UpLIFT

The Touch of a Stroke

01/15/2020

Do you comb your hair in the morning before you head out for the day? Why do we comb our hair? As the brush strokes through our hair it altars it. What may have been discheveld is now smooth. What may have been tangled is now untangled. We look better. The same is true for journaling our prayers. The stroke of a pen on paper has profound effects. It changes us. As we write out Bible verses it straightens our disheveled emotions. As we prayerfully apply the stroke of our pen to journal pages, it untangles our thoughts. Applying a brush to our hair changes our outer appearance. Applying verses and prayers to the pages of a journal changes our innermost self. (Psalm 51:6) Get a copy of Prayers of My Heart journal and begin seeing changes in your life from the inside out. 

Heavenly Father, You tell us in Psalm 51:6 that You desire truth in our innermost being. Change us from the inside out as we prayerfully meditate on Scripture and take it into our innermost being. 

Do You Know Your Purpose in Life

01/08/2020

Do you know your purpose in life? Certainly we would agree it has to be more than the daily grind of work, paying bills, eating, drinking, sleeping, then repeating the next day. In case it’s been a while since you’ve thought about your purpose, 2 Corinthians 5:20 tells us what we are to be about doing. Our purpose is to be an ambassador for Christ. The verse goes on to explain, “as though God was making an appeal through us to people to be reconciled to God.”  Just as a country sends an ambassador to another country to represent its interests, God calls us to represent His interests to others; to reconcile people to Him. First Corinthians 10:31 clarifies the kind of ambassador we’re to be; saying, “…whatever you do, do to the glory of God.” Learn more about your purpose in Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion.

Heavenly Father, thank You that You give meaning and purpose to life. You call us to be Your ambassadors, to tell others how they can be reconciled to You through Jesus. Help us be  faithful ambassadors who bring You glory. 

 

Not Much or A Year of Much Thanks?

01/01/2020

Have you ever been asked, “What’s going on” and you replied, “Not much” or maybe, “keeping busy.” But what if you were asked what you were thankful for last year; but not only last year, but for each day last year? Could you answer? You could if you had kept a gratitude journal. Why would you want to do that?  Is it a crazy thought that each day we have something for which to be thankful? No, and it’s incredibly advantageous. Research proves that people who journal their thanks are more optimistic about life than those who don’t. No doubt, that’s why 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks. This does not mean we’re to say, “thank you, God, for the car wreck.” It does mean we’re to be mindfully thankful that God is with us and will see us through whatever we face. Begin the practice of writing your thanks to God each day. This time next year, you’ll have a collection of daily gratitudes.

Resolution Revolution

12/26/2019

Do you make New Year resolutions?  Or, have you stopped making them; knowing that you won’t keep them? Are resolutions a good thing or a bad thing? They’re a good thing if coupled with a plan and a tool. For instance, in the Old Testament, God told Moses to build a tabernacle. Then, God gave him the plan. Perhaps you’ve resolved to develop a more consistent and meaningful prayer time with God rather than drop the ball or say the same prayers. If so, Prayers of My Heart journal is your tool to carry out your resolve. Three writing sections offer you inspiration and direction. Begin each day by recording 3 things for which you’re thankful. Then, move to the next section and pray for the people whose names you’ve recorded at the top of each column.  Lastly, turn to the final section and write out the verse provided at top of the page to help you hide God’s Word in your heart. Resolve with a plan. You’re on your way to a deeper prayer life and relationship with Jesus. 

Heavenly Father, thank You that You make all things new, including us. Help us follow through with our resolve to deepen our prayer life and walk with You. Thank You for new beginnings and the opportunity to grow. 

The Christmas Season and Jesus is the Reason

12/18/2019

Does it seem to you that Christmas arrives faster every year, but that it’s gone before we know it? Yes, voices echo through workplaces and homes, “I haven’t put up my Christmas tree.” “I haven’t done my shopping or holiday cooking.” “I’m so far behind!” But, why all the hoopla? Why such a fuss? Are we putting stress on ourselves that is contrary to the very will of Christ who said to not worry about anything, to tell Him our needs, and not forget to thank Him for His answers? (Philippians 4:6-7) Slowing down each day to mindfully rest in Christ’s presence and thank Him for His provisions is a blessing we are wise not to neglect. Writing out our prayers and thanksgiving to God is a proven way to slow us down and make us more mindfully grateful. Prayers of My Heart Journal – a gift to yourself and others.

