Episode 001: Finding the Humanity of Jesus; A Beatitudes Study

Finding the Humanity in Jesus.
Struggle with relating to Jesus as a human? Me too! Not anymore!

 

Welcome to the Friends with God podcast! In this episode we begin a five part series on finding the humanity of Jesus in the Beatitudes. Raised in church, I had trouble separating “super hero” Jesus in my mind. My life began changing when the gospel stories became facts about the person of Jesus Christ. It’s my hope you are able to trust Jesus with more parts of your life after this study on the Beatitudes!

As Always!
Praying for ya’ll!

Lauren

 

Have troubles relating to Jesus? Me Too! Not anymore.
Finding the humanity of Jesus changed my time in the word. It’s my hope it helps change yours!

 

How to Move Mountains in Prayer: 7 Days of Scary Prayers

how-to-2Have you ever prayed scary prayers?  They are the kind of prayers that are so big and bold and outside the normal prayers we pray before bedtime. Only God has the power to answer scary prayers. Have you ever seen God answer any scary prayers? I have.

Nothing has increased my faith in God like prayer.  It’s what keeps me praying and worshiping even when some prayers don’t get answered and the healings don’t come.  I’ll talk about prayer, teach about it, write about it, try to get you to start doing it all. day. long. if you’ll let me!

Jesus says if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. (Matthew 17:20) That. sounds. crazy. Jesus! What Jesus is really inviting us to is a deeper faith.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray saying Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Then, He teaches us to pray/ask for three things:

1.Provision-Daily Bread

2. Personal Relationships- Forgive us as we Forgive others

3. Against Sin and Evil- Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil

When we pray on Earth as it is Heaven, we are praying and trusting God to provide for our physical, relational, and spiritual needs.

We are praying for the perfect provision in Heaven to unleash into our lives on Earth. (This stuff gets me super jacked in Jesus name… btw.)

But sometimes there are mountains in the way!!!  Some mountains we create on our own. Others are simply there because life. is. hard!! We live in a world full of trouble, strife, and hardship. And we DO have an enemy who hates us and will do anything to get in the way of us seeing God.

What does Jesus tell us to do with mountains BY FAITH??? He says… Tell them to move! That’s a scary prayer.

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In the physical world mountains are HUGE!  My dad lives in Montana. We would drive all around mountains on the way to our campsite… our destination.  It would take a while!

Jesus is always speaking directly to issues of our hearts and souls… the things that last.

In the spiritual world, in your Christian walk (heart)… what mountains are in the way of you seeing Heaven or experiencing and seeing God? What mountains are in the way of your spiritual growth?  Jesus tells us to move the mountains… not drive around them.

The Challenge

Will you join me for 7 days of scary prayers? For 7 days, let’s pray for mountains to move and Heaven to invade those places with His glory.

I love love love Matthew 16: 15-19- And on this rock I will  build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven.

Let’s intentionally loose Heaven on Earth in Jesus name for  7 days. Tweet That

What do your mountains look like?  Are they financial? Relational? Physical? Do you need healing? We will pray through the Lord’s Prayer for 7 days.  Over these 7 days, I will send a prayer every day to your email that teaches you how to pray for a specific mountain to move.

I won’t be able to cover every mountain in 7 days, but it’s my hope that these 7 days serve as a jump start to a faith building prayer life!

Some of you reading this have had some really jacked up things happen to you and you don’t even know if you have a mustard size faith. If that is you, then borrow some of my faith and sign up anyway.  I have enough faith and hope to carry you. Yes. You. I pray for every eye that reads any word I write or say.

We can have perfect peace and provision this side of Earth.  We can have contentment in Jesus name.  It might not look like what you thought it would, but God’s promises remain true.

So what do you say? Will you join me? Starting Monday, January, 16th, will you join me for 7 days of scary prayers?  Will you join me as we seek God and tell mountains to move in Jesus name? I pray you say yes!

Click here for your Printable 7 Days of Moving Mountain Prayers!

