Tag Archives: pray

Thank You For The Tree

Let’s walk with the Israelites for a minute.  We’re still celebrating watching what we saw God do at the Red Sea – we saw the water turn in to two huge walls.  While being chased by our enemy, we stepped onto the bottom of the ocean to find it dry, just as dry as the sand in the desert.  No one but God could have pulled that off and we knew it.  We had ourselves a Holy fit and celebrated what we saw Him do.  That gave us the courage to keep following. We were full of faith at that moment, so we gladly followed Moses on even though we had no clue where our faith (or Moses) would take us.

Now we find ourselves in the Wilderness of Shur (my interpretation…sure enough wilderness).  No food.  No water.  Nothing but nothingness.  We’re tired and our feet hurt.  We’re hungry and thirsty – every one of the million or so of us.  On the heels of one of the greatest miracles we’d ever seen, we start complaining.  We’re in a tough spot.  Everyone knows survival…in the desert no less…requires at the very least, water. Walking out of bondage by faith is one thing but when physical need takes over, faith sometimes takes a back seat to what we feel, doesn’t it?

Can you feel it?  I doubt we can – I’m thinking with everything we want and need at our disposal these days, none of us have been without water – while walking – in the desert – for three days.  The complaints grew louder and they grumbled at Moses so loudly the man could hear nothing else.  Moses did the only thing he knew to do – he cried to the Lord for help.  What else could he have done?  There was water (Marah) but it was undrinkable.  I’m sure to all of them none of this made any sense.

This whole adventure from the beginning to that moment was all about full and complete reliance on God and obedience to Him.  After he cried to God the Bible says, very simply and unmistakably “…and the Lord showed him a tree…”

Allow me to indulge my humanness for a moment, will you?  A tree – this word indicates it was most likely a branch…not even a whole tree.  Can you imagine the look on his face? “OK Lord, you hear YOUR people (not mine) You KNOW we NEED water…and you show me a tree…a tree branch…??”  What?

In the moment of a great physical need (three days without water), I would have cried out, “LORD! What are you thinking?!  We don’t need a tree!! WE NEED WATER!!!!” Not Moses. Not this great man of faith.  He threw the branch in the water which made the bitter water become sweet and they drank.  God met their need – every one of them who drank got their thirst quenched.

We sometimes find ourselves on top of the world after a mighty move of God and for some reason, we think we’re going to stay there!  When something happens to us, we pray specific prayers and God gives or allows something that makes no sense whatsoever: Trees in place of water, a pink slip instead of job security, an illness instead of good health, etc.  In those moments we have two choices:  1) Lean on what we think we know and have an emotional breakdown when things don’t make sense or; 2) Trust God with every fiber of our being, even when it seems He must’ve gotten it wrong.

Thank God for the tree.  Pick it up in faith and apply His word, remembering the promises contained within.  He never fails.

Exodus 15:22-25  Philippians 4:19



I watched a squirrel in amazement this morning as he walked a limb with his hind paws holding a walnut with his front paws chewing away the covering as he went along.  Amazing to me God equipped even the critters around us to survive many of their circumstances.  We know they’ll eventually die (as will we) but in the right now they have all the instincts and abilities to survive…and thrive!

God gives humans amazing abilities to survive our circumstances as well, even more so than animals.  Humans were created by God to be houses for the Holy Spirit and afterward, being instilled with all the power He used to create this beautiful planet, hang the stars in the sky (and name them) and the power to raise the dead Jesus after He was crucified to eternal life.  Think about that.  If you’ve surrendered to the authority of personal relationship with Jesus you have all that power inside you. Right now!

Not only do you have physical attributes of survival and provision for the same, you have God’s spiritual dynamite inside of you right now.  You’re thoroughly equipped to live a life honoring Him thanks to Him.  You’re not a victim; you’re not a prisoner to your circumstances (or you don’t have to be).  You’re not a less than, overlooked or discounted IF you believe God’s word and take Him up on His promises.

The “seed” of the Holy Spirit was planted in you when you accepted the Savior-hood of the person of Christ.  However, it’s up to us to “grow” the seed.  “Work out your own salvation” (Philippians 2:12) means we grow through a relationship with Jesus – getting to know Him and what His death and resurrection means to us personally because that’s where the power is.  We grow up and into all the fullness of God and all the promises that relationship brings to us when we learn to trust Him and live like we do.

