9-1-1 Call to Jesus

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“Mom, I’m sick and need to go to the hospital.”

Our twenty-year-old son, Bret, is in Shanghai, China for eight weeks, earning college credit for an international business internship. This is never the call you want to receive.

What do you do when you’re child is sick enough to go to the hospital and he is over 7300 miles away from home?

It’s a helpless feeling.

Centurion

But that’s probably the way the Centurion felt in Luke 7 when his servant was ill and close to death.

How helpless did the synagogue leader, Jairus, feel in Matthew 9 after his daughter died?

In a state of despair and helplessness, each of them sought Jesus.

Jairus knew that all Jesus had to do was place a hand on his daughter and she would live. (Matthew 9:18)

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The Centurion, in a show of exceptional faith told Jesus to just “say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Luke 7:7).

And that is the passage I reminded Jesus about as I lifted up a 9-1-1 prayer with Bret through our internet connection. I couldn’t lay hands on him. I knew no one in China who could pray with him, but I was confident distance was nothing for the Son of God. All Jesus had to do was “say the word” and Bret would be healed.

I realize there are many instances where God does not choose to heal, but by faith, I know he has the power to heal. We have to call it forth.

Bret did go to the hospital and doctors diagnosed him with Colitis and Gastroenteritis. There was no hospital stay and he returned to his hotel room with medication and some peace of mind after a diagnosis.

BretandJohnPaul

Today, with a round of medication in him, he feels much better.

Was this healing?

I believe God often uses medical personnel to facilitate healing and that is what happened in our case.

Is anyone in your realm of influence sick? Don’t delay. Call upon the only one who has the power to heal, Jesus, then believe that if it’s his will, healing will come.

 

You are Priceless

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“You’re so beautiful.”

There were two other people in the room and the woman wasn’t speaking to me.

My first thought was: What does that make me?

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I’ve been insecure about my looks all my life. In my mind, I’m still the pudgy little elementary school girl with glasses. So when someone tells another in front of me that they are beautiful, then doesn’t throw in a morsel for me, I immediately think, That must mean I’m ugly.

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If you struggle with your appearance like I do, I want you to know that God sees you as a beautiful daughter, dear sister. You’re made in his image. When you allow bulldozer thoughts to tear down your image of yourself, you are sending a message to God about his image as well.

As for myself, my sweet Heavenly Father knew this bout of insecurity was coming so he did some preventative work to remind me of who I am in him. Today, it’s also a reminder of who you are in him.

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As I’ve written before, God wakes me up with a worship song every morning and then I start my quiet time by singing the song back to him. For the past few days, my morning alarm was the tune, “Priceless” by King and Country. I don’t normally hear the same song three days in a row, so I knew the Lord wanted this holy memo to sink in.

I believe he saw what was ahead.

The piece has beautiful lyrics about how God views us dressed in white and like a blooming rose.

You’re irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable

Darling, it’s beautiful

I see it all in you

Oh, so priceless.

We are irreplaceable.

Unmistakable.

Incomparable.

We are priceless and the apple of God’s eye.

We are also daughters of the King. Galatians 3:26 says, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.”

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Today, dear sisters, I want you to know that you are beautiful and priceless. You are an intricate, intentional creation of God and there is no one like you.  Never be disheartened about the way you look or about your unique personality. You are God’s design and he loves you just the way you are.

 

 

 

When Floodwaters Threaten to Overtake Us

worried girl

Have you ever felt overwhelmed?

Maybe that is how you feel today, but as Christians, God often calls us into deep waters where only He can guide us.

deep water

Deep waters are where miracles happen.

God does his best work when the problems of life are at flood stage.

Before the Israelites could make it to the Promised Land, they had to cross the Jordan River, while carrying the ark of the covenant. The Spirit of the Lord resided in the ark so God’s people took special care of this holy dwelling. Only priests could carry the vessel and everyone had to stand a distance back or they’d die.

So when Joshua and the priests came upon the Jordan River at flood stage, there was a dilemma. Crossing the Jordan was required on the journey to the Promised Land. Would the Israelites trust God to save them from the floodwaters?

God parting Jordan

God said to Joshua, “Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river’” (Joshua 3:8).

What?

God wanted the Israelites to take a step of faith into floodwaters before they receded.

Got Faith

And that is what God often asks us to do. Even though we don’t understand his direction. Or it’s more than we can handle. God often calls us into something much larger than us, before we have all the answers.  Before the floodwaters recede.

He wants us to watch him part the waters.