You can find my Youtube teaching videos here to go along with them!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNIVIjoxuhUTximNwgd61sA

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for showing us how to pray. Thank you for Jesus. Father, help us to keep your words in our minds and hearts as we seek you! Give us the strength to trust you once again..or maybe for the first time. Jesus let us feel your presence and encourage us as we seek to move the mountains in our lives and the lives of our loved ones in Jesus name. Father, we can do none of this without you. You are everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

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#FiveMinuteFriday: Connect

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I don’t always want to connect. I mean I do, but sometimes I don’t want to put in the effort it takes to connect. Sometimes, I want to be a lazy friend, a lazy wife, a lazy mom, a lazy church lady.

Connections. Take. Effort.

With my family, friends, God, bloggers, social media. ect….it’s takes time to connect. However big or small the connection may be still requires some sort of effort.

But that’s not how God has called me to live. He hasn’t called me to not put in any effort.  God’s people are worth it.  God’s church is worth it.  My friends are worth it.  I am worth it.

Connections are what build relationships. Connections are what make people realize we aren’t alone.

Connections are what remind us God is extremely relational. Tweet That

When we fail to connect…we disconnect.

That is a dangerous place to be.  That leads to isolation and idle thinking with yourself.  You know, that whole devil’s playground mess.  I don’t know about you, but my mind can go to crazy places!

I need connections with God, family, friends, and social media (Yes, social media…I’m a huge fan) to remind me the world is bigger than me.

Take the time and put in the effort to connect this weekend! Actually get up and go to church, call a friend, have dinner with a family member.  You and the people around you are worth it!

Hebrews 10:25-Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus and allowing us a way to always connect with you! You are everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Kill Christian Comparison

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Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus and for Him being the perfect sacrifice. Thank you for the cross and for seasons of life.  Father I pray that every eye who reads this comes to know your saving grace and goodness.  God, I pray you help us to feel so loved by you that we don’t look to the right or to the left,  but that we keep our fixed on your perfect, personal love for us.  Help us to trust you and seek you daily.

In Jesus name,
Amen

Praying for your Husband when Porn is an Issue

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I speak to women all week long, and the effects of porn in families is heartbreaking.  I asked one of my pastors to share his wisdom on how women should respond when pornography threatens a marriage. If this isn’t a struggle found in your family, please read because it’s a situation in more people’s lives than you know.

What to Pray when your husband struggles with pornography.

The statistics about pornography are staggering. 68% of young men look at porn at least once a week. 1 and 8 searches on the web is for porn. 9 out of 10 boys will look at porn by the age of 18. The saddest part of that last statistic is that those boys become men who become husbands and fathers. The images in their mind don’t go away, and they walk into a marriage with a distorted view of what sex actually is.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that 56% of divorce cases involve one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.” 56%! It’s an epidemic in our culture!

“Sad” doesn’t really describe the way you feel when the evils of pornography enter your marriage. Along with the hurt are a lot of unanswered questions. Will I ever trust him again? Why would he do this to me? Where do we go from here in my marriage?

I don’t have all the answers to your questions, but I do believe there is hope for your marriage.

There is a reason behind your husband’s pornography problem, and it isn’t what you think it is. A lot of women blame themselves for their husband’s actions. Let me say this as clear as possible… That is a lie from the enemy. Don’t believe it.

His pornography problem is not because you aren’t a good enough wife or you aren’t attractive enough. -Matt Scobell

 

The reason behind your husband’s pornography problem is that he desires acceptance and approval despite all of his flaws as a man, and he finds that acceptance and approval in pornography.

This isn’t every man, but in my experience, this pertains to a lot of men.

Every man seeks and desires acceptance and approval. This desire is part of his nature and part of his wiring as a man. The reason pornography is such a huge problem in men’s lives today is that men can instantly get the acceptance and approval whenever they want it. It is just a click away.

Accepting your husband for who he is, flawed and all, is a step in the process of him winning this battle in your husband’s heart and your marriage.

accepting-your-husband-for-who-he-is-flawed-and-all-is-a-step-in-the-process-of-him-winning-this-battle-in-your-husbands-heart-and-your-marriage

Understand this, no matter how hard you try to be the wife you think your husband desires, you will fall short and you will fail him. Not only will you be unable to meet all of his expectations, you will be exhausted in the process. 

Rest in that God says you are approved, loved, and cherished.  This isn’t on you.

