Tag Archives: faith

I Am Human. I Need Help.

It was close to midnight when I drove into an empty mall parking lot. The sound and sight of rain is distinct in my memory. “Where are you, God?” I shouted, pain coiling itself around my heart, torment gripping my mind. “Where are you?” I sobbed again. I parked my car and began to write the truth in my journal: I am absolutely terrified. My life is completely out of control. God, I need help.

Fourteen years ago I was struggling with an eating disorder (among other things, hello). But in that parking lot, I finally pressed beyond denial and admitted to myself and to God that I had a problem I couldn’t fix. I wasn’t ready to admit the same to others, but at least the pressure of pretending began to lift.

It took a few years for me to open my pain to close friends, and for my life to actually change, but I gained a level of freedom that night as I gave myself permission to say it, to write it: I am human. I am broken. I need help.

Brokenness opens a path for obedience. Not because it’s more spiritual to be jacked up across fourteen areas of life, but because of the humility it takes to engage in an honest relationship between the Holy Spirit and us. It takes guts to say, “I don’t have it all together and I’m not going to wait until I have it all together. Jesus, I need you now. Where are you? Can you please come to me now?”

He has all wisdom. He has all power. He is at peace with our humanity, with our brokenness. He comes to us in our pain, not in our pretense. He gives grace to the humble, but he resists the proud. And the Holy Trinity is the only force able to transform our lives completely, for good.

How I hated those first few times I risked taking off my mask. How I loathed giving up control of my environment and of how others saw me. How I despised living in that grey space between who I was and who I wanted to be. Denial was so much easier – at least my coping mechanisms were familiar, and pretending I had it all together was so much better than sitting in the ugly truth.

But truth-telling started the process of freedom. I began walking wholeheartedly towards integrity. And this opened my heart to receive the truth of the word of God as well. This opened me up to a life in the Spirit.

Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” And when we make the simple, albeit difficult, decision to be honest with where we are, we can obey Jesus at each step of our discipleship journey, on our way to where we’re going. We tap into the power of the Holy Spirit and, by His grace, we can respond to our past with His love, remain present where we are, and look to the future with hope.

Humility in obedience is hard; but, oh, my friend, you’re worth it. Eugene Peterson, in his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction:

“I Am Human. I Need Help.”

It was close to midnight when I drove into an empty mall parking lot. The sound and sight of rain is distinct in my memory. “Where are you, God?” I shouted, pain coiling itself around my heart, torment gripping my mind. “Where are you?” I sobbed again. I parked my car and began to write the truth in my journal: I am absolutely terrified. My life is completely out of control. God, I need help.

Fourteen years ago I was struggling with an eating disorder (among other things, hello). But in that parking lot, I finally pressed beyond denial and admitted to myself and to God that I had a problem I couldn’t fix. I wasn’t ready to admit the same to others, but at least the pressure of pretending began to lift.

It took a few years for me to open my pain to close friends, and for my life to actually change, but I gained a level of freedom that night as I gave myself permission to say it, to write it: I am human. I am broken. I need help.

Brokenness opens a path for obedience. Not because it’s more spiritual to be jacked up across fourteen areas of life, but because of the humility it takes to engage in an honest relationship between the Holy Spirit and us. It takes guts to say, “I don’t have it all together and I’m not going to wait until I have it all together. Jesus, I need you now. Where are you? Can you please come to me now?”

He has all wisdom. He has all power. He is at peace with our humanity, with our brokenness. He comes to us in our pain, not in our pretense. He gives grace to the humble, but he resists the proud. And the Holy Trinity is the only force able to transform our lives completely, for good.

How I hated those first few times I risked taking off my mask. How I loathed giving up control of my environment and of how others saw me. How I despised living in that grey space between who I was and who I wanted to be. Denial was so much easier – at least my coping mechanisms were familiar, and pretending I had it all together was so much better than sitting in the ugly truth.

But truth-telling started the process of freedom. I began walking wholeheartedly towards integrity. And this opened my heart to receive the truth of the word of God as well. This opened me up to a life in the Spirit.

Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” And when we make the simple, albeit difficult, decision to be honest with where we are, we can obey Jesus at each step of our discipleship journey, on our way to where we’re going. We tap into the power of the Holy Spirit and, by His grace, we can respond to our past with His love, remain present where we are, and look to the future with hope.