Israelites crossing Jordan

So when the Israelites stepped into the river’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. “The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stepped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground” (Joshua 3:17).

After this miracle occurred, Almighty God told his people to take twelve stones from the Jordan and create a memorial so the people of Israel would never forget what the LORD did for them.

Over your lifetime, what deep waters has God parted for you? Where have you seen him work when the floodwaters threatened to overtake you?

Today, remember, and create a memorial in your mind. Tell others about how God saved you. Be thankful that God’s presence is with you, even in the floods of life.

 

Dedicated to the Fatherless

Dad

When I was a little girl, I longed to see my earthly father, who died two months before I was born. I knew it wasn’t possible, but I still dreamed about meeting him one day.

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I can remember being awestruck the first time I watched the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Carousel on television. It’s a story about a carnival barker, Billy, who falls head over heels in love with Julie, a mill worker, and eventually marries her.

A child is conceived from this relationship but Billy is killed in a knife fight and doesn’t have the opportunity to watch his daughter, Louise, grow up. Louise becomes an angry, rebellious teen who misses having a father in her life, until one day, he’s allowed to come back to earth to see her. There’s a beautiful scene at Louise’s high school graduation when her father sings, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to his daughter and tells her to have confidence in herself.

Remembering this movie, I searched longingly for my deceased father at my high school graduation but he never appeared. However, I later realized my Heavenly Father was there the whole time, holding my hand. He was with me throughout a dysfunctional childhood, helped me survive life with a shell-shocked mother, and he is here with me today.

If you grew up fatherless, know God the Father is also with you. Psalm 68:5 says “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”

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Throughout my life, my Father in Heaven issued holy discipline, directed my path, and provided love when I felt unloved. Even though I strayed away many times, my Heavenly Father waited patiently for his prodigal daughter until I finally came to the conclusion that I can’t live this life without Abba Daddy. Now, I can’t go a day without spending time with him.

Have you ever embraced the love of your Heavenly Father? He loves you with an immeasurable love. 1 John 3:1 says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God!”

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If God is absent from your life, today’s the day. This Father’s Day, tell your Abba Daddy that you want Him to join you on your journey, and you don’t want to walk alone anymore. Confess all of your wrongdoing to him, and ask him to live in and through you from this day forward. Then, just rest in your Father’s arms.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone”

When you walk through a storm

Hold your head up high

And don’t be afraid of the dark.

At he end of the storm

Is a golden sky

And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,

Walk on through the rain,

Tho’ your dreams be tossed and blown.

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart

And you’ll never walk alone,

You’ll never walk alone.

 

 

 

Are You a Worry Wart?

The growth on my face was expanding and my dermatologist appointment was still a few weeks away. This bump was downright ugly and it was getting increasingly difficult to cover it with my hair. It also didn’t look like any other benign growth that had appeared on my fair skin. I tried to not worry, but then worry seeped into my soul.

Being over-analytical, I researched skin diseases and their photos. Wow. This looks a lot like a Basil Cell Carcinoma. I tried to dismiss the thought but I braced myself for the “C” word.

What if it is Cancer?

What is the treatment?

Don’t think about that Lisa. You still don’t know.

Do you worry about things before they happen?

According to “The Word Detective,” when the word “worry” first appeared in Old English as “wrygan,” it didn’t mean “to fret.” The definition was “to strangle.”

Worry strangles us.

It can affect our breathing.

It makes us anxious.

It consumes our thoughts.

And it can rub off on others if we are a “worry wart.”

The term “worry wart originated in 1956, from the comic strip “Out Our Way” by U.S. cartoonist J.R. Williams (1888-1957). “Worry Wart” was the name of a character who caused others to worry.

When we express our worries, they are contagious. As Christians, we need to stop the worrying because it leads to anxiety in us, and others.

The Apostle Paul said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in ever situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).

Our witness to others should be peace in the midst of storms, not worry and anxiousness.

I finally had to turn my worry over to God. I prayed for the growth to be benign, and if it wasn’t, that I would be able to handle the consequences. Peace infiltrated my soul.

As it turned out, my scary growth was a wart, of all things. “A wart?”

When the doctor made his diagnosis, I shouted, “Amen for the wart!” No wonder it was so ugly.

And then I felt foolish. I was a “worry wart” over a wart.

The next time you face an unknown situation, try not to worry. Most of the time, you are overly concerned about something that is benign. Instead, give it to God, and trust that in whatever happens, your loving Heavenly Father will see you through it.

 

 

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