Your husband has nothing more than an identity crisis. He doesn’t know or he forgot who he truly is. All the acceptance and approval has already been placed on him in Christ Jesus.

His true identity….. if he is found in Christ is: He is the son of the living God. Chosen for a specific purpose. Made in the image of God and loved unconditionally. Your husband knowing his true identity in Christ is what has the power to change his heart and his actions. Nothing else can change him. Trying harder and putting in more effort on his end will yield good results in the beginning, but eventually his efforts will fall short.

It’s also tempting to think you can control whether your husband looks at pornography or not. You can restrict his phone, take away his computer, and attempt to watch him 24/7, but this problem won’t go away by your efforts. If you “attack his behavior without affirming his identity, it is a recipe for defeat.” -Jason Britt

By walking in his true identity, he is now free to allow Jesus to love Him back. “The relationship is not between a criminal and a policeman, but between a loving Father and His child. When he begins to understand and enjoy that relationship, holiness and righteousness will become a part of his life without even trying. That is the beauty of a relationship with God.” –Steve Brown

Your prayer for him is not, “I pray he stops looking at pornography.” Your prayer for him is that he knows who he truly is in Christ Jesus. You pray he knows he is the son of the living God who was created for a purpose and all the approval and acceptance in all the universe has already been placed on him by his Creator, and all past mistakes have been wiped clean at the cross.

Your prayer is that he believes that he is loved unconditionally, because it’s “the love of God that leads to repentance.”

Pray that he walks in the freedom found in knowing that there is nothing he can do, good or bad, that will change his standing before God. That truth will heal your marriage and transform his heart.

Praying with you,

Matt Scobell

Pornography isn’t just a man problem, if you are a woman who also struggles with this issue, you can pray this over yourself! Can I lovingly encourage you to take next step and confess this to a friend?  There is freedom there! xoxox-Lauren

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*Porn Statistics:

http://www.covenanteyes.com/2013/02/19/pornography-statistics/

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Is God Even Doing Anything? Trusting Him in Storms.

 

 

if-jesus-worked-and-healed-on-the-day-of-restAre the waves of life crashing over you so hard right now? Are you being tossed and turned and struggling to simply breathe? Are you asking God……. Are. You. Going. To. Do. Something???

I’ve certainly had days, weeks, months like those. On those days, I have to bank on the truths I know about God:

I know Him. He loves me. He is good. He is trustworthy.

For new believers these storms are even MORE difficult.  The growing up in the Lord process can be painful and sometimes the prosperity gospel sounds nice! Why can’t I turn to God and all my problems in life simply melt away?

Unfortunately, that isn’t real life.  Spend any time in the Bible and you will see trials and storms and tons hot mess situations. Spend even more time in the Bible and you WILL see that God was always doing something for the good of His people.

In Matthew 12:13 Jesus says to a man with a crippled hand, “Stretch out your hand.” The reason why this so significant is because it was the SABBATH day! As in day of rest…where no work was to be done.  I remember my granddaddy would never cut the grass on Sundays.  That was his version of honoring the Sabbath.

Not our Jesus.  He does work on the Sabbath.  He healed the man who needed healing.  A man with a shriveled hand probably had problems finding good work without the use of his hand.  That might have led to financial problems.  Which can naturally lead to family drama.  Illness, work problems, financial struggles, family drama.  Sound familiar???

Jesus’ response is perfect as always.  If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath. Will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Matthew 12:12

If Jesus worked and healed on the day of rest. We can trust He is working on the days of the storms. We can’t always see Him, but we have to trust that God is smarter than us and knows what is best for His people.

I love the song When the Fight Calls  by Hillsong Young and Free.  Based on my life experiences, this song is absolutely true. If you are in a storm, I pray these words over you!

I won’t let the storm weather my heart
Won’t let the darkness beat me down
Sing in the night my hope alive in You
I’ll walk through the fire and not be burned
Pray in the fight and watch it turn
Jesus tonight I give it all to You

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God doesn’t waste the storms in our lives.  He uses them to draw us out into the deep waters of faith so that we know and love Him more.

