Sin like me, please.

Please sin like me.  Please be broken just like I am.  Please be tempted in the ways that I am tempted.. Please don’t struggle too differently from me.  Please don’t be gay, addicted to porn, an alcoholic, in adultery, a drug addict, or believe in another god than I do.  Please have friends just like mine and look like me.  Please don’t make me stretch my comfort limits that far.

Sin like me, pleasePlease agree with my worship music and my lifestyle choices.  Please do these things so that I can remain comfortable.  Please don’t make me enter into things that are unfamiliar.  Please don’t put me in a position where I have to lean and depend on Christ for.  Literally.  Everything.

Please grow and mature in the Lord at the same pace I do.  Please grow just like me so that I don’t have to try to understand you… so that I don’t have look at life through a different lens.  I like my view.  I like the way things are/were.  Please don’t force me to look at the things in my heart that are ugly. Please…  Let’s just keep this about you.  Let’s just stay at the place where I can see your faults.  I don’t have the time to do all this self reflection.  I don’t want to know my ugly.

Thank you Jesus for loving all of us.  Thank you Jesus for seeing all of our ugly and going to the cross anyway.  Give us the courage to enter into relationships that aren’t easy.  Give us compassion for our neighbors.  Give us eyes to see your people and love them like you do.

Help us to remember 1 Peter 2:10 that once we were not a people, but now we are the people of God; once we had not received mercy, but now we have received mercy.  Help us to get out of our lives long enough to see the bigger picture.  Help us to love people who are hard to love.  Teach us Jesus, how to love our neighbors who have no interest in you.  We need you Lord.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray all eyes who read this are reminded to “live such good lives among the “pagans” that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” Give us the desire to step in where it is hard and trust that you will show up. Help change our hearts in a way where we can love people well. Help us to submit our entire lives to you. Help us to trust in you for all of these things. For you are great and your name will be glorified.

In Jesus name.

Amen

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That Scarlet Cord

The book of Joshua is quickly becoming my favorite book. In chapter 2 we meet Rahab. She is usually referred to as a woman of great faith. We learn a lot about God’s pursuit and love for us through her. But we can also see an amazing picture of the power of intercession.

In the story, Rahab hides and protects two spies from being found out by the wicked King of Jericho. She helps them leave the city by using a scarlet cord to lower them down the city walls to safety. Rahab pleas with the men that they show kindness to her and her family and not destroy them when they take the city. These spies make a promise to spare her life AND the life of her entire family.

That Scarlet cord

Vs 12 ““Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them and they you will save us from death.”

Don’t miss this!!!! She pleaded for the lives of her family!!!!

The story continues by the spies agreeing to save them. They instruct her to hang the scarlet cord from her window so that they will know that is where she is and death will pass her house.

Y’all know I love a good parallel to the cross. This is another beautiful picture of salvation that is offered through Jesus’ blood on the cross. The red cord represents salvation and rescue! Death passed over her house and they are all saved.

Rahab created space in her life where her faith in God could intervene. In this instance, it saved her entire family. She knew the God of these spies to be the God of Heaven and Earth.

Another HUGE aspect that can easily be overlooked is the fact that God Saved Rahab!! Let’s not read over this too quickly. She is a woman in ancient times and isn’t valued in the eyes of anyone. She is also a known prostitute. It would be very very very easy to write Rahab off as hopeless or a lost cause. Rahab would easily be a person that we wouldn’t waste prayers on because she is simply “too far gone.”

This really made me think about the people and situations that I have simply thrown to the side because my heart viewed them as lost causes. Thank you Rahab for reminding me that the Lord God I serve is the God in heaven above and on all the earth below.

The word melted stuck out to me in this story of Rahab. Js 2:11 says” when we hear of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you. Vs 24 says that all the people are melting in fear because of us.

These people weren’t melting because of the men. They were melting because of the power of the God of these men. The men were simply His people. Rahab was His people. I am His people. Anyone in Christ is His people. When you carry Christ with you, your prayers have the power to Melt away all things.

I have seen the power of intercession countless times over the last few years and it keeps me awe of God’s faithfulness. If you want an active life with God, have an active prayer life.

So who are you praying for? What situation have you tossed aside as hopeless? Who have you put in the category of “lost cause?” Are you allowing space in your life to pray for the lives of others? Who have we written off as too far gone??

Jesus died on the cross. His blood ran red to save us. So when you pray, pray for people to be saved! Pray for God to melt away anything that is keeping someone from walking in truth. Pray with the confidence that you are praying to the God of Heaven and all the Earth who loves you enough to make a way for rescue.