Heavenly Father, forgive us when we get in such a twit about worldly things instead of focusing on the one thing you said really matters – sitting at your feet. Help us daily do just that – rest in Your presence and glory in Your nearness. We love You.

Joy to the World

12/13/2019

Are you familiar with the popular Christmas song, “Joy to the World”? The lyrics include earth receiving her king, sins and sorrows not growing, and Christ ruling the world with truth and grace. But, as is often the case, we sometimes sing words and we’re not deeply thinking about the context. Case in point is “Joy to the World.” Although it is thought of as a song about Christ’s birth, it’s really a song about His second coming. Second coming? What’s that? Just like the Bible prophesied Jesus’s first coming as a baby who would one day die for our sins; the Bible also records Jesus coming again to earth, but this time as reigning King. It is then we will no longer have sin and sorrow and Christ will rule with truth and grace. Yes, we will continue to gladly sing, “Joy to the World,” at Christmas, but now with deeper meaning and anticipation of Christ’s second coming, also.

I’m Your Huckleberry

05/15/2019

LISTEN

Are you familiar with the saying, “I’m your huckleberry”? Last summer, my husband and I visited Glacier National Park. Right outside the park, we stopped at a restaurant that had every imaginable huckleberry item. Huckleberry pie, huckleberry pancakes. Huckleberry syrup. My husband insisted on buying me a purple shirt that said, “I’m your huckleberry.” Doing a little research on exactly what that statement meant, I discovered that to be one’s huckleberry is “to be just the right person for a job.” When I thought about that definition, my mind quickly raced to Jesus. He, as God’s Son, is the only One who could die for our sins, return to heaven, and empower us to live the Christian life. If you’re looking for the right One to follow, that person is the Jesus Christ. There’s no one more right for this life and the next than Him. 

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus Christ, the perfect and only One who could satisfy our sin debt and give us life eternal. 

Missing Buttons and Spiritual Practices

05/01/2019

LISTEN

Reaching to straighten my collar, I felt a button that was loose and made a mental note to take care of it. Later, looking in the mirror, I noticed that not only did I have a loose button, but that I’d also lost one.  Sometimes, in the busyness of life we don’t notice things that are slipping or have accidentally fallen off. Just like my buttons gradually loosened, so our spiritual commitments can gradually become less firmly established; such as gathering with other believers each week to worship and pray. Are these commitments important? Yes, Hebrews 9:24-25 says, “let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  Gathering to worship and serve with other believers is important. What might we need to look in the spiritual mirror and reattach that has fallen aside?

Heavenly Father, thank You that through spiritual practices we can grow and become more transformed into your likeness. Help us take spiritual practices seriously and not let them fall aside. 

Weight Training for the Spirit

04/24/2019

LISTEN

Years ago I joined a class at a gym but didn’t venture into the weight room. Deciding it was finally time, I was shocked to discover how weak my left arm was compared to my right arm. A trainer suggested I use a weight at home to strengthen my left arm. In other words, strengthen what is weak. What holds true for the body holds true spiritually. Hebrews 12:12 tells us to “strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble.” Hands speak of what we do. Knees speak of our walk. In other words, are we doing what God tells us to do? Are we walking by Christ’s Spirit? If not, what can we do? Psalm 119:28 says, ”Strengthen me according to Your word.” When we read the Bible, we’re strengthening our spirit. Second, pray. Ephesians 3:16 explains that the more intimate we are with Christ, the more we experience His strength in our inner man.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the encouraging words in Your Word that tell us we can strengthen areas of our life that are weak. We ask now that You strengthen us so we are increasingly strong in our faith.

Turn that Frown Upside Down

04/17/2019

LISTEN

Did your mother ever tell you, “Turn that frown upside down”? My mother did – typically when I was moping because she told me to do a better job of cleaning my room. Earthly parents aren’t the only ones to notice our face. Our Heavenly Father notices our countenance. In Genesis 4:6-7, God confronted Cain. “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?” Then He warned Cain, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? But if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door and it’s desire is for you, but you must master it.” Our face is a reflection of our heart, and our heart is either fully loving and obeying God or rebelling against Him. Perhaps we need to look in the mirror today and see what our countenance is telling us about our heart. 

Heavenly Father, we confess that sometimes our downcast spirit is because we aren’t following You. Please forgive us. Set our heart on course to follow You so our face reflects our peace with You.