The closer we get to God and the more we come to believe Him, we see He has equipped us with amazing gifts for every area of our lives – for us and for others.  It’s easy to believe that when paths are smooth but when the way gets rocky do you still believe?

No matter what we face the key to surviving it, overcoming it and being victorious through it is found in God and accessed only through Jesus.  He is the only way.  Pray and ask God to show you WHO is inside of you and believe.  You – through Jesus – got this!

What Makes Us Do It?!

A horrible thing happened this morning.  Horrible.

Sampson, my dog, loves to chase squirrels.  He will run them all day long up trees, hoping fiercely to catch one but it’s never happened…until today.

He ran a squirrel up a very tall light pole at the park.  While other squirrels ran for safety in the surrounding trees, Sampson was fixed his prisoner.  He taunted, barked, bounced and badgered the squirrel but he just scurried higher up the pole.  Sampson didn’t move.  He refused to give up.  Suddenly, for no reason at all, the squirrel jumped down off the pole!  He was dazed and couldn’t scamper very fast so Sampson got him.  Can’t be mad at the dog, that’s what dogs do! I stood there, shocked and amazed.  Why.  Why in the world would that critter take such a chance knowing it was a long fall, Sampson was right there and he may not survive it?

What makes us think we can jump into things we know we shouldn’t and not be hurt or hurt those we love?  Why do we think it’ll always turn out ok when the chances are 50/50 – sometimes less – that they will? What makes us lurch into danger giving no thought to the consequences that await us?

Maybe it was fear.  The squirrel was probably terrified.  I reason in my mind that had Sampson treed him he would have never taken such a chance.  Sampson kept on taunting him, the squirrel went up as high as he could but maybe felt he wasn’t far enough away from his enemy that he thought, “If I could just get to that tree, it’s close…I can make it, then he won’t see me and I’ll be safe…” and went for it.  Sometimes don’t we think the same?  We think if we can’t see the enemy he surely can’t see us; we think any decision we make out of fear is an ok one; we have to do something, so we do what we know to do, maybe what we’ve always done: JUMP!  Maybe it was wanting to hide, to get away.  Maybe it was the challenge, boredom, adventure, something different.  I don’t know.  All I know is it didn’t end well for the squirrel and it won’t end well for us if we flirt with disaster thinking we can get away with it.

Jumping into danger (whatever the danger is) in all likelihood won’t end well for us either. Humans (supposedly) have another sense to guide us and perhaps talk us down before we take the plunge and if a Christian, an even greater resource, the Holy Spirit.  Before we move for whatever reason, take a minute to think (yes) but especially to pray.  He has the best sense of what’s good for us and will always guide us, if we let Him.  Always pray before plunging.  Okay?

Isaiah 30:21 “Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”

But Then, I Prayed.

I’m just not feelin’ it.  Early mornings and lots of effort will produce just what it did yesterday.  What’s the point? I think I won’t today.  But then I prayed and before I knew it, my feet were on the floor and the wonderful sounds of a brand new day welcomed me on.

I want what I want. What’s the harm?  No one will know.  I think I will…but then, I prayed and the strength to resist came; the want to, to please The One greater than myself gave me the will, I chose Him and the thought left my mind.

I want to be as mean to them as they are to me.  I want to act out of my rights, my justification – because after all, they gave me a reason to lash out so it’s all good…but then, I prayed and The Voice whispered, “greater love – because that’s how I love you…” immediately came to mind…so I chose love over hate.

It’s as simple as that.  It’s not easy, but it is that simple.  Who will I please today? It’s always a choice.  None can do it on our own strength – at least I can’t.  All the willpower and determination I can muster is never enough; sometimes when I want to choose right and do, I still act wrong. But then I pray – pray for the strength and the want to, to act out right, say right, be right…in His eyes.  Sometimes I think my morning time with Him will be enough to carry me through…then I find myself with another crossroad, another choice to make then I pray.

Let’s be conscious to choose first to pray, then to live in a manner that honors Him today, one incident at a time.

