I will praise You, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done. I will be filled with joy because of You. I will sing praises to Your name, O Most High.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.
Lord, This is the prayer of our hearts . . . to praise and proclaim You.
You are our refuge and strength. We will trust You.
Lord, forgive us for spending so little time in prayer.
Teach us to pray, not from books or the advice of others, but by Your Spirit.
We long for our prayer time to be personal and intimate.
Fill us with Your truth. Guide us.
Go before us and bless us with all we need to follow You.
We surrender this day to You.
Help us to live it focused on giving You glory.
I’d heard about Operation Christmas Child before, but truthfully I thought it was just like many other ministries that give a gift at Christmas and move on. Was I wrong!
I’ve recently seen the difference these simple small gifts make in the
lives of needy children around the world.
Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse.
Their mission statement:
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of was, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.
OCC partners with the local church worldwide to demonstrate God’s love to needy children in a tangible way.
Do you dream about peace? World peace would be wonderful, but you’d be happy with a little peace at home.
Imagine what it would be like if only . . . The kids would stop fighting. Your spouse would be more encouraging. Your house would magically clean itself, and the laundry was always fresh and in the closet.
Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
I believe that Jesus is talking about personal peace that comes from placing our complete trust in Him. I also believe that we can rob ourselves of personal peace by allowing chaos and clutter to take over our homes.
So, I’ve come up with an acrostic (of course if did, I love them) to help you remember the secret to having peace at home:
1. P – Pray – I believe praying for peace is like praying for patience. Although there are times when God simply covers us with His peace, I also believe He often gives us opportunities to practice peace. When you find yourself on your knees in need of lasting peace, ask God to guide and direct your choices. Ask Him to help you organize your life so that peace can become a reality and not just a dream.
Although there are times when God simply covers us with His peace, I also believe He often gives us opportunities to practice peace. When you find yourself on your knees in need of lasting peace, ask God to guide and direct your choices. Ask Him to help you organize your life so that peace can become a reality and not just a dream.
2. E – Edit – When I write, I type like a crazy woman and then I go back and delete, delete, delete.
If your to-do list overwhelms you, consider it a first draft and ask yourself if there are things you can remove. It is impossible to be all things to all people. Say “no.” People will survive. I promise. This is especially hard for people pleasers like me, but it is worth it.
3. A – Ask for Help – Enlist the help of your family and friends. They may not be supportive at first, but remember “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Give your children “chores?” They are a good thing. Maybe they won’t clean to
They may not be supportive at first, but remember “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Give your children “chores?” They are a good thing. Maybe they won’t clean to your standard of perfection, but it’s better than it not getting done at all, or having a mom who is cranky and tired from trying to do it all herself.
Ask a friend to carpool with you to cut down on your drive time. Ask your family and friends for ideas and suggestions. In fact, let’s share a few here. Leave a comment and tell us some of the ways your family helps to keep your to-do list manageable.
4. C – Create an Atmosphere for Peace – Rev and I make clutter removal and organization continuous projects.
Less stuff means less chaos. Set aside at least one day each month to go through your house and get rid of the things you’re not using. Encourage your children to give away toys they don’t use and clothes they don’t wear. Make sure everything has a place, if it doesn’t, get rid of it. Then end each day with a quick walk through to put things away and keep your home uncluttered.
5. E – Encourage Yourself – Most of these efforts happen in baby steps. I used to try to do projects like this all at once, and I would drive my family crazy. Baby steps deserve rewards.
Once you’ve done some calendar editing and clutter removal . . . celebrate! Plan an easy dinner of family favorites. Have a game or movie night. Lay out under the stars and talk to one another. Just be together, and declare at least a couple of hours phone free.
The secret to lasting peace is refusing to surrender to the chaos. Don’t give in. And don’t give up.
Pray for godly wisdom to intentionally organize your calendar and clutter in ways that will bless your family and glorify God. Then get started.
I promise you a peace-filled home is well worth the effort.
I’m not going to tell how to vote. I’m not going to tell you how I’m going to vote. However, I am going to tell you to vote.
Aside from voting, I want to invite you to join me in praying for our country.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
I’ve signed up to pray for the 40 days prior to the election. You can join me by going to:
IF MY PEOPLE 2012 While you’re there sign up to receive daily reminders and prayer prompts
from some of our nations most committed prayer leaders.
I wrote this yesterday afternoon. I returned home from LifeWay’s dotmom event Saturday night physically tired but spiritually refreshed and exceptionally blessed. I made new friends with whom I talked so much I started to sound like Angie Harmon. 🙂 I wept while worshipping along with 1100 other women under the leadership of Melissa Greene. And I learned from great teachers who encouraged me as a mom as they pointed my heart toward Jesus.
All I can say is a huge – THANK YOU to LifeWay for blessing me by making it possible for me to attend this event.
Some things I learned at dotmom:
1. LifeWay Women like to have fun – This photo was taken at a LifeWay booth. We played grown-up dress up, got our picture taken and a candy bar.
When Rev and I were first married, I would take every little thing that happened to hurt my fragile feelings for whatever reason and hold it tight. Then I would let these little slights pile up one on top of the other. Until . . . I would melt in a puddle of tears and tell Rev everything he had done since the last melt-down. Not my most attractive moments.
He would take it all in and say, “I’m sorry. I don’t want to hurt your feelings. If you would tell me right away that something upsets you, I’ll know and do my best to stop doing it.”
That’s how we do it.
If we’re upset we say so, we talk about it, apologize, forgive, and because we love each other we try very hard not to do it again.
Last week ended with university campuses emptied because of bomb threats, attacks on multiple United States Embassies, and our flags burned in various cities worldwide. Many people with whom I’ve talked are feeling anxious for today and about the future.
A friend and I were discussing God’s sovereignty and Satan’s ability to wreak havoc.
God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much . . . Ephesians 2:4
Jesus Christ has saved you by rising from the dead.
He has gone into heaven. He is at God’s right hand.
Angels, authorities and powers are under His control. 1 Peter 3:21b-22
A huge thank you to those of you who helped to kick off the Counting Our Blessings Community by sharing your prayer needs and blessing announcements. I believe there is strength and encouragement when we stand together in faith. If you want to know more about this group click here.
Let’s take a look at some of the prayers and blessings.
Lauren is having heart surgery soon. Please join me in praying that the Lord will guide the doctors and nurses, that her discomfort will be minimal, and her healing speedy.
A reader asked for prayer for the Lord to fill her with continued strength and trust.
Please pray for those who are struggling with fear and anxiety.
I have some exciting news to share with you today. Not only exciting for me, but I hope for one or more of you as well.
I’m going to the dotmom event put on by Lifeway Ministries, and you can go too!
The journey of motherhood is exciting, scary, lovely, and challenging.
Which is why we’ve created .MOM—a weekend that will encourage
and refresh you, connect you with other moms, celebrate motherhood,
and draw you closer to Christ.
September 21st and 22nd I will be in Birmingham, Alabama as a guest of Lifeway. Take a look at this promo video: