Be You!

Earlier this week Billy Graham passed away as I am sure you already know.

As I was driving and listening to the radio, I heard someone say, “I wonder who the next Billy Graham is going to be?”

My first thought that I shouted out was, “We don’t need another Billy Graham!” And I bet you Billy Graham would be the first person to say that!

What the world needs is you to start being the person God created you to be and not someone else.

I have heard many statements like, “I wish I could be more like King David, or Paul or this person and that person.” Personally, I have said similar things about people I like and appreciate.

Can we learn from other people? Absolutely! Do I like a good sermon from some like Bill Johnson or Kris Vallotton from Bethel Church. You bet!

But at the end of the day, I am not that person. God created me to be me!

I find it exciting that God’s Word says in Psalm 139:16, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

God’s Word also says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

This tells us that we are unique. We do not have to be the same! There is not one type of Christian.  I am learning to enjoy that all the denominations are like one big family at Christmas.  What we need is unity!

The Church can often sound like the political system in place right now. Republicans vs Democrats. But instead of political parties, we can get into needless debates about what denomination is the best! Enough!

We are many parts, but all one body (Church). We need Protestants, Catholics and everyone else to come together and living out who God  created each of us to be. Unique!

Prayer:

Abba, I thank you that we are all unique. That we do not have to be someone else and nor do we want to be. Holy Spirit, help us to realize our true identity of who you say we are and remove lie that that is preventing from us seeing in true identity. Amen.

 

 

Not Getting Ahead of God…or Yourself

Summary: By taking a disciplined and diligent approach to a challenge in life, we can learn much more about our relationship with God and how God sees us! 

It amazes me how much God has taught me through my cross country running days of High School and how I still use that wisdom today.

One of my favorite memories was when I was a “cocky” sophomore and feeling pretty good during a 10 mile run. I recall saying around mile 7 saying,

“Hey coach, I am feeling pretty good, I’m going to go ahead of you and everyone else and finish!”

And off I went! And I did fine for the rest of the run…..until the next day. The next day I felt way too tired to run because I got ahead of where I was at.

Using that wisdom from running, I have been applying that knowledge as I have been moving forward with work.

When I began working in September, I was working from anywhere from 10-18 hours a week.

Then in October, I felt a bump from God saying you are stronger than you think you are, and worked anywhere from 16-30 hrs a week.

November, leveled out from anywhere from 20-28 hours.

And now that it is December, I feel that similar bump that I had in October.

What happened?

I am using that “Spirit of power, love and sound mind (discipline) that God gave us! (2 Timothy 1:7)

I did not run ahead of where I was at and it has made work so much more enjoyable! Instead of going for the “big home run”, I started chiseling around at what had been an albatross.

Over the past 3.5 months, some of the greatest victories is when I get up and go even if it just for an hour. Those days have been perhaps more important than the days when I work a more normal work day.

And perhaps the most important lesson is to love myself unconditionally and accept myself where I am at!

Prayer: Loving Abba, thank you so much for how patient you are with us. While the “Home runs” are indeed incredible, help us to continue to “walk in a manner worthy of our calling.”(Ephesians 4:1)  In Jesus name, I bless and release consistency, discipline, courage, diligence and boldness right to every reader right now in a two fold fashion. Amen.

Application and Comments:

What is an area of life that God is/has been teaching you that consistency route is better than “swinging for the fences?” I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

 

 

The Benefits of Praying in the Spirit

Summary: Today, I am going to write about a few benefits of praying in the Spirit and impart the gift of praying in tongues!

Praying in the Spirit is something that is relatively new to me. A mentor imparted the gift of tongues to me last year. It wasn’t something that I gave much attention to. I admit I thought it was a bit hokey.

Until this year that is.

I was at a class earlier this year that talked about how praying in the Spirit is like our secret weapon. We don’t even have to know what we are praying because it is inspired  by the Holy Spirit!

1 Corinthians 14:14 says, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.”

Not knowing what we are praying for is exciting after many years of “unanswered prayers”. There were many times I prayed for something specific and if it didn’t come on my time table and my way I would become discouraged. Not knowing what we are praying for is exciting because we can trust God that He knows what we really need and advance His kingdom.

It helps to take the focus off of ourselves because when we pray in the Spirit, we can be interceding for those around us.

There are times I get a sense of what I am praying for and I am learning to journal those moments and see them come to pass. It helps with building a healthy relationship with God.

The second benefit of praying in the Spirit is that it is good for our brains! YAY! There is a Christian psychiatrist named Dr. Carl Peterson that writes how praying in the Spirit releases healing power.

He writes, “As we engage in our heavenly language the brain releases 2 chemical secretions that are directed into our immune systems giving a 35 to 40 percent boost to the immune system. This promotes healing within our bodies. Amazingly this secretion is triggered from a part of the brain that has no other apparent activity in humans and is only activated by our Spirit led prayer and worship.”

Wow! How awesome!

Prayer: Abba Father, I thank you so much for the gift of praying in the Spirit. Thank you that praying in the Spirit really is our secret weapon when it comes to spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:18). In Jesus name, I impart the gift of praying in tongues to each reader. Stir up the gift in each reader as you see fit. I praise you Father for the love, grace, mercy and patience you have for each of us! In Jesus name. Amen. (Note: Only receive this prayer if this is something you want)

Comments: How has praying in the Spirit benefited your own life. I would love to hear your comments below! Be blessed!