Humility in obedience is hard; but, oh, my friend, you’re worth it. Eugene Peterson, in his book, A Long Obedience in the

Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society, said, “And yet I decide, every day, to set aside what I can do best and attempt what I do very clumsily–open myself to the frustrations and failures of loving, daring to believe that failing in love is better than succeeding in pride.” Yes and Amen.

PRACTICE: What thoughts come into your mind as you think about leaning into the grey space of where you are now and where you want to be? Are you uncomfortable, afraid, lonely, angry? Share your thoughts with the Lord. He wants to hear you. Discipleship in an Instant Society, said, “And yet I decide, every day, to set aside what I can do best and attempt what I do very clumsily–open myself to the frustrations and failures of loving, daring to believe that failing in love is better than succeeding in pride.” Yes and Amen.

PRACTICE: What thoughts come into your mind as you think about leaning into the grey space of where you are now and where you want to be? Are you uncomfortable, afraid, lonely, angry? Share your thoughts with the Lord. He wants to hear you.

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You Say

Lauren Daigle – You Say Lyrics

From the album Look Up Child

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough

Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up

Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low

Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know

You say I am loved

When I can’t feel a thing

You say I am strong

When I think I am weak

You say I am held

When I am falling short

When I don’t belong

You say I am Yours

And I believe

I believe

What You say of me

I believe

The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me

In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity

Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet

You have every failure, God, and You’ll have every victory

Oh, I believe

Yes, I believe

What You say of me

Oh, I believe

Publishing: © 2018 See You At The Pub & CentricSongs (SESAC) / So Essential Tunes & Fellow Ships Music (SESAC) / Flychild Publishing & So Essential Tunes (SESAC)

Words and Music by Lauren Daigle, Jason Ingram and Paul Mabury

Does God Care About My Problems?

wp-1531743650549.jpgGod cares and He does not cause bad things to happen. We live in a fallen world and have free will. There are natural disasters, death, disease, and all sorts of struggles people face each day. Everyone is dealing with something or many things. This life was not promised to be easy, but God did say He would always help us through our struggles. All we need to do is ask and have faith that God will help us.

When we ask Him faithfully in prayer God hears us and works all things for good, even the worst of tragedies. He still does miracles everyday. If you look for them in your own life you will see them. I know I do. Sometimes it’s big things, but it can also be little things. Sometimes I just know that was God and I say thank you.

When you have a close relationship and talk to God throughout the day like he is your best friend who knows all your thoughts and garbage (our worst parts of ourselves we try to hide from others) it is easy to talk about your struggles and ask for help. He may not provide the help in the exact way you think it should come, but thank goodness because God’s ways are so much better than our ways. He sees the big picture, how everything plays out and affects others. He answers prayers by helping us through struggles in ways we hadn’t even imagined.

One example of a miracle is  the boys trapped in the cave for 18 days. Every single day they expected it to rain and raced against  an impending  monsoon. We prayed all around the world and the rain never came. As soon as the  boys were rescued, it started to rain. They couldn’t even get their tools out. The rain was delayed for 18 days, and flooded the cave the minute the boys were rescued. That’s God. That’s the power of prayer. All Glory to God!

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Divine Control

“Before you formed this concept of divine control so powerfully in your mind, you used to go from person to person seeking help, but now you go to God about it.”

…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! MATTHEW 7:11

Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct in this passage for those people who have His Spirit. He urges us to keep our minds filled with the concept of God’s control over everything, which means that a disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.

Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, “My heavenly Father knows all about this!” This will be no effort at all, but will be a natural thing for you when difficulties and uncertainties arise. Before you formed this concept of divine control so powerfully in your mind, you used to go from person to person seeking help, but now you go to God about it. Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those people who have His Spirit, and it works on the following principle: God is my Father, He loves me, and I will never think of anything that He will forget, so why should I worry?

Jesus said there are times when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but you should trust Him. At times God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the thought that the mind of God is behind all things strong and growing. Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God’s will is behind it. Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. Prayer is not only asking, but is an attitude of the mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7).

Life Church

Week 2:At the Movies

Key Scriptures

“… In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NIV

wp-1531743650549.jpg“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV

wp-1531743761105.jpgFinally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ephesians 6:10 NIV

wp-1531743834113.jpg… though he may stumble, he will not fall. For the LORD upholds him with his hand.
Psalm 37:24 NIV

wp-1531743940041.jpg“… 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 NIV

wp-1531744081211.jpg… stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV wp-1531744215744.jpg

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • What inspired you most from this message?
  • Who, or what situations, did you think of as you listened?

