The Best Medication for Turbulent Times

I surveyed the dark red, single engine airplane we stood in front of as I listened to my new husband say, “It’s absolutely ridiculous to own a vehicle you don’t know how to operate!”  

The airplane that now had my name on the title. The turbulence in my tummy was growing. I gulped. Visions of me soaring through the air filled my head … followed immediately by flashes of me crashing in a blaze of flames.

It seemed reasonable to know how to operate the radio. It even made sense to learn how to land the plane in an emergency, but to actually become a licensed pilot freaked me out.

“I don’t know,” I said. “It looks complicated.”
“It’s not hard at all. I’ll teach you.”

You can already tell this will go badly, can’t you?

There is truth in the old adage that a husband should not attempt to teach his wife to drive. Driving lessons are a lot cheaper than a divorce, but this isn’t a blog about marriage.

“Okay,” I said, more out of a desire to be cooperative than adventurous. “Let’s do it.”

Learning to fly an airplane was horribly hard for me; all the technical, weather-related, and directional stuff vexed me. To top it off, my own flying made me sick. The joggling and bouncing in the little plane while doing the training maneuvers made my stomach churn.

Dramamine was a lifesaver for me. I swallowed pieces of little yellow pills for the first forty hours of my training before I successfully completed my testing to become a licensed pilot.

Can I get a whoop! whoop!?

I’m still plagued by motion sickness if the air is turbulent or if the waves are rough. If the swings are tall or the carnival rides turn me upside down. You can tell me it’s all in my head but I am still hurling into an airsick bag.

While Dramamine commands my upset stomach to calm down,
it does nothing to change my circumstances.

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Do You Wonder If God Sees You?

Are you in a season of wondering if God cares about you or even sees you?
Do you think he led you into a wilderness and forgot where he left you?

Whenever I launch a new series of talks, a service, or book, I have a moment or two when it feels like I might have misread the signals God sent. That I am all alone and forgotten. That I will die in the wilderness.

Then God shows up in some extravagant way to reassure me that I am not forgotten at all.

When Almida said she had a present for me, I was giddy with excitement.

Almida is an interesting woman. Her wisdom, life experiences and prayers have been my life line for decades. Russian by birth, she escaped the Nazis by walking across Europe only to live in a refuge camp for months before getting a sponsor in the US. She made a living as a tailor until she married an entrepreneur who made a boatload of money as a building developer. Her husband, Willy, died at 41 in a plane crash leaving her devastated. Her grief was compounded when Willy’s business partner bankrupted the business, essentially depleting her resources and retirement.

She’s adjusted to life’s exciting twists and unpleasant turns by trusting God with an unwavering faith.

Almida is now 86, and resides in an assisted living facility. The pain in her hip is her constant companion, making an outing to any store a major ordeal. She’s frugal by necessity and was never a big believer in “good behavior” gifts. It wasn’t my birthday and Christmas was long gone, so I couldn’t imagine what gift she might have for me.

A piece of advice?
A photo of us?
A prayer? 

“What do you mean, you have a present for me, Almida?” I asked.

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Goodness, God! What are you up to?

God’s faithfulness doesn’t always look like I think it should.

There have been many times that I looked to the heavens and asked,
Goodness, God! What are you up to? 
Can you relate?

 
Like you, I’ve had several callings or commissionings from God.
He called me to be his own.
Hurrah!
He called me to be a wife and a mom.
Hurrah, hurrah!
He called me into workplace.
Ok! Hurrah!
 He called me into full time ministry.
Yahooooo! Hurrah!
 
Even when faced with obstacles and obstructions,
I trusted those callings were from God. 
 
But … Though I am confident of the calling,
I still run into road blocks and detours.
I have to remind myself of God’s faithfulness.
 
The journey to trust God never ends.
 
Like all journeys, some parts are smooth and easy and

other parts or rocky and hard. 

Do you need a reminder that God is worthy of your trust?
 
Look no further than your Bible.
Noah was called to build an arc to escape the coming flood.
He trusted God for 120 years.
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Are You Confused About Prayer?

I was very confused about prayer when I first started to follow Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I knew that I was supposed to pray but I wasn’t sure how … or even to whom I should address my prayer. I knew there were three persons of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but I wondered Which one do I pray to? I sure didn’t want to offend one person of God or bring down God’s wrath on myself for doing it wrong!

How could I get the answers I needed?

I was in a small Bible study group with some pillars of our church. When they prayed it sounded like they were reading from a hymnal! I wanted to pray like they did! However, I didn’t want anyone to know how ignorant I was! 

In the end, I had to ask for help. I screwed up my courage and asked the oldest and grayest of them to teach me about prayer.

She explained, “What one person of God knows, they all know. It doesn’t matter which person of God you address your prayers to.”