Another excellent example of the power of intercession is found Luke 5 when a paralytic’s friends had so much faith Jesus could heal him, they lowered him in from the roof. Luke 5:20 says that when Jesus saw his friends’ faith, His sins were forgiven. Jesus saw the faith of his friends. His friends interceded for Him and the man was healed and his sins forgiven.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank for you always being our rescuer. Father, help us to be compassionate for the needs of others and pray for them. ‭‭I pray that every eye who reads this sees you for being a God to cares. Help us seek you as the God who melts away all things that aren’t good. Please continue to change our hearts, Lord as we continue to seek you.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

How to Silence Fear When Cancer Returns

When theGod does not want me afraid of cancer. I tell myself that every time I am afraid of cancer. This AML junk is no joke on the fear factor scale. Nothing on Google has been encouraging and yes, I know…don’t ever Google… it just happened.

Thank God mom has doctors that are awesome and nurses that care, but this would all be a little bit easier to deal with if everything wasn’t. so. scary. So, I have to remind myself that God doesn’t want me afraid of cancer.

Mini Mission Trip

These aren’t just words that I read and can apply. The Lord has LITERALLY shown me he doesn’t want me afraid. He has been everywhere. The second day she received chemo, mom and I ended up praying with her chemo nurse and sharing with her what it means to have the joy of the Lord.

Mom was LITERALLY hooked up to chemo, being poisoned, and sharing the goodness of Christ…with me. It was awesome.

This was nothing other than the kindness of Christ to mom and me. First of all, God knows I love to talk and pray for strangers. Secondly, he knows Mom loves to hear her daughter talk and pray for strangers.

Forget flowers, God sent us the best “Feel Better” present ever! His gifts didn’t end there. A few days later we had a visitor come. This visit turned into another encounter where I was able to share what I have learned on how to love people with other world views.

It was amazing and all were blessed. Soon after that, mom ended up praying with another staff member and had the poor girl in tears because she was able to show the kindness of Christ.

I have more stories, but the point is God doesn’t want me afraid of cancer. How can I feel alone during this time when God has been so close? How can I be afraid for my mom when He reminds us so often that He loves us? We have literally been on a mini mission trip thus far.

Collect Stones and Remember

I’ve just finished a study on Joshua and it’s my new favorite book of the Bible. It might not be the most ladylike of all books, but this book is chalked full of goodness that reminds you of the faithfulness of God.

He is a God who fulfills His promises…even when you are scared.

I remembered all the times God has encouraged me to trust Him. I reminded myself that He loves my mom more than I do, and I rested in knowing that nothing surprises Him.

You read: Do not be afraid. Be strong. Be courageous. Be strong and very courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged  multiple times in the first chapter.

This is because God knows we are going to be afraid. He knows we need to be reminded to Not be afraid. It is so easy to be scared when scary things are everywhere!

In Joshua 4, the people of God are crossing the Jordan River and pick up 12 stones (yes, it’s more than a bunch of churches in GA) to make a memorial. They have to make a memorial because God wants them to REMEMBER what God did for them.

Like the Israelites, we also need to make memorials because we are a forgetful bunch of people.

I am a forgetful person. I need memorials to remind me of who God is. I need memorials to cling to when I feel fear creeping in. I don’t need God to “show me a sign” because He already has.

God doesn’t want me afraid of cancer, and he doesn’t want you afraid either.

What are your memorials? Spend some time remembering what God has already done for you. When you are in a storm, it’s so easy to get lost in it. We NEED memorials!! It’s the memorials that bring us back to the fact that we serve a God who loves us perfectly and in Jesus, we have everything we need. The above stories are simply a few memorials that God has given me so that I don’t stay afraid during all of this.

I love that God never lets me stay down…or never lets me stay afraid long. He always finds a way to get my attention, to draw my attention back to Him so that I look at Him and not the problem. He is the solution. God is the deliverer.

Jesus is the only one that can calm the storms, heal cancer, and cause fear to leave. Tweet that.

Only Jesus can calm stormsheal cancer& make Fear leave.

God’s perfect love cast out all fear.

And just like in Joshua when He said it over and over again. God is willing to remind us over and over again. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that all eyes who read this come to know the joy that comes from doing life closely with you. I pray you heal my mom. I pray you touch her and cancer is gone. I thank you for not letting us feel alone during this. I thank you for your kindness. I pray others come to know your faithfulness. I pray that you are glorified in this storm. I pray for all others who are going through difficult seasons. Help us to remember. Help us to remember that we don’t need new signs. Help us to remember what you have already done for us. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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