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The Importance of Re-centering by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

“Look to the Lord and his strength. Seek His face always” (1 Chronicles 16:11).

I forgot to pray!” I woke up this morning at 2:30 a.m. in a panic. I was supposed to lift up prayers on Facebook Live at noon yesterday for another organization, and because of a busy schedule, it totally slipped my mind. Today, I am in a different time zone and a blog is due for Pearls of Promise. I am tired and not sure what to write. I’ve written close to 1000 blogs over the past ten years and I can never remember the LORD not providing an idea.

Maybe you understand what it’s like to feel “fried.” Always behind. You can’t see past the brain fog. I believe that’s when we must re-center and ask God “Where am I being disobedient?” “What needs to come off my plate?”

This week I was reading about the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle and the “Holy of Holies” where God resided. If you wanted to find the LORD, you knew exactly where His presence was. We should also have a “holy” place set aside in our homes where we can enter the presence of God. Some call it the “secret place” but I call it my kitchen table.

Today, however, I am in a hotel suite in Scottsdale, Arizona and I’m sitting at a dimly lit table by the kitchen. (It was as close as I could get to recreating my Holy of Holies). Regardless, it’s the place where I am coming before God because I’m feeling too stretched and want quality in my life, not quantity.

When we need guidance or hope, we need to stop what we are doing and seek His guidance. The LORD will show us how to “re-center.” He will tells us what needs to stay and what needs to go.

Are you feeling overburdened? Energy depleted? It’s time to enter the Holy of Holies and lay your life before God, and be willing to do what He says.

Dry Bones by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

We have a couple of potted plants in our backyard that I thought were dead due to the heat, but with a little extra water they have miraculously turned from brown to green. The dead came back to life! In the same way, I am consistently amazed at how God can bring what was once dead in us back to life as well.

In Ezekiel 27, the LORD whisks the prophet Ezekiel away to a valley filled with dry bones where He instructed Ezekiel to speak a prophetic message to the bones so they’d become animate again. The Word says, “The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons” (Ezekiel 27:7 NLT). Muscles and flesh also formed over the bones and skin covered the bodies but they still had no breath in them. So Ezekiel was told to speak another prophetic message to the winds: “O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again” (Ezekiel 27:9). And they did come back to life—the dead bones stood up on their feet, appearing as a great army.

Jerusalem, Israel at the Tower of David.

According to this passage, the bones represented the people of Israel and provided them with a message of hope even though God’s chosen ones had been exiled to Babylon and felt like they had become old, dry bones with no hope. God was saying they would enjoy life again and return home to their land.

It is a word for us as well.

I am wondering, what dry bones have come alive in your life recently?

Conversely, is there an area of your life that feels dead, without hope?

Your Creator specializes in bringing the dead to life.

In my own world, he has resurrected a television career that I thought was six feet under. I didn’t have a desire to return to the small screen nor did I ever dream I’d have the opportunity, but God had other plans and dry bones came to life.

After finishing seminary, I said I’d never return to school, but the LORD put skin on those bones, and yesterday, as I was able to actually read Hebrew words, I became emotional. It’s been a dream of mine to learn Hebrew and God has not only provided the opportunity, He has breathed new life into my learning.

And Hebrew roots that I thought were dried up because my Jewish father died before I was born, are sprouting leaves like never before. It has resulted not only in a pursuit of a Doctor of Ministry degree in Messianic Studies, but also a new book designed to reach Jewish people, The Root that Never Died, now available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Root-That-Never-Died-Christian/dp/B08FP6F77P/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia-wc-drs1_0?cv_ct_cx=The+Root+that+Never+Died&dchild=1&keywords=The+Root+that+Never+Died&pd_rd_i=B08FP6F77P&pd_rd_r=4d0a6800-0fd4-4274-bc9e-d606a516268f&pd_rd_w=izTaE&pd_rd_wg=tiLZZ&pf_rd_p=f3f1f1cd-8368-48df-ac69-94019fb84e3f&pf_rd_r=NHXGZMBZGZ8RA102SJ51&psc=1&qid=1598958383&sr=1-1-f7123c3d-6c2e-4dbe-9d7a-6185fb77bc58

It has been an incredible adventure that only my heavenly Father could cultivate.

What I’ve learned over the years is that we are to never give up on anyone or anything.

If your marriage is failing, keep praying.

If there’s a bad habit you struggle to break, don’t stop asking for ways to overcome.

If your health is declining, call on Jehovah Rapha for a miracle.