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for your yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15

Please. Do Not Repeat.

I’m sure like me you’re remembering this very dark day in American history, 9/11/2001.  Do you remember how divided we were back then?  Just like now, it was almost brother against brother…race against race.  Although I don’t recall it being as bad as it is now, I do recall how bad it was.

Then the first plane hit WTC…and in a second, right before our eyes, our world changed forever.  We saw a play by play a huge American tragedy unfold right in front of us. Not a single person who was alive that day was untouched.  We saw evil up close and personal like we never have before.

From the moment the first plane hit, it seemed the horror brought us back together as a country.  We saw acts of courage, kindness and consideration like we never had before.  Because of our optimistic nature, we saw lines and lines of people ready to give blood for the survivors.  The faces of the fireman shown on TV preparing themselves to go in those buildings and the Pentagon are forever etched in our memory.  We witnessed Congress and Senate – going at each other then as they are now – come together and sing “God Bless America”.  Churches unlocked their doors for days for people to come to pray.  Many were saved.

With broken hearts, church attendance went through the roof.  People by the droves got saved.  We became one country…one nation under God.  We were solidly united in those days.  Remember?

Now think about today and how divided and angry this nation is.  Social media fuels the frenzy.  We are right back – farther back I would venture to say – than we ever have been.  I cringe to think what it will take to unify us again, to make us remember what is really important.  So many have fallen away from God, there is so much hate and vileness in our country right now.  What will it take for us to turn around again?

My prayer is that it doesn’t take another event like 9/11.  We don’t want to ever go through anything like that ever again.  As you remember what happened 15 years ago, pray for your country.  Pray for God’s mercy to invade us, His mighty hand to protect us.  Show a little love and consideration today and every day after.  Please Lord.  Do Not Repeat.


Exercising Hope

One of the greatest delights and desires of my heart this time of year is to see hummingbirds.  As I’ve said many times I believe they’re tiny angels.  I marvel at them.  When I lived in Alabama they showed up in abundance and I had my work area set up so that I could watch them from dawn until dusk.  Since I moved here, sadly, I have only seen them when I’ve visited my friends.  Only ONE hummingbird visited my house and that was the year before last!  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

There are probably several reasons for that.  I moved three times my first year here, all under less than favorable circumstances.  Perhaps they couldn’t find me.  Maybe if I could have consistently stayed where I was, they would have come. I would try putting the feeders here and there – always moving them and always being disappointed.

I remembered this morning reading a story about hummingbirds.  If they live they always come back to where they visited the previous year.  Always. So I place partial blame on me that I didn’t get the blessing of the hummers and yet have to wonder if perhaps they never came to those places.  Last year, I didn’t put feeders out.  I gave up.  I didn’t believe they would come so I made the decision to do nothing.

Don’t ever stop believing. Keep going to scriptures that encourage and help you believe and SEE that God IS busy whether His activity manifests itself externally or not.

I put feeders out this morning and prayed while doing it for two reasons:  1) The Bible says to pray about everything and 2) I was physically exhibiting the HOPE that I would see hummingbirds this year and FAITH that God is going to bless my prayers and those little earth-angels WILL come. HOPE is a VERB – it means to wait, tarry, EXPECT.

Guess what I just saw.  My heart is full and tears flood my eyes as I type this. What a lesson…and a blessing.

Romans 5:5  “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”


What Do You Want?

Why do you pray?  For something from My hand…for My provision.  Or do you seek Me?  What if I had no hands; what if I can’t, seemingly won’t do anything for you…would you even utter My Name?  Do you give me a thought when you’re not needy?  Do you love Me anyway? Would you love Me anyway?

What if the answer is no? What if I don’t give you what you ask? Does that make me a bad Father?  What if I allow you to suffer, would you still trust Me?  What if you lack, does that make Me less?

What if the one you’ve prayed so hard for isn’t healed? Would you still love Me?  Would you turn away from Me?  When your belly rumbles and your heart breaks, does that mean that I’ve failed you?  Am I still good?  Do you…can you still love me?  When I come back, will I find any faith…any hanging in, seeking Me (when your hands are empty and you feel failed) faith in Me alone? Can you trust me enough to believe all this is for your good?

Will you?