Have you ever had a Plan B? You know, you had the best laid out plans and then something went wrong, perhaps even tragic. Plan B’s are never welcomed, whether our Plan B is a dead car battery, divorce, or death of a loved one. What do we do when our original plans don’t work out and discouragement, despair, anger, and hopeless pound on the door of our heart? We look to the cross where it would have appeared that God’s plan hadn’t gone right. Jesus was dead. Hope appeared to be gone. But it wasn’t. If you’re in the midst of a Plan B, look up in hope rather than get stuck in despair. My book, The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World, will walk you through nine choices you can make when life doesn’t go according to plan so you can experience God’s blessings even in the midst of your Plan B.
When You Feel Spiritually Sluggish
Do you ever feel sluggish? Spiritual blah? Nobody likes that feeling. So what do we do when we don’t feel motivated to pray, work, or get moving? Psalm 143:8 encourages us to lift up our souls to God. How do we do that? We pray regardless of how we feel. We read God’s Word. In the process, we discover we’re encouraged and inspired. How is that so? Jesus is a QUICKENING SPIRIT.” He not only gives us eternal life, He inspires and invigorates us through His Spirit who lives in us. If it feels like you’ve lost your spiritual get up and go, ask God to fill you with His Quickening Spirit; then follow how He prompts you throughout the day. Learn more about the Holy Spirit and His role in your life by ordering Listen UP: 31 Points about the Holy Spirit every Christian Should Know.
Are We Forgetting Something?
It was a hurried arrival at the hotel and a quick change of clothes before the driver would pick up my daughter and me to take us to the Arise Conference where I would speak. Lauren and I hurriedly changed out of our travel clothes. Slipping on a long tunic, I announced, “Let’s go!” Lauren looked at me and in an unusual tone asked, “Are we forgetting something?” Looking into her questioning eyes, I replied no. “Mom,” she countered, glancing at my legs. “Your pants?” Now before you judge me too harshly, the top I was wearing was almost down to my knees. Needless to say, we had a good laugh. While that may be funny, Ephesians 6:10-18 points to something that is not a laughing matter…us forgetting to put on the armor of God. Why? We are in a battle against evil and a spiritually naked Christian is an easy target. What is this battle? Is it real? Find answers to these questions and how to dress for the battle in “Is the Battle Against Satan Real.“
Are you familiar with the song, “Wand’rin Star” that Lee Marvin sang in the movie, Paint Your Wagon? Webster defines “wander” as going about from place to without a plan. While Marvin’s song may have been a hit, a wandering mind isn’t a hit when we’re praying. It’s frustrating and ineffective. If you’ve found yourself praying, “Dear God, thank you for this day. Oh! That reminds me, I forgot to get eggs for breakfast.” then you know what I mean. How can we stay focused in prayer rather than have a wandering mind? We can write our prayers. For instance, in Prayers of My Heart journal, there is a section called Week at A Glance where you can write the names of those for whom you daily pray. As your eye focuses on a name, you record a word or two reminders of your prayer. Then, you move in prayer to the next person. Rather than having a wandering mind, you have focused, meaningful prayers. Prayers of My Heart journal – the solution for a wandering mind.
The Power of Suggestion
Some time ago an event planner commented to me, “I’m sure you’re enrolled in the TSA Pre Check program as much as you fly.” I thought to myself how enrolling in the Transportation Security Administration’s Pre check program was something on my to do list, but I’d not yet done it. Her suggestion prompted me to take action and sign up. We never know how the power of our suggestion might encourage someone. For instance, do you have a friend struggling with loneliness who you might suggest they join you for Bible study? Is there a family member dealing with anxiety to whom you could suggest they listen to Christian music? God’s Word tells us to encourage others. How might God use your power of suggestion to encourage someone today?
The Touch of a Stroke
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
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?
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.
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
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.