She suggested I start with a memorized prayer like the one in Matthew 6. I still pray the Lord’s prayer frequently, but since then I also developed a prayer model to help me keep my prayers fresh and fervent.

I call it the T.R.U.S.T. Prayer Model.

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How Do You WANT To Belong?

Have you ever been invited to join a group and just didn’t think you’d fit it?

Maybe you felt inadequate. Maybe you didn’t think you’d measure up or you’d be embarrassed or it would be awkward. Maybe, you wanted to avoid conversations about your past or your current situation.

Maybe you’re just too busy to get involved with one more thing. When your proverbial plate is so full you can’t see the pattern on the edge, you can’t add one more thing.

Maybe you have your hands full of your own stuff, and you just don’t want to hear about other people’s problems. Maybe you’ve decided you don’t like the people in the group.

Of course, you’d never say that out loud, but you might think it.

For whatever reason, you want to pass …

How do you change your thinking so you want to belong? 

I talk about that reluctance to join in this week’s video.

Click on the video below to watch it now.

It might be as simple as trusting that the person who’s invited you loves you and wants to be with you.
It might be that you feel God prompting you.
Often, you’ll find that you’ll benefit and be a benefit.

What is God calling you into and is he doing it through an invitation from a friend?

Father God, You invite us all to belong. Overcome our fears and doubts about whether we’ll fit in or if we are good enough. Amen. 

 

 

Reset Your Faith To Trust God

How do you reset your faith to trust God with your circumstances, your kids, your job, your past and your life?
I can help you with that. 

If you’d rather watch a video than read this, you can see it if you click here.

My hubz, Dave (or Mr. 4-Ever as we call him) and I spend a ton of time in the car. While he drives, I read, play video games, write on my laptop, gaze out the window or nap. I don’t have to stare at the road looking for hazards, because I trust Dave to do that.

Driving with, … oh let’s call her “Mary” is an entirely different story.
I’m on high alert because Mary is forever running over the rumble strips on the highway.
She fiddles with the radio, checks her phone and yells at other drivers.
It’s exhausting to be in the passenger seat.
I can’t trust her driving.

The key to trusting God is to know him.
To know his character and his heart.
To know he is competent and that he has your best in mind ALWAYS!

How do you do that?

The first way to get to know God is to stick your nose in his big book – the Bible.

Read the accounts of God’s faithfulness to his people. They trusted him in the direst or most peculiar of situations. Then you will begin to see that what was provided for some is possible for you.

Now before you tune me out about reading the Bible, let’s talk about how to make it fun, valuable and effective. There are LOTS of ways to make it interesting.

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Done Being Fooled And Ready For A Do-Over

Have you ever been played for a fool?

It feels awful, doesn’t it?
As if we don’t make enough foolish choices of our own, the world is full of shysters.

Sometimes even good intentioned decisions lead to lousy outcomes.

That’s what this week’s video is about.
Starting over with Jesus.

 

Take a look.  Click anywhere on the image to play.

 

Even if your past includes things you’re not proud of, God offers forgiveness and restoration.

Ask him now to put you back on track.

Prayer: Oh Lord, the things I wish I could do over. The things I’ve said that I wish I could take back. I have such regret and guilt. Your Bible says that I can confess these things to you and you will forgive me. Take them from me and give me a fresh start. In Jesus Name. Amen.  

 

 

 

Trusting God with Big Changes

I don’t love change.

Anyone else with me?

In my quiet time this morning,
I realized I was sitting on 20 year old couches,
looking at walls painted 20 years ago,
dressed in pjs and robe that were,
yes, you guessed it,
about 20 years old.

Girls, change challenges me!

I barely like change even when it’s my idea!

But,
keeping things the same
is no safeguard from pain.

Things break and wear out.
Children grow up and move away.
Friends die or move on.
Opportunities evolve and disintegrate.

Change is necessary.
Change is good.
Change is inevitable.

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My Elijah Moment

It has been quite a season for me!  My first book, The Widow Wore Pink launched.  I had lots of speaking engagements and God gave me inspired, transformative messages to share.  I prayed and laughed and cried with women in cities all over the midwest.

It was wonderful.

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Have you had a season like that, busy but beautiful?  

God has moved or whispered or you have had a break through.
You are sure he must love you more than most.

Right after Elijah has one of the biggest God-moments in the Bible, we find him hiding in a cave, fearing for his life (see 1 Kings 19:1-9).

What?

Don’t judge. That happens to me.
A lot.
I have an encounter with God at an event.
I experience God’s presence and pleasure in worship.
I pray with a woman and she is set free!
I have a conversation with an event planner that’s a perfect fit for my talks.
My hair turned out perfectly.  (remember, don’t judge)
Life is so good!

Then I get slammed.  

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