Elevation Church worship

Jesus You’re Greater! [Guest Post]

 

Y’all… I am HONORED to have my very own big brother Aaron writing today’s post! He is a gifted writer & very entertaining to be around :) I am so proud to call him my big bro, and I’ve been asking him to write something for my blog for quite some time now (cuz he’s awesome).

I hope this speaks to all of you, especially any gentlemen reading this. Thank you Aaron for writing!


“Sin was strong, but
Jesus You’re stronger
Our shame was great, but
Jesus You’re greater”

~Elevation Worship, “Raised to Life”

This morning I was thinking about an instance in which I was tempted awhile back. I say tempted because that is where it started & ended. My mind began down a path of thoughts that was visualizing what “could have been” had I acted on my temptation.

As soon as I realized the thought pattern my mind was on (about a total of 10 seconds), I began to feel guilt & shame about even feeling/thinking about “what could have been”. I started thinking, “What kind of man / Christian / husband / father etc. would even think of such things? Only a man with evil desires in his heart.” Oh the guilt was coming on me now.

Then I realized something with Great Joy! I realized that my tempter (Satan) & my source of guilt, or if you’d prefer (my accuser), were one & the same. I also realized that I had no reason to feel guilty at all because I had won.

Scoreboard Satan! You lose! You lost when you tempted me, & you lose again because I will not feel guilty about a temptation I had and overcame! I will not feel guilt about having 2nd thoughts now about “what could have been” because I choose now not to dwell on those thoughts, & I’ll choose again to triumph over that sort of temptation, if it arrives in my path again.

I say this with confidence that God has given me through helping me (His imperfect servant) to overcome temptation in the past. “If I must boast, let me boast in the Lord Jesus” for He helps me to overcome.

Even Jesus was tempted, but like the song says: “He was Greater, He was Stronger.” The end of the song just happened to be on repeat as I worked this morning :) & it says…

“Raised to Life | with Christ the Savior | in His name, a new Creation | now our song will rise | adoring Christ the Lord”

Prayer:

Thank You Jesus for not only helping me to overcome my temptation, but also to have the wisdom to recognize both tempter & accuser are both derived from Satan. Thank You God for helping me to feel “Raised to Life” & to feel like a “New Creation” a “Renewed Creation”…. and not a guilt laden person who is frozen by failure & triumph, but rather strengthened by Grace!

[Isn’t my bro awesome? If you have a moment, could you leave him a comment below to let him know you enjoyed his post today? Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!]

 

Credit: Lightstock, Pearl

Financial Provision Prayer!

Credit: Lightstock, Pearl

Credit: Lightstock, Pearl

First off, happy All Saint’s Day! I hope you’re recovering from your sugar hangovers & enjoying a brand-new month. Hard to believe 2014 is winding down, isn’t it?

I’d like to start off the Thankfulness month with something my husband & I are extremely grateful for: Great friends! A true friend should encourage you, support you, challenge you to grow (especially in areas you need it), & most vitally (perhaps) – pray for you. 

I’ve tested this myself for many years and noticed that God responds rapidly to our prayers for others. Sometimes we don’t see breakthrough when we pray alone for ourselves, but when someone else does, it moves the heavens. It’s an interesting concept & one I’m still trying to understand. All I know is that intercession is one of the most powerful things you can do for those around you. It’s one of my absolute favorite ways to love on the people in my life, and it has the power to transform their lives (even without them knowing why).

Two good friends of ours are Kalen & his beautiful wife Alysia. When we were struggling with recent career/financial decisions, Kalen prayed a powerful prayer over us for provision & direction… in a time when we didn’t know what to pray, he really blessed us by stepping up & praying on our behalf. Isn’t that amazing?

And guess what? Ever since Kalen prayed this over our family (& we echoed it), we’ve seen some very significant financial breakthroughs. All glory to God!

I encourage you to grab a friend, church or family member and pray this prayer when you & your loved ones need breakthrough in your finances and ALSO to rededicate your heart & money to God. It all belongs to Him anyway, & sometimes we need to remind ourselves of that. Who knows what big things God will do when we ask for His help together? Remember this scripture:

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” ~Jesus (Matt. 18)

I’m posting Kalen’s prayer here with his permission, so enjoy!

Dear God,

We need Your hand, and all the miraculous works attributed to it, to guide us in our career paths. Father, we are waiting for answers about what direction You want us to go. We are intimidated by the responsibility of starting a new direction after recent changes at work. God we need You! Lord, I need You to use Your power in my life to make me obey Your will.

