Dig Deeply

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“Explore me, O God, and know the real me. Dig deeply and discover who I am. Put me to the test and watch how I handle the strain. Psalm 139:23 The Voice

This is a cry for intimacy.  When we share intimate space with someone, we get to know the good, the bad and the ugly (and of course there is a preponderance of beauty as well!).  The bottom line is there can be no secrets.  Nothing can be hidden. There is no room for it.

I love The Voice version because you can hear the pain in this cry “Dig deeply…Put me to the test…watch how I handle the strain.” So when this happens, we get at the truth of the matter. So here is what was uncovered for me: anxiety, doubt, worry, fear of man, unhealthy connection to people, performance, rejection and fear.

This made me so angry!  It was a list I was familiar with.  I was so tired of the same list popping up time and time again. After a growl, I asked the Lord to deliver me.  I was done with it.  I prayed in the Spirit for thirty minutes because I didn’t trust my own heart to get at the ugly stuff that seemed to be hanging around.  There was a shift!  My heart was lighter. My mind was clearer. I had more energy. It was amazing.  I’ve heard testimonies and sermons about praying in the Spirit but this application was even more validating and faith building. Cool. God gives us all the instructions and the tools.  We just have to use them.

Lord, thank you for every piece of instruction and tool You have provided. I pray i exercise them all to the fullest!

Psalm 139, John 14:26



Before and After

before and after


“18 They are blind to true understanding. They are strangers and aliens to the kind of life God has for them because they live in ignorance and immorality and because their hearts are cold, hard stones.19 And now, since they’ve lost all natural feelings, they have given themselves over to sensual, greedy, and reckless living. They stop at nothing to satisfy their impure appetites.” Ephesians 4:18-19 The Voice


“22 then you know to take off your former way of life, your crumpled old self—that dark blot of a soul corrupted by deceitful desire and lust— 23 to take a fresh breath and to let God renew your attitude and spirit. 24 Then you are ready to put on your new self, modeled after the very likeness of God: truthful, righteous, and holy.” Ephesians 4:22-24 The Voice 

Hopefully you can see the contrast.  It is very interesting that this message was for believers.  Paul is reminding the believers in Ephesus to shift – leave an old lifestyle behind.  Leave an old hard heart behind. Change. Transform. Renew. Choose a new life.  Obviously we can’t do this alone.  We need to be in a Christian community with a commitment to unity and accountability to accomplish a major shift like this.

It’s not perfect or easy.  As believers we have a model in Jesus.  We have instructions in God’s word.  All we have to do is immerse ourselves in the operating instructions! When we lose our way, just go back and read the instructions again…God is gracious and loving and kind.  He never leaves us or forsakes us.  Just hang on and keep referring to the instruction manual!

Ephesians 4


Be A Seed

Be a seed2

“24 I tell you the truth: unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest. 25 The one who loves this life will lose it, and the one who despises it in this world will have life forevermore.” John 12:24-25 The Voice

This scripture pointed out so clearly why I have to die to myself.  The concept is a tough one to embrace.  It boils down to what do I really want?  Do I really want all the fullness that God has for me?  Or am I satisfied with just a taste?  His fullness requires the sacrifice of self.  This helped me to understand that it’s not about me and my plan.  It’s about God and His plan.

As I picture the planting of a seed, I want to be planted.  I don’t want to die on the stalk and wither away, useless and wasted.  I REALLY want to plant and have a shot at being part of a larger harvest.  When I think about all the things in my life that I need to lay down, a few things come to mind like over-planning, over-preparing, and over-performing.  These are top of mind.  I have had a tendency to charge “over” the path all three ways without seeking God’s direction.  Moving ahead instead of following.

Father I repent for that old pattern. I can feel it kick in. I turn to You. I want to walk in Your light.  I want to understand Your ways.  I want to follow Your lead.  Help me relax and just walk with You. Help me keep it simple. Help me to count on You. Thank you for Your love.  Thank you for making my heart sing!

1 Corinthians 15:36-38, Acts 4:4



Pure Heart

pure heart

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8 NIV

A right heart is the foundation for everything else. I can do a lot of things.  I can fill my task list with all kinds of “good” things but if I do not do them in love, they are not worthy.  Often in prayer I ask God to search my heart because I want to offer it up to Him and I trust Him to keep it right. Sometimes I see an element of fear or comparison or performance and I ask Him to get rid of it. I ask Him to fill my heart with things too. Like discernment and wisdom and love. Sometimes I just ask Him to make it right and then He shows me what’s going on.  I’m so thankful.  He is the best heart surgeon around! Talk about preventive medicine! I also ask that He fill me with His love.  His perfect love heals all. All we have to do is ask Him and He will do it.