God doesn’t want us to settle for dry bones. He is a life giver and still has the ability to raise the dead, just as He did with his Son. We have to have faith that He can do it in our lives as well.

Truth Be Told by Dr. Lynnette Simm

Music has always been a blessing to me. Maybe you’ve felt the same way. You’re listening to the radio and a song seems to touch your very soul. A break-up song, a love song, a get up and dance song, an angry or battle song, a sweet peaceful song are just a few that have captured my heart so many times in my life. 

Just recently, a new song did it again. Matthew West’s song, Truth Be Told. Sometimes life happens and what others see isn’t truth. We all struggle, we all have challenges (known and unknown), and we all have times of desperation and despair. Who we turn to and how we face those is what we need to share. And Truth Be Told, I turn to God and family. 

Let me share about my last three weeks. With this virus still holding much of our lives captive, my two college daughters and my husband and I have been wondering if their universities would be starting classes on time, in person, online, or at all. Do we pack for them to move or do we wait? While I attacked the packing and planning at home, my husband was working from home and then on the weekends would drive up to my parent’s home and help work on the farm. Limbing trees, creating mulch from the chipper shredder, fixing broken tractors, spreading new gravel, and even creating a beautiful fire pit area for us all. July and August in Texas are hot—really hot—and this year did not disappoint. It was the first weekend in August and we were at the farm for a last push before our weekends were filled with taking both girls to college.

Well, it seemed as if the heat and work were getting to Madison. He just got winded and worn out, and would say, “felt odd.” I would ask him to slow down, take a break, drink more water, wear his hat, and stop work by 4 p.m., but he would push on. While he was outside, I was pushing myself inside to help my mom, whom is still dealing with her cancer treatments. We were a tag team and we even had amazing young men and friends helping us. It was a long weekend, but we tackled a lot and felt very accomplished.

Then there was the week we packed up our eldest daughter, MacKenzie, to move her to her first apartment two hours away from us. Her school had decided to move forward with their programs, and as she is in the nursing program, we knew she’d be learning all about staying healthy.

Unfortunately, midweek Madison was experiencing discomfort and elevated blood pressure. A detailed doctor’s appointment with our primary and some blood pressure medication, we felt would handle the issue. A bit worried, we left Friday and agreed Madison would take it as easy as possible moving MacKenzie, especially because she was up on the third floor. Horrible heat caused the move-in to take five hours as we rested and hydrated frequently. Finally done, we went to dinner. Madison was feeling extreme fatigue and that discomfort wasn’t passing as it once had. “If I don’t feel better tomorrow, would you mind us going home?” I replied to him, “Of course not. Should we go now?” “No, I should be okay.” Well, at midnight he wasn’t any better so we drove back home two hours. After asking him several times if we go to the local emergency room, he was insistent that we go the heart hospital in Plano, Texas. We drove the whole way with worship music on the radio. With every song, I was put to peace and gave my life, with or without my husband, to God. Yet was fearless in asking for more time with my beloved Madison.

We made it by 2:30 am. We walked him in, then I waited five hours in the car outside while they did a battery of tests. Finally, the results showed Madison was experiencing a full-blocked heart attack in one of his arteries. With the family alerted and all my prayer warriors armed, the hospital finally let me in with my husband. We learned all they would be doing and why he didn’t exhibit the “typical” heart attack symptoms. We learned about the procedure and all the risks. We were instructed about all the medications and life changes that would be needed. And, we learned that this was a genetic issue and he had done all the right things to maintain a healthy life, but this heart issue will be with him for life. 

The following week of recovering was filled with loving family and friends helping with food, calls, and cards. After feeling like we just dumped our daughter off and ran to the ER, we returned to her apartment to help her set up.

Yes, Madison took it easy, setting up her laptop, TV, and iPad for her new college adventure. The following weekend, we all took my youngest daughter, Alexandra, to her college dorm. We cleaned, moved in, and unpacked with her. 

Truth Be Told, I’m exhausted. Emotionally and physically exhausted. It has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. Sad that my daughters were leaving, scared out of my mind and heart that my husband may have left me, and then joy that God carried me through it all.

While the world may see my life as perfect, each of us struggle with life’s expected and unexpected challenges. If I can be totally honest, the peace I experienced during that two hour drive to the ER and the hours waiting were beyond my understanding, except for God. I have literally felt carried through these three weeks. Perspective, gratitude, joy, and peace have comforted me as we released our daughters and accepted the life changes we will have to journey through together. Truth Be Told, I am loved. I will be okay, and I trust in the Lord with my whole life. I pray that you do, too. 

