Your Kindness Will Potentiate God’s Love

 

Kindness is one of the most important disciplines of faith we can develop on our journey to trust and follow Jesus.

It’s the universal language of love that morphs us into women who look, sound and act more like Jesus. When we clothe ourselves in kindness (Col. 3:12), we affect people in a positive and lasting way.  

It’s foundational to our faith because as the role model for all things, Jesus WAS and IS kind. His death and resurrection was the ultimate self-sacrificial act of kindness. The way He continues to intercede for us to the Father is a perpetual kindness.

Kindness is different from generosity in that it requires nothing more than an intentional action.

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Does God Listen to Your Prayers if You’re Naughty?

As a national Christian speaker, I hear the secret questions that women ponder. One that keeps women up at night is,
Does God listen to my prayers if I’m naughty?

There are those who will tell you that God does not listen to the prayers of sinful people. I’d have to disagree. If being naughty disqualified you from having God’s ear, no one would have it.

  • Especially not a murderer like Moses or Paul.
  • Hotheads like Peter and Samson would certainly be disqualified.
  • Rebels like Jonah and Abraham would never get God’s attention.

Priscilla Shirer says, “Do you really think God loved you enough to die for you but doesn’t love you enough to talk to you?”

Now it’s true that if you have a huge sin in your life, it could be an obstacle to hearing from God.

But, that’s on you. God doesn’t distance himself from us. Our shame and guilt keeps us from approaching himI recently had a falling out with a girlfriend. I hurt her feelings and there was a rift between us. Consequently, I did not go out of my way to see her or call her or run into her. I even avoided going to places where I knew she’d be! The disharmony between us made me want to avoid her. It wasn’t until I acknowledged my mistakes, said I was sorry and asked her to forgive me did I want to spend time with her again.

The same is true when I hurt God. When I am being naughty, or haven’t dealt with my sin, I do not want see him, or hear him or be with him … until I admit my misstep, say I’m sorry, and ask him to forgive me. Only then will I want to spend time with him. Only then will I feel worthy to approach him. 

If God didn’t listen to the prayers of naughty people like me … and maybe like you, he wouldn’t hear anyone’s prayers.

But he does. The Bible says so. Jer 33: 3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  God is on the edge of his throne waiting to hear from you. 

The Lord loves to hear from naughty people like me and you… so he can tell us that we’re forgiven and we’re loved, and that he has wonderful plans for us.

What’s holding you back from talking to God today? Drop a comment below and tell me what your prayer is today. 

Prayer: Lord God, I am so thankful that you are always at the ready to hear from me, guide and direct me, forgive me and reset me. Thank you for a do-over every time I need one. Your love sets me free. Amen. 

Do You Need the Bible to Get to Heaven?

 

I was speaking at an event recently and this question came up, Do you need the Bible to get to Heaven? 

I said no. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love God’s Word. It’s full of directives and suggestions to make my life work. It’s packed with comforting verses and encouraging words. There are hundreds of miraculous accounts to inspire and encourage.

I’ve read the Bible cover to cover multiple times and have actively studied the Word of God for decades.

I once drove ahead of a tornado to rescue my Bible from destruction because a lifetime of wisdom is written in the margins of that book! It’s one of my greatest treasures, but I don’t worship it. God is not comprised of Father, Son and Holy Bible. 

I believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God, but we don’t need the Bible to get to heaven. The thief on the cross didn’t have a Bible. Millions of Chinese believers have no Bible. I don’t need a Bible to get to heaven.  I need Jesus to get to heaven.

The Bible can’t save me!

When we read the Bible, it’s not so much that we gain knowledge, it’s so that we meet the Author. We don’t need to know the letter of the law as much as we need to understand God’s great love for us. When we put more emphasis on the Bible than the author, we can run into trouble. Holy Spirit’s will tell us all the things that Jesus wants us to know. (John 14:26)

The Bible teaches me all about Jesus’ coming, birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. It recounts the way or through whom I access heaven, but the book itself doesn’t save me.

It’s the author who saves me.

I love God’s Word because I love God. I read it and study it so I know God more intimately and understand his character. I love God’s Word, but it only point me to Jesus. Only by trusting and following the Author and Perfecter of my faith am I saved. 

Read the Bible, but worship the Author. 

Prayer: Lord, fill me with your Holy Spirit and and keep me focused on you as I study your Word. Teach me about you. Teach me how to live. Help me to know and trust and follow you to the end of my days. In Jesus Name. Amen

Does God Give You More Than You Can Handle?

Has anyone told you that God won’t give you more than you can handle? I’ve heard it plenty! And there was a time when I believed that nonsense.

Then I buried 2 husbands and my mama in four years. God definitely allowed more than I could handle!

I’m sure you can relate! Haven’t there been seasons when the kids were little and you got no sleep and thought you were losing your mind? When someone you loved was addicted or abusive and your feared for your sanity and safety? Hasn’t there been a time of lack, sickness, or upheaval in your life that you thought would crush you?

Of course there has. That’s when God does his best work. It is in the times of upheaval that we run to him for the healing, rescue, answers, resolution or miracle that is way beyond our own control or ability.

If we could manage to manage everything in our lives on our own, why in the world would we need God?