Start thinking. Ask a thoughtful question.

  • Read Jesus’ words in John 16:33. Do you see this Scripture as encouraging or scary? Why?
  • Do you have any questions about why bad things happen to good people? Talk openly about those.

Start sharing. Choose questions that create openness.

  • Have you experienced a major tragedy, trauma, or loss in your life? How was your view of God impacted?
  • Share about any areas in your life where you feel ready to give up.
  • What’s the difference between just giving up and surrendering to God?
  • Read Joshua 1:9. Where do you want to walk? What would it look like to be strong and courageous?

Start praying. Be bold, and pray with power.

Heavenly Father, we want to walk, but we need Your strength. Holy Spirit, give us the courage to take steps in the very moment we feel ready to give up. Show us that we’re not alone—You’re holding us up with Your hand. Thank You, Jesus, for overcoming the pain of this world. We put our hope in You. Amen.

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Share one area where you’re ready to quit. What’s a first step that would force you to rely on God’s might?
  • Pick a Scripture from this message that best addresses your struggle, and make it a part of your prayer time.
  • Find some life-giving help for the pain you’re facing: www.go2.lc/pain

Thai cave rescue: Divers begin mission to rescue 12 trapped boys as monsoon rain looms

‘Today is D-Day,’ officials say

Officials on Sunday morning said that “today is D-Day” as they face a race against time to extract the children from the narrow Tham Luang cave complex before more monsoon rains arrive.

Chiang Rai acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said 13 foreign and five Thai divers were taking part in the rescue and two divers will accompany each boy as they are gradually removed.

The operation began at 10am local time, with authorities suggesting it would take at least 11 hours for the first person to be rescued.

Divers have begun the operation to rescue 12 Thai boys and their football coach, who have been trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks.

Officials on Sunday morning said that “today is D-Day” as they face a race against time to extract the children from the narrow Tham Luang cave complex before more monsoon rains arrive.

Chiang Rai acting governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said 13 foreign and five Thai divers were taking part in the rescue and two divers will accompany each boy as they are gradually removed.

Read More

The Way This Football Coach Kept 12 Boys, Trapped In A Thai Cave, Alive For 18 Days Goes Viral
5 days ago by​ Andželika

A few weeks ago heartbreaking story captured everyone’s attention. In Thailand 12 boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach went missing. After the boys’ bikes were found next to an entrance of a cave it became clear that the torrential downpour had left them trapped in it.
It took 9 days of an intense rescue operation to find the boys alive and another 9 days to get them to safety. After 18 days trapped in the cave twelve boys and their coach have finally been rescued.

However, during this intense and stressful time, many people blamed the boys’ coach Ekkapol Chantawong. In defense of Ekkapol, Twitter user yvvonelim9 posted a thread about the coach and gathered some very important facts. Despite being accused of irresponsible behavior by taking children into the cave, it seems obvious by now that Ekkapol played an important role in keeping the trapped children alive.

Reportedly, the kind-hearted coach was the most malnourished because he gave away his share of food to the children, he taught the boys to meditate to help them conserve energy and kept their spirits high until the moment they were rescued.

Ekkapol proved himself to be a true hero in keeping the children alive, scroll to read his life story below!

More info: twitter.com

In Thailand, 12 boys and their 25-year-old football coach became trapped in a cave when rain flooded the escape route

Twitter user yvvonelim9 posted a thread about the coach and gathered some important facts about his life and his role in keeping the children alive

Divine Control

“Before you formed this concept of divine control so powerfully in your mind, you used to go from person to person seeking help, but now you go to God about it.”

…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! MATTHEW 7:11

Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct in this passage for those people who have His Spirit. He urges us to keep our minds filled with the concept of God’s control over everything, which means that a disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.

Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, “My heavenly Father knows all about this!” This will be no effort at all, but will be a natural thing for you when difficulties and uncertainties arise. Before you formed this concept of divine control so powerfully in your mind, you used to go from person to person seeking help, but now you go to God about it. Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those people who have His Spirit, and it works on the following principle: God is my Father, He loves me, and I will never think of anything that He will forget, so why should I worry?