God we submit our lives to You. Do as You will. We submit our worries to You. Fill us with peace. We know these things are easy for You, THE MOST HIGH GOD. Speak to us, give us ears to hear. Show us, give us eyes to see.

We love You, we know You want good for us. Fortify our faith in Your sovereign plan and path for us. God we want to be where You want us, and do what You will. Help us Father. We plea to You through Jesus’ authority. God thank You, we know You will come through. We will be ready to bend to Your will. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What a beautiful prayer. Can you see why God would love to respond to such an honest, humble request for His help? I loved it. I hope it blesses you & your family, and feel free to share it with those who may need to hear it.

Thank You Lord for caring for us so deeply, including about our every need. You know the number of hairs on our heads, and You certainly can handle every bill & impending need we have. Thank You for using us to be Your provision for others, too, Lord in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Credit: halloweencesky.blogspot.com

Embracing the Season You’re In

First off y’all, I think we’ve already established that autumn is our favorite season around here, but here are a few reminders why:

Credit: My friend Matt Altwegg

Credit: My friend Matt

OK, now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems :), I had a little message on my heart to share today. It is this:

Embrace the season you’re in.

When I was first married, I remember praying this prayer to God ~ certainly Holy Spirit inspired:

Lord, help me to enjoy every season we’re in, fully, without wishing for the next one.

Each season has things worth celebrating! The season when we lived on a 300-acre ranch, with nary 600 sq. feet for this newlywed to “nest” in ~ with no neighbors, a mile-long bumpy dirty road, and wide-open spaces…

I could’ve complained. But I would’ve missed the incredible fun & blessings of that season!

I wanted contentment. I didn’t want to look back on that season & think, “You know, those were the days, with some of my favorite memories!!” Dodging cow patties on the way to the car, learning to shoot skeet for the first time, repairing fence line to protect the precious figs from drought-hungry cattle, watering our little garden for hours while talking on the phone to people back home or singing worship songs, dancing with my husband in the kitchen & watching the sunset from our roof…

Those memories are precious to me. Memories of homesteading on the range. And they would’ve never happened had we not lived on a 300-acre ranch in the middle of nowhere :) If we’d skipped straight to suburbia (where we are now), we’d have missed it. And I’m SO thankful we didn’t. I’m so grateful He gave us that time to just be together, with us & his parents & the wild outdoors. He was laying a cool foundation that I couldn’t have known at the time.

He was writing our story. And He still is.

I remember thinking one spring day, as I was riding the loooong, wild stretch of land we called “road” & thanking God for my new husband of 3-4 months:

Lord, this is such an adventure!! Thank You for such a surprising blessing far beyond what I ever imagined!

SO many times that first year of marriage, I pinched myself with excitement that I WAS MARRIED. It actually happened, TO ME. The words to that ridiculous 90’s song kept tumbling out of my mouth during that time (& still do):

“Finally it’s happened to me
right in front of my face
and I just cannot hide it….”

Over & over again, as I swept dusty ranch house floors & cleared away dozens of daddy-long legs that infiltrated our teensy home during the blazing-hot summer, I rejoiced (& not just because of my husband). God was changing my perspective & giving me a brand-new life, with brand-new people, in a brand-new place that I never would’ve dreamed of.

I want it to always be that way in my life. Don’t you? Yet lately I’ve found myself LESS content with MUCH more. God’s reminding me of my newlywed prayer today:

Father, may I ENJOY each season You’ve given me – each one You’ve given Brian & I together, for however long that is! May we never forget Your blessings & Your presence, even in the challenges of daily life.

I’ve lived enough of my life in anticipation of the next season. I don’t want to miss the here & now anymore because I’m 10 steps ahead in my mind (& my planner, because Lord knows I love mine!!).

Plan for the future, live for today. Celebrate the season you & I are in right now. God has blessings in store for each one of them, but we have to keep our eyes open or we could miss them.

With that said, I’ll leave you with this, terrible 90’s dancing & all :)

 


All images via Pinterest and bhg.com, weddingchicks.comweheartit.comhalloweencesky.blogspot.comtheglitterguide.comtressugar.com, & vivioli-babiesfashionlife.blogspot.com.

 

Credit: CC EllenM1

You’ll Be Called Restorers

Credit: CC EllenM1

Credit: CC EllenM1

“You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.”
~Isaiah 58:12 (MSG)