Prayer for Today

Today has been declared a National Day of Prayer in the USA. Prayer is powerful. Imagine a whole country—a whole world—collectively praying. I have witnessed the power of prayer in my own life and in the lives of others. Though I’m Canadian, I join our neighbors in the US and share my offering below. Won’t you join me in praying in the midst of this health crisis?

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Lord our God,

We come into your presence with thankful hearts for your tender mercies and lavish kindness. We are grateful for your unfailing care and love. We are thankful that you never leave us or forsake us, and will never do so, especially in our time of great need. 

Despite the chaos we see and hear and experience in the natural world, we also understand and are reminded that you are still in control and haven’t left us or forsaken us. 

We confess our fear and worry and release it to you. In its place, we take your peace and find our comfort and rest in you. Please fill our troubled hearts and minds with your presence. 

We are grateful that you are our provider and have given us all we need. We confess that we have so often taken your provision for granted, behaving self-sufficiently as though we are the ones in control. Please forgive us and have mercy on us. Teach us greater trust in you. Continue reading “Prayer for Today”

An International Women’s Day Blessing

I wrote this blessing for a dynamic group of women who are courageously and purposefully living out their calling while championing others in their midst. It is inspiring and contagious and marvelous to witness. I thought to share the blessing here as an encouragement to you. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, may we be ones who help others rise and ‘stand’, particularly other women.

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Standing together, fittingly, on International Women’s Day. The hosts had these words made for us as an encouragement to STAND. P.S. I’m all in even though I am not holding one!

An International Women’s Day Blessing

When you look at yourself or look over your life—past and present—may you be blessed with a sense of God’s great love and approval over you. May you know you are thoroughly accepted in the Beloved, that He is pleased with you and cheering you on. 

…to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. ~ Eph 1:6

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” ~ Zeph 3:17

Be blessed you as you tread through the hard places—the lonely or unpopular places—as you extend yourself for others and for Christ knowing he is with you. When you grow weary or feel lost on the journey, may God impart wisdom, strength, and hope from his vast storehouse. May you ever answer his whisper to trust him and continue onward in faith even when you cannot fully see. 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~ Isa 40:31

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. ~ Heb 11:1

I bless you as you pour yourself out in the places, and for the people, God has given you, giving of your time, resources, energy, and love to profit others. May you find time to be still and hear from God and then mobilize to do only what he has asked, refraining from the temptation and distraction of too much. 

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~ Ps 46:10

Wherever you find yourself, may you know that you are equipped by God and his Spirit for everything you face, that you are never alone, and that he is always with you. May he flood your fears with his peace, turn ashes into beauty and mourning to joy, so that you are encouraged and can celebrate that you are victorious in Christ.

…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. ~ Isa 61:3

…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. ~ Romans 8:37

May God protect you from jealousy and the sabotage of the enemy who seeks to stir up strife. May you have peace in your relationships as you love and serve others, continually freeing yourself by forgiving your offenders, just as the Lord richly forgives you, and praying for your enemies.

But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be sons (daughters) of your Father in heaven. ~ Matt 5:44-45 

May your life shine as a beacon to others, a safe harbor, imparting hope for their journey and a welcoming embrace to join the fullness of God’s rich kingdom. May you live filled with God’s peace, joy, hope, and love, and lavishly pour it over all those around you. 

I bless each of you in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen 

 

 

A New Year’s Blessing

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Blessings come in all shapes and sizes. I would hazard a guess that you can easily name a few of your own. As this new year starts afresh, I want to embark from a place of thankfulness. As I leave 2018, I feel blessed to have witnessed my first-born wed and to welcome a new daughter into our lives as a result.

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I’m thankful to have seen my youngest go off to school for the first time where the transition, after homeschooling, was seamless. I’m thankful my novel is now in the midst of its second edit. I’m blessed to have ended the year surrounded by family and friends I hold near and dear. Such priceless blessings.

The start of a new year brings a sense of hope and wonder. Anything is possible. New adventures await. So as you enter 2019, I wanted to pass along this blessing I wrote a while back in hopes that it will stir your faith and rekindle your heart to God.

A New Year’s Blessing

I bless you this year, that you would rise up and give your Maker the first fruits of your time. May you draw close enough to hear the sound of his voice, the breath of his gentle whisper into your soul, the gesture of his hand beckoning you to sit awhile and listen to things too wonderful for you, yet meant for you alone.

As a child longs to be gathered onto his father’s lap, to be dandled on his knee, to be comforted, may it be your irrepressible desire to draw in close to the Lord. As a lover longs, with a full heart, to be with their one true love, may the Lord’s love likewise overwhelm you, fill you, and warm you with a burning desire to remain in his presence.

May you remove yourself from the entanglements of the world, the snares and numerous enticements that war for your time, affection, and very soul, and come away to be with the Lord. Jesus made a way for you to enter the Holy of Holies, “for the veil was torn in two” (Mark 15:38). So it was that the physical barrier that separated us from God was removed.

May you enter boldly (Heb 10:19-25) and lay your offering – your very life – at his feet. In that secret place, may you be devastated by his love, utterly undone in the presence of Almighty God (Isa. 6:1-8). May you be transformed, renewed, washed, filled, as a love deluge washes over your soul, cleansing away the soul-silt and rocky barriers that prevent you from being both cleansed and moving forward.

May you leave that place carrying the aroma of God, like incense, with a lingering cloud around you; the very scent of heaven saturating your skin, spirit, soul. May you be ushered into the places you are to tread, where those nearby would stop and lift their faces, and breathe deeply of God’s love, goodness, and mercy that is affixed to you.

May you leave that holy place confident of his abundant love for you, filled to overflowing with his outrageous love, so you will likewise love others without limits and barriers. May you walk in the knowledge of the miraculous things of God, fully expecting his kingdom to come on earth, your faith bolstered by all you have heard and seen, so that nothing can convince you otherwise. For you have lingered in the presence of God and will never be the same.

May you have the desire to return again and again, that action would replace longing, so that you dwell in the secret place, humbling yourself in his presence. Jesus being your intercessor, may you enter freely, fully, and often, so that your iniquity be taken away, and your sin purged (Isa 6:6), that you may be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:1-2), in the world but not operating by the world’s system (John 17:14-16), and set apart to speak to the nations (Jer 1:5).

May the winters of your soul melt away, the rains disappear, the flowers blossom within your spirit, and your life.

Blessings to you this new year, in the name of Jesus.

Amen.

My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come. ~ Song of Solomon 2:10-12

Thoughts on Forgiveness from a Bitterness Survivor

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It’s easy to have the mindset that if we withhold forgiveness, we are in control and somehow getting back at the person who hurt us. We think, if I forgive them, it lets them off the hook. But holding onto unforgiveness not only allows the offender to vicariously continue to hurt you, studies show it can also make you unwell. When you forgive, you release yourself from the bondage of bitterness. Forgiving not only frees you from hanging onto the offense, it frees you from the offender, and makes room for full spiritual, emotional, and even physical healing.

Continue reading “Thoughts on Forgiveness from a Bitterness Survivor”