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3 Keys to Avoid a Meltdown

What season are you in?
Busy but beautiful? Easy and comfortable? Stressed out and crazy?

It’s fall in the midwest and that means an explosion of colors outside the window and roaring fires inside. It’s the season of comfort food simmering on the stove and pumpkins lining porch steps.

Fall launches women’s ministry and my weekends are packed with great places to proclaim the Name of Jesus and teach the Bible. I meet lots of lovely women and we belly laugh, cry and pray together.

It’s the best!

Have you had a season like that, busy but beautiful? Has God moved or whispered or maybe you’ve had a break through? Secretly, you wonder if God must love you more than he did yesterday. That’s how it feels when your passion partners with God’s purpose for you.

But then comes the attack.

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Reframe Memories To Rewrite Your Story

Does this happen to you? You’re cruising through your day, or your desk, or your drawers and you tumble back in time? You hear a song, catch the scent of an old flame, or find a photo from the good old days and your past comes roaring into your present. You can let the past haunt your future or you can reframe the memory to rewrite the story. 

While purging items in my closet that didn’t fit my style anymore, (or to be perfectly honest, didn’t fit my mature, more generously padded frame) I stumbled across two of my dead husband’s favorite shirts.

It stopped me in my tracks.

For decades those shirts lay folded and waiting to be put in rotation again. Even more than a photograph or nostalgic song on the radio, the sight and feel of them took me right back to a time when we were young and bulletproof and all was well with us.

I kept them because they reminded me of my Hot & Hunky Hubz who died in his sleep of a heart attack at the age of 39. I kept them because I thought one of my boys, who were 7 and 4 at the time of his passing, might grow into them and I would see them repurposed, resurrected.  I kept them because I thought I would see a version of Hot & Hunky again.

I held onto them because a part of me couldn’t let go of that time when all was well.

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Are Burning Coals Falling On Your Head?

Do you have anyone in your life that’s a handful? You know, really irritating? Downright difficult?  Be careful how you treat them or burning coals may be falling on your head!

One of the most challenging people I have ever had to accommodate was Hot & Hunky’s dad. He was ex-military and an ex-cop. He bragged about riding motorcycles year-round in the ‘60s. “Heck, yeah, (except he didn’t say heck) it was cold. We’d wrap our legs with newspaper as insulation under our uniforms. The department wasn’t full of wimps, women and weaklings like it is now.” 

After a series of crashes and altercations disabled him, he retired from the police department. Without a satisfying job and with little to do at home, he took solace in food and television, gaining a ton of weight, further handicapping his movements which made him cranky. 

He had some redeeming qualities. He was funny and charming when he wanted to be. He was kind to children and generous with his time and talent. He loved his family furiously, but he was a difficult patient for his sweet wife. We all waited for the day when he would pass, and relief would come to my mother-in-law.  

Then, POOF! She died. Just like that, it fell to us to take over his care. Hot & Hunky handled his finances and insurance, I took on the role of activity director and chauffeur. 

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God Redeems Life’s Wreckage

When life reels out of control and the wreckage is overwhelming, where do you turn? 

September 10th is a big day at my house. It’s the day my husband Craig’s plane was discovered after being missing for weeks. Our hope and prayer was that both Craig and the plane would be recovered safely and intact, but that wasn’t what we found.

A pilot error, a thunderstorm, and a dark mountain created a trifecta of disaster. After an exhaustive search by the FAA, State Police, Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and NASA, Craig was finally discovered inside the crumpled aircraft wreckage where he’d obviously been killed on impact.

What do you do with that kind of news? Where do you turn for answers? 

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Do You Trust God With The Impossible?

How good are you at trusting God with what’s on your heart and mind but out of your control?

Do you trust God with the impossible or do you fuss and squawk until there’s nothing you can do to make a difference and then slump into despair and worry? 

My son, Eli, graduates from bootcamp this week. It seems like only yesterday that he was toddling around the house in diapers. The years float by leaving a residue of precious memories to mark high state occasions. The first step. Every first day of school. Passing his drivers test. Watching him play football. High School graduation. His first job as a firefighter.

Each marker took Eli further and further beyond my ability to protect him. Joining the Air Force Reserves marked the final transition of my role from guardian to worrier, I mean warrior … of prayer.

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What’s Your Heart Condition?

Did you know I have a heart condition? Don’t be alarmed. We all do.  

When our hearts are out of sync with God’s best for us, He will reveal it to you in the most inventive ways.

I knocked lightly and popped my head in Jake’s room to say goodnight. His room was a disaster area. Stacks of magazines, motorcycle paraphernalia, and a week’s worth of socks and underwear covered the floor. He had one little bitty space on his huge desk that wasn’t covered with paper or doodads or books. The bed was disheveled and the window blinds were all catawampus.

How could a kid whose brain organized data to get straight As in engineering live in this chaos?

When his face met mine, he wasn’t smiling. “Mom, got a minute to talk?”
“Sure,” I said. “Want to come downstairs?”
“Can you just come in here?”

I hesitated. See, I am not messy. My spices are alphabetized. My closet is color organized by sleeve length. The coins in my car are heads up, facing the windshield. I can tell you what’s going to be for dinner a week from Tuesday. Being in his room makes my brain freeze and my hands twitch.

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