prayer

A Bathroom Prayer

First of all… Kudos that you made it past the title and are still reading.

Secondly, please don’t be scared. We aren’t going to spend time talking about the, uh, things that go on in the bathroom, particularly those things that, um, require “concentration.” (But if we were… it would be ok– because we really have few boundaries here at 7 Days Time. After all, everyone poops. <Did you know there is a book called that to help little kids learn about potty training and stuff? Fun parenting tip. Anywho…>)

This isn’t about what happens in the bathroom. Rather, it is about a sign that hangs in our downstairs guest bathroom.

Just think about it– we spend a lot of time in our bathrooms… bathing, grooming and that “other stuff.” Maybe that’s why when people say they want to remember something, they tape it to their bathroom mirror.

Such is the sign on our bathroom wall.

It is a simple, unframed cardboard sign that I got from my Grandma Neva’s apartment after she unexpectedly passed away in September 2009. Ever since that time, it has hung in our bathroom in each apartment/house we have lived in (three soon to be four for those of you keeping track at home.)

It’s called “I Said A Prayer for You Today.” (I tried to google the author but with little luck.) Check it out:

bathroom prayer

In case you can’t read the poem printed on it, here’s what it says:

I said a prayer for you today 
And know God must have heard. 
I felt the answer in my heart 
Although I heard no word. 

I didn’t ask for wealth or fame 
(I knew you wouldn’t mind.) 
I asked Him to send  treasures 
Of a far more lasting kind. 

I asked that He’d be near you 
At the start of each new day, 
To grant you health and blessings 
And friends to share your way. 

I asked for happiness for you 
In all things great and small, 
But it was God’s loving care for you 
That I prayed for most of all.

Not only do I think it is just a super cool poem (one that I have nearly memorized after all this time) but it draws me to Christ every time I read it. Plus, it automatically makes me think of those different individuals in my life that are in need of prayer.

Sure gives a whole new meaning to “Pray Continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) huh?

I don’t know– perhaps you think bathroom prayer weird. Or awkward. Or whatever. But I’m pretty sure that God doesn’t care where we are or what we are doing when we come to Him in sincere prayer.

So today, I genuinely want to extend a challenge to you. First, I challenge you to think of ways that you can pray more– or heck, even continually– no matter where you are and what you are doing. Secondly, I would LOVE to pray for you today (and in the days to come.)  Seriously. Leave a comment below, send me a message on our Facebook page or on Twitter… or shoot me an email via sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com.

No prayer request is too big or small– because truly God cares about them all. Look forward to hearing from you! (I’m not kidding. Shoot me your prayer requests. Like, for real.)

Praying Continually– FOR YOU!
SGK

“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (MSG) 

Categories: prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Be “PrePRAYERed”

Life happens. (Profound statement, right? Or not.)

You know what I’m talking about. The life “stuff” that is good,  meh and “Are-you-kidding-me?!!”

It all happens. But really… our daily circumstances are neutral. Our reaction to them actually determines which category they fall into.

So today’s question: On a scale of one to ten– how much are you prepared to handle?

Believe it or not, we can all be closer to ten if we are truly prePRAYERed.

The Bible says worry about nothing and pray about everything. It doesn’t say “Pray about the “hard” stuff and just deal with the smaller stuff on your own.” Pray about everything. We’ve talked about it on here before– if it matters to you, it matters to God. So pray about it.

Let me give you a real-life example…

Our darling LadyBug. Reliable. Efficient. And in need of a check up.

Our darling LadyBug. Reliable. Efficient. And in need of a check up.

Car trouble has a tendency to stress me out. Taking my car in for anything but routine maintenance can create anxiety in my heart and worry on my brain. Getting the car fixed ranks right up with going to the dentist, adjusting our budget and unexpected trips to the doctor. (Side note: Why is being responsible so challenging? Lame. SIGH.)

Anywho, our sweet little car, Ladybug, had been making “noises” for about a month. In my automotive knowledge, I was pretty sure it wasn’t a motor thing, but more of a wheel/brake issue. Finally, it got bad enough that we were embarrassed to drive her around a corner due to the loud roaring and squealing that ensued. (Plus, we are prepping to do some cross-country road tripping for the holidays… so we really don’t want to break down in Boondock, Tennessee.)

It was time to suck it up and be responsible. I made an appointment at a local auto shop for 8am on a Saturday morning. (I was motivated when I made the appointment. Saturday morning proved differently.) Before I drove her in, I prayed.

I wasn’t overly nervous. I knew it wasn’t a transmission thing… and really, this year of living out my God-word dependence has really FORCED me to trust Him with EVERYTHING.

Even car maintenance.

But still,  I prayed… “Lord, please let this go smoothly and quickly. Let the mechanics be courteous, and I pray for good news for our car. You know the desire of my heart is for this not to be really expensive… but I trust you with whatever happens today. Amen.”

