wisdom is our reward.

Consider how King Solomon advised his son,

"Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil...do not despise the Lord's discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding for she is more profitable than silver and yields a better return than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her." Proverbs 3:7,11-15So We Rode in Silence