Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Give Me Strength

“Lord, I’m tired.  Exhausted to the core of my being.  And I’m far from you.  Please renew my energy and spirit.”

I sit in the sun on Saturday morning talking to God.  It’s week number five of a cold that won’t quit.  I have no energy.  I’m tired of being tired.  I don’t feel close to God.

“What can I do, Lord?  Please bring healing and rest.”

I sit with eyes closed and listen to my breathing, trying to sense God’s presence.

“Are you here God?  Are you listening?”

I breathe slowly and my shoulders relax.  A scripture comes to mind.

Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.  But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.

“Yes Lord, Isaiah 40.”

I open the bible on my lap, turn to Isaiah 40, and scan down to the bottom of the chapter until I find the verse.

I read, “Even youths will become weak and tired…but those who trust in the Lord will find new strength”

I close my eyes and breathe deep, feel the sun on my face.

You’ve been working in your own strength, not Mine.  That’s why you’re tired.  Trust Me.  Turn each day and everything in it over to Me.  Do the work you need to, but do it in My strength, not yours. 

That’s it.  I’ve missed God.  I’ve made time for many things, but not Him.  In my time of weakness when I turn to Him, He reminds me.

My job is busy and challenging.  There’s no way I can do it in my own strength and knowledge.  I need God alongside helping me.

This is my challenge.  At the start of each day, before I get out of the car and walk into my office, I need to turn everything over to God.  Give Him the day and let Him work in it.  Pray for daily strength and wisdom, then rest in that prayer and His presence throughout the day.


This is my daily challenge…to trust God that the work that needs to get done will be done.  To realize I can only do so much in one day, and to seek His strength and wisdom every morning.

What about you?  Do you need to renew your strength in God each day?  Do you need to seek rest?  Do you need wisdom?  Start the day with a prayer for God to be in everything you do.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Listen For The Whisper

What’s more effective as a means of communication…a yell or a whisper?

Initially you might think a yell is, because you can be heard above the daily noise.  I beg to differ.

Last Monday a virus camped out in my throat and decided to sink its jagged teeth firmly into my vocal cords.  By Tuesday I spent most of the day whispering.  In meetings, or on the phone, it didn’t matter.   I whispered.

I was not happy about this turn of events, but I did make an interesting discovery.  People listen more closely when you whisper.  They don’t have a choice.  They’re forced into an active listening pattern.

How often do you actually HEAR what someone is saying?  Isn’t it true that generally a conversation goes something like this…

Friend - "So we’re taking a family vacation next summer and thinking of going to Maui…"
The Listener’s Brain - "Did I unplug the iron before I left this morning?  I have to remember to pick up bread on my way home…and…oh right, that credit card payment is due tonight.  I have to make sure I do that on line.  CRAP, I meant to respond to my boss’s email before I left the office, what’s that beeping in my ear?  Really, my phone’s dying?"

Friend  – "…yup, and snakes."

The Listener’s Brain -"Snakes…what?  What about snakes?  What did she just say?  Where are the snakes….SNAKE!!!  Crap I have no idea what she’s talking about."

We’ve all had one-sided conversations similar to this (maybe without the snakes).  Are your conversations with God one-sided?  How would your relationship with God change if you practiced active listening skills with Him? 

In order to hear God you really do need to pay attention.

Remember Elijah after he kills all the Baal prophets?  Jezebel is ticked and she vows to kill Elijah.  At the direction of God's angel, Elijah goes to Mount Sinai and that’s where God speaks to him.

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him.  And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain.  It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. “ 1 Kings 19:11-12 (NLT)

How did God speak?  In a gentle whisper.  If you're not paying attention you’ll hear the thunder and feel the earth shake, but you’ll miss the whisper.

It takes practice to actively listen for God’s voice.  It also takes silence and solitude.  Make some time for that today.

When was the last time you spent time in silence with God listening for His whisper? Do you need to start today?

Share your thoughts by clicking on “comments” below.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mom's Night Out - Sony Pictures

A biker tattoo artist
A Pastor’s wife
Three stressed out moms
A missing baby

Does that have the makings of a great plot, or what!  These characters all come together in Sony Pictures new movie, “Mom’s Night Out” and I was fortunate enough to attend Shine FM’s pre-screening of it in Edmonton last week. 

Sony does a great job of developing these characters.  They are so true to life they could be you and me. 

Life doesn’t come up all flowers and sunshine and Sony doesn’t try to sugar-coat it.  Life can be hard.  There’s a new challenge every day, sometimes every minute, especially if you’re dealing with teenagers or young kids.

What I loved most about this movie is its portrayal of the reality of the situation. 

Allyson, a strung out, frazzled mother isn’t afraid to admit to her husband she’s not happy.  She’s living the life she dreamed of as a young girl, but it’s hard.

The beauty of it is she doesn’t say it from the accusatory, “I’m not happy and it’s all your fault”, or “I’m not happy and I’m going to find myself and leave you” standpoint. 

She’s just stating the truth and her husband, to his credit, takes it at face value.  He doesn’t get all worked up about it thinking their marriage is over.  He takes it for what it is, a truthful statement and something they need to resolve.

Life isn’t perfect, and people, regardless of the role they’re type cast in, aren’t either.  And here’s another cool thing about the movie.  It shows that God can use anyone, in any capacity to get His message of love and acceptance across.

It’s a great movie.  It has some laugh out loud moments and some "box of tissue" moments.  There’s no swearing, no blood, or guts, or gore.  It’s a good clean, heartwarming story with a great message.

Mom’s Night Out opens Mothers’ Day weekend on May 9.  It’s definitely worth checking out and would make a great Women’s Ministry night out.

I think I’ll have to buy the DVD!

If you go to see Mom’s Night Out, come back and share your thoughts by clicking on “comments” below.