I know it sounds a little hokey, but right when I said AMEN, the anxiety left. It was go time.

Well… Three hours later, Ladybug was fixed… And our savings account was a little less full. Ouch.

As I was paying our rather large (and un-budgeted-for) bill, I remembered that just a few short seasons ago, a bill of that magnitude would have sent me into a tailspin. I would have been in tears. Sick to my stomach. My weekend ruined. Depressed that for Christmas this year that yes, our family will get to see us, but that any presents they were expecting are now in the form of new brake pads, rotors, tires, etc. (Merry Christmas, everyone!)

Instead, my heart was grateful. Can you believe it? I couldn’t. But God has prePRAYERed us for this. God reminded me that I had a reliable car to drive– and had the money in our savings account to cover it.

Praise. Jesus. I was blown away by how praying about EVERYTHING can change our perspective so quickly and drastically.

What are you facing today? A challenge at work? A test, final or presentation in school? Perhaps a stressful family situation? Or maybe just needing the energy to do the dishes? Again I ask… On a scale of one to ten– how much are you prePRAYERed to handle?  Comment below with your answer and what you might be facing today. (I would love to pray for you!)

Friends, whatever you are going through, big, small or in between, pray about it. If it matters to you, it matters to God. He is sovereign over all. Take it to the Lord… And Be prePRAYERed.

Prepared with Prayer,
SGK

 “Be prepared… Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long.” ~Ephesians 6:13;18 MSG

Categories: prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Real Time Warriors for Christ (Vlog: Factor of 7)

It has finally happened. I have finally gotten the guts to take a leap in to the “Vlogging” world.

For all of you newbies to the techie world (don’t worry, I only learned the term “vlog” about a month ago) “Vlog” is a simply a video plus a blog. Get it? Vlog. (I think Blideo would have been an interesting choice as a close second for techie terminology.)

Anywho… My beloved husband joined me on my inaugural vlog attempt. We were finally forced to get to crack-a-lacking on this mission after a local pastor saw the article in The Bayonet about our Latte Love Factor of 7. Pastor Heather contacted us saying that our ministry was an “answer to her prayers” as she is heading up a kids camp this summer with the theme of “Real Warriors for Christ.” The whole idea stems around defending our faith everyday, right where we are. Which is exactly what Factor of 7 is all about.

She asked if we could record a short video to share at the camp… and Voilà! A vlog was born! (I am all about doing the whole two birds, one stone business.)

So welcome to our first attempt at vlogging. (Oh, and don’t worry… we don’t talk for the entire time. There is a rather humorous interlude smack dab in the middle of this vlog.)

If you cannot view this video in your email, click here.

We would LOVE your feedback! Please leave a comment below! (And don’t be shy about sharing our video message about our mission with folks in your life. Hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

Fighting on the Frontline,
SGK (and Brandon)

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”–1 John 3:18

Categories: adventure, blessings, Factor of 7, fight, generosity, kingdom, positive, prayer, servant evangelism | Tags: , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Thirst No More (Factor of 7)

Ever been thirsty?

I don’t mean a smidge thirsty like “Yeah, I could use a drink (of water.)” I mean, “Holy cow, I am so thirsty my throat feels like the Sahara desert.”

We’ve probably all been there. At least a little bit. (I experience this phenomenon anytime I do a long run without a Camelbak water pack strapped on myself. Or when I talk too much. Either way.)

When you get that thirsty, soda pop (oh, I mean Coke for my southern readers) won’t suffice. Water. H2o. That’s the remedy.

Jesus is the living water… So my beloved husband and I tried to sprinkle around some Jesus water through our latest “Factor of 7.”

On Sunday after church, Brandon and I set out on a mission for Jesus– not only to give literal water to those who might be thirsty, but  to plant (and water!) a little seed of Jesus love. We were going on a walk of epic proportions.

Unlike our previous Factor of 7 experiences, this one was a little different. Instead of taking $107, God called us to get a little creative. (And get fit, apparently.) Here’s what we did: We bought two cases of water (that’s 48 bottles.) We loaded up Brandon’s army assault pack and set out to walk, hand out FREE bottles of water  and pray… for SEVEN miles.

As usual… God blessed our journey.

This Factor of 7 experience was by far the most challenging to date. Not only was it physically challenging to haul full (and cold) bottles of water around for seven miles walking in the Georgia heat (See: sweet sunburns and sore muscles), but it was also the most spiritually challenging. I was concerned about God’s logistics.

When you are walking on paved trails, you really don’t encounter many other folks on foot in the middle of the day. Bikers are on a mission (and usually already equipped with water) and runners are also in their zone, not wanting to stop or carry a water bottle for any distance. (Hey, I totally feel them– it’s hard enough for ME to keep my feet moving on a run without worrying about where the next trash can is.)

