Thursday, July 31, 2014

When You're Overwhelmed With Stress

"Take my yoke upon you and learn of me...for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:29-30

I will never forget the day I heard God use a rather ethnic tone with me. (He made all ethnicities, so why not?)

I was knee-deep in motherhood, neck-deep in academics and up to just below my nose with an activity I saw as essential to my kids' future.

I was crazy with stress.

I cried out to The Lord in the middle of my multi-tasking mania.

"God, how in the world will I get  everything done?"

God may have smelled a trace of accusation in my breath-prayer that day because I'll NEVER forget the reply He breathed in my spirit.

I can almost see His holy eyebrows raised as He said something like, " Um...Didn't nobody tell you to take on all that extra stuff. I told you to ______________."

  God usually speaks to me in short sentences and then leaves me to draw the logical conclusions to what He has said.

That day I concluded that my brain was pickling in stress because I'd brought it on myself.  Jesus never was frantic with stress, yet He said He fulfilled all God assigned Him. Because He lives in me, I can complete all His assignments too.

He said His burden is light. If my knees  are buckling, it is because I have overcommitted myself with surplus elective responsibilities.

What about you? Do you have so many irons in the fire you can hardly see the fire?

I encourage you to re-evaluate...declutter... simplify...delegate.

I am LOVING the freedom this brings.

You will too.

Talk About It: What is God calling you to throw overboard to keep you from sinking in stress?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Join In!

In my quiet time today in 1 Corinthians 16, I  couldn't help pausing to chew on the verses below:

You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters, to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it (1 Cor. 16:15-16).

Our American culture tends to assign a rank to everything, but here, Paul encourages a sense of partnership. Notice he calls them brothers and sisters? He reminds them they are family. Why would he need to urge them to submit to everyone who joins in the task God has given? Could it be that there was a bucking or competitive spirit among them? Perhaps there was an attitude of wanting to be independent or just plain uninvolved in ministry. 

Friends, we are all in this together! Yes, God values us as individuals, but He designed individuals in the Body of Christ to be interlocking  pieces of a whole puzzle. 

What can you do to be more of a partner than a competitor with those serving The Lord? Is there a need at your church or in your community waiting for you to step up and do your  part?

Perhaps you think someone else can do it better. You're right, but they aren't doing it either.  Meanwhile, the Lord's work goes undone. 

Let's say you are unable  to be active in the work directly. Remember that prayer is a price anyone can afford. A word of encouragement is a booster shot everyone can administer. 

God gave the charge to reach the whole world to all of us. Your corner of the world is equally as important as the  remote village a missionary is assigned to; however, you and the missionary need each other to be successful. 
 The whole world is an enormous field to mow.  There's too much work to be done to have a competitive spirit--too many folks in despair to be idle. Partnership is the only way to get it all done. 

Join in!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

When You're Struggling To Believe

"Every problem a person has is related to his concept of God. If you have a big God, you have small problems. If you have a small God, you have big problems. It is as simple as that." ~Walter A. Henrichsen

Have you ever revisited a place you saw as a child and realized how small it looks now compared to how big it seemed when you were little? What changed, you or the location? You did, of course.

If you are like me, sometimes you find your "faith arms" are too weak and flabby to lift a "boulder problem" up to God in prayer. The boulder is like a pebble to God, but you approach Him as if He were the pebble!

What to do?

Go to the Scriptures for a perspective adjustment. The Word magnifies God to His true size, shrinks your burden, and lightens your heart.

Here are a few verses to get you started:

"God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?"  (Numbers 23:19, NLT)

"Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." (Jeremiah 32:17, NIV)

"The one who did not spare his own Son, but offered him as a sacrifice for all of us, surely will give us all things, along with his Son, won't he?" (Romans 8:32, NIV)

"Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness...." (Nehemiah 9:32,  NASB)

You get the idea. Can you feel your burden shrinking,--your faith growing?

Your Heavenly Father wants you to view today's challenges from the perspective of a mature daughter instead of a frightened little girl. When He puts His listening ear to your praying lips today, may it be tickled with the sweet breath of confidence and faith in Him. 

Talk To Me: Do you have another verse or practice that bolsters your faith when it is weak? I'd love to hear it in the comment box for this blog or via email ( .

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Feed That Child!

1 Corinthians 4:2 "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful."

God put a dream in your heart. As a parent is given stewardship over a child, so God gave you stewardship over your dream. Your dream is like a child. How are you treating it?

Are you ignoring it in hopes it will go away because you are afraid of the responsibility?  Take it from me, it won't go away. That child needs you to feed and nurture it, but the Spirit of God is keeping it alive. Please give up trying to kill it. It may become weak due to your neglect, but it won't die.

Do you hurl accusations at it? "You are not from God, you're just a subtle form of selfish ambition. If I feed you, my own heart will grow fat with pride. No thank you. Go away!"

You say this because you fear the good feeling of succeeding at your dream. If imagining it brings you this much pleasure, the fulfillment of it might make you float to the sky. Oh no, we can't have that, can we?

Have you considered that the euphoria may not  be pride, but joy because you're doing what God created you to do?

How do you make dreams come true? It requires more than wishing on a star.

A dream becomes reality when you give it oxygen. Let it out in the open by telling people you trust about it. It can be scary, but it's necessary. Talking about it with others can make it seem less like a freak of nature. Hiding your dream stunts it's growth, and you've wasted enough time doing that. Let your dream breathe!

Nurture it by teaching it the promises of God. The devil can't stand that. Nurture that dream.

The most nutritious thing a dream can feed on is time. Not the one-of-these-days-I'm-gonna kind of time. I mean time investing in learning ways to develop the dream through honing  skills and gathering information on moving forward. If the dream was important enough for God to grant it, it's important enough to have priority on your calendar. Ask God what that should look like and how to carry it out. 

No more starving and neglecting your dream. Let it out to play. Introduce it to the promises of God, and by all means, feed that child! 

What challenges do you face in taking care of your dream?