Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS

Joshua 1.9

God’s been showing me how much I rely on my own strength and strategies to do His will. It’s one thing for me to really sense God’s direction but it’s a whole other thing when I think I know where He’s leading me to go AND I know how to get there.

My ways are wearing me out, and the stress and strain of life and ministry are catching up with my husband. Let’s just say my journal and my Bible are damp with tears. And my heart is deeply convicted.

But, can I be honest? I’m also afraid. Afraid I won’t change. Afraid I don’t know how to change. 

Letting go leaves me feeling completely out of sorts. Yet I know God wants my best, which means He needs my obedience. He can only give me what I’m willing to receive.

Last week I started asking Him to teach me how to trust Him more, and I landed in the book of Joshua. There I found a brave and obedient man called by God into unfamiliar territory.  I’ve always thought Joshua was so naturally BRAVE. But this time I underlined how many times God told Joshua to BE STRONG and COURAGEOUS before Joshua even packed his bags.

Before Joshua accepted the job, God was giving Him a pep talk. And the only reason I can figure out why God would say the same thing three times, is because He must have known Joshua might forget what he needed to remember most. Or maybe He was saying it for me. Because gosh I need to hear it more than once:

“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

Be STRONG and very COURAGEOUS. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Have I not commanded you? Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9, NIV

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Sometimes I forget…

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Sometimes I forget.

I get wrapped up in all the Christmas-giving and forget to unwrap the gift of Immanuel, God with me.

In all the rush I forget my need for His soul-calming hush. But I want to remember.

I want to unwrap not only the gift God gives but the gift He {is}.

His presence is the present I need most. And so I quiet my thoughts and whisper a prayer, asking Jesus to create a quiet space, a dwelling place for His presence in the manger of my heart…

Join me over at (in)Courage today, where I’m sharing a prayer I wrote for our hearts at Christmas. I’d love to pray for you, too. See you there.

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Last year, I wanted to give my husband, JJ, a gift he wouldn’t just open Christmas morning, but one he would enjoy and look forward to using, long after the Christmas tree was down.

Here’s what I did:

  • I found an small old wooden box JJ loved and fill it with personalized Bible promises.
  • I typed up our favorite encouraging verses, put his name in each verse. printed them out, cut them up individually and filled the box. I loved picturing him reading God’s words personalized just for him. For instance, Jeremiah 29:11, “JJ, I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.”
  • I wrapped up the box and tucked it under our tree. JJ said it was one of his favorite gifts of all!

There is nothing more powerful than the gift of God’s promises. The perfect gift for Christmas morning and every day the year.

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When My Sunday Heart Dreads the Monday Hurry {a promise & a prayer}

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7, NLT

WhenWorryComes

As I look at the week ahead, Lord, my mind is crowded with thoughts and things.
Competing thoughts fight for my attention; cutting in front of each other to be first in line.
Too many things on my to-do list that feel urgent; tempting me to neglect what is most important.

Jesus, I want You to be first in line, leading my days and decisions.
When concerns consume me and worry comes, hel[ me pause and tell You what I need and
thank YOU for what You have already done. I long for Your peace to surpass my understanding,
and for Your promises to guard my heart and my mind as I live in {and follow after} You.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

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God sees. God hears. God answers. {Target gift card & book GIVEAWAY}

In May 2013, our son Andrew told us he was an atheist. The boy we knew and loved had been fading away for months, but we couldn’t get him to tell us why. Now we knew.

We prayed. We begged God to intervene. We had no idea how He would answer. 

If you’ve ever prayed for someone you desperately loved …

If you’ve ever needed to know God hears you, and He’s working in ways you can’t see …

If you’ve ever longed to see God bring good out of something really hard … 

If you don’t do anything else today, please WATCH this video.

 

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In this video, you heard about God’s HUGE unexpected surprise for Laura and me. What was it? What is one thing Laura prayed for — that she told Andrew he was for her??  

CLICK “Share Your Thoughts” below this point to enter. YOUR COMMENT enters you to win the  $20 TARGET Gift Card and a copy of ““Fly a Little Higher.”  Winners will be chosen and announced this weekend!

 

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Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.59.52 PMAs Andrew and Laura continued they had a powerful conversation about Zach’s faith and scripture Laura held onto for strength and comfort. The next segement will only be available on my YouTube Channel. So, if you’d like to be notified when it’s uploaded, please SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel. 

 

How God Answered A Not-So-Small Prayer In A Really Big Way { + a GIVEAWAY}

When Laura Sobiech and I planned time to talk about her memoir, “Fly a Little Higher,”
we had no idea God had already connected our lives in the most unexpected way.

What unfolded just two days before our interview left us both in tears and in awe of God. 

If you’re reading this via email CLICK HERE to watch a short video that will give your heart a huge dose of HOPE and encouragement! I promise, you do not want to miss it!!

It’s been two weeks since Laura, Andrew and I talked via SKYPE and
I’m still undone by God’s grace, mercy, kindness and sovereignty.  

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What part of today’s videos impacted you most? CLICK “Share Your Thoughts” and do just that. Each comment will be entered to win one of the 5 copies of “Fly A Little Higher.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.59.52 PM SUBSCRIBE to MY YouTube CHANNEL and you’ll  be the first to know when the rest of Andrew’s conversation with Laura is ready for viewing. PLUS I’ve made all of Laura’s interview segments really easy to find in their own section on my front page.  After her Q&A with Andrew, I got to ask Laura how she balanced her own loss and grief while guiding and supporting Zach through his cancer journey. She was also planning a wedding for her oldest daughter and loving on her other children and husband. I’ve never met anyone like Laura. Her faith and courage are rare. Her insights come from a humble, wise heart that has been broken and made whole by the love of Christ. Be sure you don’t miss the next segments coming up.

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