I’ve had three big storms to date in my life and I’m sure I’ll have more.  But, I’m less afraid of each storm because I know and love and trust God more deeply every time He delivers me again.

In a storm? Hang in there.  God IS working. He isn’t asleep or looking the other way.  He sees you. He isn’t surprised or angry.  God is right there with you.  Holding your hand. I pray you learn to trust Him and His timing.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for showing us that you are always working. Thank you for Jesus and giving us your word so we can be encouraged and reminded of who you are. You are a God who is faithful to walk with us through the storms of life.  Help us to be reminded that you give us the mercies and strength daily to get through another day.  Help us to feel your presence as we cling to Jesus.  Thank you Lord for loving us enough to help us know you more closely.  You are everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

 

 

 

 

In the Name of Freedom: A Daily Practice in telling Satan to Shove It.

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Shut it down ladies… that voice in your head that’s been messing with you all day.  It can feel like torture sometimes, can’t it?  That mental suffering or anxiety that keeps you from being present and confident in crowds of people….or before the Lord….Shut. It. Down!

Matthew 5: 25 says, “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you’ll be thrown into prison.”

Jesus is ALWAYS talking about things of the heart.  Our hearts and minds are closely connected and anyone in Christ absolutely has an adversary who hates them and wants them in prison; mentally, physically, and/or spiritually.

Satan is our adversary who is ruthless in his attacks as he condemns our hearts and minds.  Jesus is saying to settle these matters quickly! Don’t let them go too far! If you can identify when Satan is jacking with your head and heart, settle it quickly before it escalates! Jesus warns us what will happen if we don’t.

It just gets worse! It says he will hand us over to the judge, who can hand us over the officer, who can throw us in jail! We can go deeper and deeper into the thoughts and lies if we don’t settle it quickly.

Our thoughts turn into actions and attitudes.

Feeling trapped or imprisoned isn’t how Jesus Christ wants us to live!  He came so that we may have life and have it abundantly.

Anxiety, fear, worry, shame, bitterness, regret, failure, or insecurities…any of these emotions have the ability to make us feel trapped and in an emotional prison if we don’t settle the matters quickly.

The next time those thoughts creep into your mind…. Shut. It. Down. with the truth! Stand tall and speak Romans 8:1 out loud!

Say to adversary (Satan) NO! Jesus says to settle these matters quickly and there is NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.  There is no prison for me because Christ died to let me out of the prison where sin kept me.  Pray, because of Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. End with….this matter is settled simply because Jesus said it was finished!!

I find it interesting that this passage is sandwiched in between Jesus talking about murder and adultery.  Settling matters quickly with the truths of Christ is the key to properly dealing with ALL issues ranging from hate/anger, anxiety/fear, shame/pride, all the way to lust!  Whatever the enemy uses to mess with you can be dealt with by simply shutting it down quickly in Jesus name.

Jesus said it is finished.  That means no prison for you. Not today. Not any day for those in Christ Jesus.

Galations 5:1 It is for freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

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Is this you? Have you been listening to the lies of the person who hates you? Do you find yourself trapped again? I pray in Jesus name, you hit the reset button on your life.  I pray you remember that you have been crucified with Christ and that the old is gone! Not some of the old. ALL the old is gone.  I pray that you are restored to the joy of your salvation and you allow Jesus to open up the gates of whatever prison you feel trapped in again.

So shut it down ladies. Whatever thoughts creep into your day that  don’t make you feel loved, seen, safe, and secure in Christ Jesus aren’t from God.  He loves you and wants you to know Him to be a God of Peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. It is for freedom, not condemnation that Christ came for us.

Be encouraged and reminded that you don’t have to allow your thoughts to torture you today.  You have been saved and set free by a God who loves you perfectly, and sent you the only Savior you’ll ever need, Jesus Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I speak freedom and strength over every eye who reads this. I pray you pour out wisdom and truth to us through your word so that we can know when the enemy comes to steal our joy and try to keep us from walking in freedom.  I pray today is the day every lie is identified that keeps us from walking in the truth of who you say we are; loved, cherished, approved, and redeemed.  Thank you for Jesus and the cross. You are everything.

In Jesus’ powerful name I pray,
Amen.

 

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