Father, take my heart and make it Yours.

Psalm 7:10, Psalm 17:3, Proverbs 3:5, Matthew 22:37





“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV

I have read that faith is a fight.  I believe that is true.  It is a fight to hang on to the promises of God in spite of circumstances and what we see happening around us. This peace supercedes everything.  As I learn to release more to God to manage my life, it leaves me with more peace.  More joy.  It’s settling.  There have been days when I had an agenda all lined up with tasks to complete for the day, check list in hand.  From my perspective, it would be a good, productive day.  Occasionally, I have had the sense that God had other plans.

If I retreat to listen quietly, my plans shift sometimes.  Sometimes it results in a luxurious day that I would have missed if I had rushed to my list.  One day in particular, I had my list and everything already loaded into my car to run errands.  I was actually looking forward to it.

Then I heard a still small voice that was calling me to a much more gentle plan for the day.  It included rest, reading, sipping on hot tea and a long luxurious hot bath.  It was a warm, snuggly day inside. I had to deal with a few twinges of guilt and wondered if I was being selfish.  Then I thought of how excited I get when my daughter decides to spend a day home with me.  It doesn’t have to be full of activities.  I just enjoy being with her.  What I discovered is that God enjoys days like that with us too!  We get so caught up in staying busy that we forget about forging a relationship with Him.

I threw the checklist away for the day.  I took a nap.  I took a long hot bath. I read and sipped hot tea while bundled up in a snuggly blanket.  I sat with my Father that day and enjoyed His company.  There are many days that I can run around and do errands.  Just not today. Today I decided to stay home and spend it with Him.

Lord, I pray I pause to savor and enjoy the moments I can steal away to just be with You.

Psalm 29:11, Isaiah 9:6, John 16:33, John 14:1-3, 6-7



Pick One

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Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other.” James 4:8 The Voice

I remember reading this one day and feeling a heaviness on my heart. In the Amplified version it says “[realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].” That is pretty intense. This verse really describes what it looks like to have one foot in the world and one foot with Jesus, still straddling two masters.  Matthew 6:24 says we can’t serve two masters.  We have to choose.

What does that choice look like? I think a lot of people don’t understand how much God loves us.  They think of Him as the Punisher or the Judge. And don’t get me wrong, He is those things too…But most of all He loves us.  Just like a parent has to discipline a child to teach them how to live safely and prosperously and develop in character, God does that with us too.  To teach us His ways.

As a Christian we get fooled into thinking that if we let go of the world’s ways that we will be missing out on something.  Well, we are.  We are missing out on the things that we were never designed to take.  God did not design us to take on worry, anxiety, stress, bitterness, rejection, hatred and all the other burdens that we carry in our hearts.  It makes our hearts hard and heavy and our minds neurotically hyper-vigilant. God never intended for us to live like that.

If we surrender to Him we can let go of all those things.  Just like a parent, He gives us guidelines to keep us safe in His care.  When we are in alignment with His “house rules” our heart has a chance to soften and heal.  Then we have a chance to truly experience the magnitude of His love.  It is a brighter and lighter way to live.  It goes beyond existence and becomes a dynamic experiential relationship with our Creator remembering that He loved us so much that He sent His own Son to die on the cross to mend the relationship gap between us.  There is no greater love than this.

Father, help me embrace a lifestyle that holds me in Your safekeeping. Help me be so comfortable in Your arms that others want to come there too.

Matthew 6:24, Psalm 25:4, John 15:13, Mark 12:30-32



The Art Of Waiting

the art of waiting2

“13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14 NIV

Wait for the Lord.  What does that mean?  I’m learning.  I’m learning that to wait for someone, you have to be in close communication.  You also have to trust their word.  If I don’t ask what their plans are, I might barge ahead with my own plans.  I might get in the way of the other person’s plans. It might mean that we miss our connection entirely. Sometimes I forget to pause and check in with God’s plans for me.  I barge ahead without hesitation thinking I know best.  Occasionally I delude myself into thinking I know a lot more than I do.  I waste time and energy worrying about things He has already worked out.  So waiting is an art.  To wait confidently and gracefully with composure.  I still struggle in this area but I am learning!  Sometimes I get too wrapped up in my head and don’t rely enough on God’s voice.  So I have to go back to square one and get quiet and listen.

Father God, I’m so blessed that You are always there waiting for me.  You never leave without me. You never leave me stranded. Thank you Lord!

Isaiah 55:2-3, Ephesians 3:17-19, Hebrews 4:16, John 8:47, James 4:7-8