We Can’t Do this Alone by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

My head was spinning after yesterday’s three-hour Hebrew class. It was only the second lecture and I was thinking, I don’t know if I can do this. We were learning about Hebrew vowels and there are a lot of dots, dashes and rules you have to remember. I finally went to bed early with the thought, I’ll get up early and try this again tomorrow.

This experience reinforced that I cannot do this advanced schooling alone. No matter what any of us face we cannot do life alone.

But God must have seen what was ahead and knew I needed a little advance encouragement.

Last week at my first chapel at school, the speaker was the president of The King’s University, Dr. Jon Chastain. He gave a message about Joshua from the Bible and talked a lot about the strength that only come from God. When Moses died, the LORD told Joshua to “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 1:9). God knew Joshua would face many battles ahead in the Israelites’ efforts to conquer the Promised Land. Dr. Chastain then called God our “Better Half.” The first point of his message was that God gives us the strength to endure.

I remembered that point this morning, when I was not sure I could endure Hebrew. Then in my Bible reading this morning, Joshua 1:9 came up again, and for the life of me, when I started to write this blog, I couldn’t find it in any of my reading from this morning. It was as if God was supernaturally speaking during my quiet time, saying, You’re not strong enough, Lisa, but I am. I’m your better half.

I am realizing I’ve met my match in Hebrew, but I have a tutor who invented language, and I have to trust He’s going to provide the strength and the aptitude to learn it, because I’m called to do this.

In what aspect of your life do you need God’s strength right now?

Do you feel called to a task that supersedes your ability?

Is there a situation that has overwhelmed you?

Then move forward in faith and ask God to provide what you’re lacking. Well-known pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress defines faithfulness this way: “Consistently following God’s calling for your life and leaving the results to Him.”

We’re not alone.

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Join us for our next POP Chat this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Rosemary Legrand will be speaking about “Pursuing Patience” and Rachelle Fletcher will be our guest Worship Leader. It’s an amazing hour of Prayer, Worship, Teaching and Discussion. Sign up by clicking on the link. https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

Pursue Wisdom by Rosemary Legrand

Every once in a while, I take care of my friend’s dog Jewel while she is away. By the way, I love this dog and we have bonded. She gets so excited when I arrive at the house and I am elated by her greeting.

But early on I had to do all sorts of coaching to get her to go into her crate before I left. When she was finally settled, I got excited, patting myself on the back. I’d say to her “Good girl; good bye, see you tomorrow. I love you.”

One day while I was visiting my friend, who is Jewel’s owner, Jewel was roaming around the house. My friend and I were about to leave for lunch when she said, “Jewel—crate.” Then, obediently, she walked to her crate. I thought to myself, WOW! Is this all I had to say.?

I get so tickled when I go to the house now. When I am ready to leave, I just say “Jewel, go to your crate” No more sweat. No more saying, “Come get a treat” to bribe her to go to her crate. 🙂 Knowledge and wisdom provide power.

The word of God says in James 1:5:  “If anyone lacks wisdom let him ask.”  I never thought of asking my friend, “How do you get your dog to obey and get to her crate?” I did not know there was a better way—a painless way.

Many times, we don’t ask the Lord to give us wisdom for a situation before we act. I believe we try to do things on our own and we get stuck, but God is waiting for us to ask him for help.

Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” He is saying, “I know what you are thinking; here I am, ask me, I know everything. I want to help you.” Psalm 139:2 says, “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”

He is also saying, “Speak to me my child; I am just a breath away.” “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8). What a God we serve!

We must choose to pursue wisdom. It’s up to each of us to determine how we will walk through this life. Wisdom is not something a person stumbles into or acquires automatically. It must be sought out and pursued.

We must take responsibility for applying wisdom to our lives. The person who walks in wisdom feels a responsibility for his actions and use of time. He or she knows that they have been given a limited quantity of minutes, hours, days, months, and years. They are aware that that those hours must be spent in a way that produces the largest amount of good. God has entrusted them with certain resources that must be used to further His kingdom.

Will you pursue God to fill you with His wisdom? He’s waiting; He is only a breath away. Jewel taught me that all I had to do was ask.  

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Join us for our next POP Chat this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Rosemary Legrand will be speaking about “Pursuing Patience” and Rachelle Fletcher will be our guest Worship Leader. It’s an amazing hour of Prayer, Worship, Teaching and Discussion. Sign up by clicking on the link. https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

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