Jesus said there are times when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but you should trust Him. At times God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the thought that the mind of God is behind all things strong and growing. Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God’s will is behind it. Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. Prayer is not only asking, but is an attitude of the mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7)
From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

The Lord Lifts Me Up Every Day


He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly.
Psalms 146:6‭-‬8 NLT

https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.146.6-8.NLT

In Jesus’ Name

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13)

In the gospel of John there are at least six promises that if we pray in Jesus’ name, God in Christ will answer our prayer. The first is in our text, which promises that God the Father may be glorified in God the Son. Note also the equivalent promises in John 14:14; 15:16; 16:23-24, 26.

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Such promises seem almost too comprehensive and unconditional to be understood literally. The key, however, is the significance of the phrase “in my name.” This obviously means more than simply beginning or ending our prayer with this or some similar phrase.

C0EB73CC-6677-41EE-AFEC-A1F45EE8A00D.jpeg

In the first place, we must recognize that it is only through Jesus Christ our mediator that we dare enter the presence of the omnipotent God at all. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6), He said. That being true, it also implies that our prayer must be in agreement with what Christ Himself would pray. No Christian should ask for something he knows to be against God’s will. “If we ask any thing according to his will . . . we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

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When we come to the Father in Christ’s name, we are in a very real sense representing Him. Therefore, we must come with clean hands and motives worthy of the One in whose name we profess to come. Unconfessed, unrepented sin would surely misrepresent Him, and we could hardly speak in His name in such a case. Finally, acknowledging His power and promise, we must come believing, not doubting His Word.

Then, not only is the Father glorified, as says our text, but we shall rejoice. “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. . . . ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24). HMM

39564FBE-F31D-44F9-9A45-1E2BA4C5B70B

Miracle

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible,  oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing

 

Miracle

Have you stopped reaching?
No longer seeking greater things
Have you forgotten you have a Father listening? oh
He tells the sun when to rise
Gives the wind it’s breath
Swings a door wide open and moves in a moment you least expect

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing

Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up on a miracle
How many chances?
How many answers pass us by?
You know it takes faith to step on the waves when you’re terrified
So when you’re packed in a corner (corner)
And can’t wait any longer
Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up on a miracle
Feels like the presents the words you’ve spoken
They go unnoticed like drops in the ocean
Just beyond the veil of your vision
Your mountains are moving, moving on
Remember the works his hand has done
Where you once were and how far you’ve come, oh

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Don’t you give up on a miracle (don’t you give up)
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh (you’ve got to speak, keep on believing)
Pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up on a miracle
Pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Songwriters: Jason Walker / Chad Mattson / Tedd Andrew Tjornhom / Jon Lowry
Miracle lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Capitol Christian Music Group
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Seeds of Faith

image_54264495245728

If you have faith the size of a mustard seed it will be multiplied exponentially.

Some seeds when planted produce a hundred fold. Do not compromise when it appears God is not working the miracle for which you have prayed and believed. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean God isn’t working in you. As a seed grows underground we do not at first see the work that has started, but in due time there is a harvest.

If God met all of your expectations, He would never be able to exceed them.

Never stop believing for a miracle.

LifeChruch Sermon Series: Exponential

Seed of Faith

Key Scriptures

Some time later, the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.” But Abram replied, “O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son?” …

Genesis 15:1-2 NLT

Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”

Genesis 15:5 NLT

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed …

Galatians 3:29 NIV

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9 NIV

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

• When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

• Do you have any dreams for your life or family that feel impossible? Will you share them?

Start thinking. Ask a thoughtful question.

• What do you think causes people to settle for less than God’s best for their life?

• Read Galatians 6:9. What are some good things that are easy to grow weary of?

Start sharing. Choose questions that create openness.

• Have you ever been disappointed by unmet expectations for your life? What happened?

• Share a story when you couldn’t see it in the moment, but at the right time, God completely exceeded your expectations.

• What seed are you waiting to see the results of? What new seed is God leading you to plant in faith?

Start praying. Be bold, and pray with power.

God, You are so incredibly good and faithful. Your ability to multiply our smallest efforts is immeasurable. We can barely begin to comprehend the width and depth of Your love and plans for us. We trust You. Give us faith to plant the seeds You want us to plant. Amen!

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

• Write down or list out loud a few of the big blessings in your life. Then, write next to them the initial seeds that over time multiplied into these blessings. Finally, thank God for what He’s done.

• Write down, or list out loud a few of the big, maybe unbelieveable dreams you have for your future. Then, write next to them the seeds you can plant in faith. Finally, commit your seeds of faith to God.

• Find a Bible Plan to start with your friends: www.life.church/plans

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