About three miles in, we had only given away 5 bottles of water from our first 24 pack that was in Brandon’s bag. I was starting to panic. “God, did you really tell us to do this? Or am I making this up? I know that One is Enough, but I just need some affirmation that this is from you.” 

Right after I finished my prayer (and as a drop of sweat dripped into my eye) I looked to the left of the trail. We had walked into a lower income section of town and there was a run down hotel… With several people sitting outside in the heat, listening to music on a Sunday afternoon.

I asked Brandon if we should venture off the trail and hand out water… His answer, of course was yes… So we branched off our path… and became ridiculously blessed.

The folks sitting there were so excited to receive what we were offering. We passed out water and took down prayer requests. Just as I thought my heart couldn’t experience any more joy, we turned around. Behind us, a single file line of children had formed… ready to receive their free bottle of water.

We passed out all but three of our remaining bottles in under a minute. Each child was incredibly grateful– some of them so much so, they came back asking for another bottle for a sibling or parent. We told each child that Jesus loves them. Their smiles about melted my heart.

Whew… 7.17 miles is a long way to walk on a Sunday– but so worth it.

Brandon and started the trek back to the car to refill our depleted supplies. After restocking, we finished out our final mile. In total, we walked for 2 hours and 30 minutes for 7.17 miles. We took down 22 different prayer requests and gave out over 34 bottles of water.

Our bodies were sweaty. My hair was fuzzy. Our skin was sunburnt pink. But our hearts were full.

And 34 people were less thirsty (for water AND Jesus) than when we started.

Here’s to being thirsty no more,
SGK

“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” –John 4:13-14

PS: Have you ever given anyone a drink of “Jesus water?” How did it go? Leave a comment below to share you experience! 🙂

Categories: accomplishment, adventure, Factor of 7, fitness, generosity, God, Jesus, kingdom, prayer, sacrifice, serving | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Handle with Prayer

Life can be distracting.

Life can be overwhelming.
Life can be stressful.
Life can be uncertain.

Any of these statements apply to you today? Then read on, dear friend. HOW do we function daily, putting first things first, without going off the deep end?

Some might say they flip the “Don’t Care” switch. (It works, but probably not the healthiest option.)  Others might consume copious amounts of chocolate. (Again… great theory, might not be super healthy.)  Still others retreat into a shell, shutting out the world.

But for me, I pray. A LOT. No, I don’t get to sit around all day in God’s presence listening, talking, meditating on His word (as much as I would like to.) I still need to fulfill my role as an army wife, minister, friend, daughter, sister, FRG leader, blogger, exerciser, and general life cheerleader. But spending time in prayer helps me to focus on Christ in all things that I do.

I spend one hour per day of what I like to call my “Jesus time” first thing in the morning. Then I continue to talk to Him (and attempt to listen) throughout the day. As I am working out, driving, showering, preparing to sleep… He is always around, inviting me to be in touch with Him. He is my everything. He gets me through the day. He is my eternal, my immortal, my ultimate chocolate-sleep-diet-dr-pepper-happy-place pick me up.

Just last week, someone asked me if praying actually “worked.”

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I passionately replied “YES.”

Prayer serves a lot of different purposes in life, several of which were covered in the paragraphs above. For example: ever since I got my shiny new iPad, I have been logging my prayers on a nifty $1.99 app. (I had a gift card, so the app was essentially free.)

Best. Investment. Ever.

The app is called “Prayer List” and the design is simple but genius. It allows me to categorize my prayers (aka friends, healing, ministry, our life/family, the lost etc.) The app keeps me accountable to legitimately PRAY for specific people, places or things every single day. And the best part?

It archives my answered prayers.

I have been using this app for 16 days. So far, I have entered 87 prayers… and already, in 15 days, TWENTY of them have been answered.

Holy. Lord. (Literally.)

Honestly, I had no idea how many prayers had been answered until Sunday… I was kind of in a “Jesus Funk” while preparing for church. So at the end of my quiet time, I quickly clicked over to the “answered” tab on my prayer app, expecting 3 or 4 to be in that category. I about fell out of my chair when the entire screen was filled up and I had to scroll to see them all.

Talk about giving your faith a boost.

I started looking at the answered prayers and got a teeny tiny glimpse of God’s ability to work actively in my life. It is PROOF of what he has been doing in the last 16 days. In fact, I realized He actually used ONE event to literally answer three separate prayers that at first glance were seemingly unrelated.

So today, let’s take time to rejoice in His faithfulness. We can take heart that He listens, replies to our petitions/prayers, and is both ACTIVE and ALIVE in our lives.

Consider logging your prayers. Watch how he is working in YOUR life. His answers are abundant and always perfect.  Approach life gently by first coming into The Father’s presence. Life can be simple and wonderful if we handle it with prayer.

In Gratitude,

SGK

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” –Ephesians 6:18

 

Categories: faith, hope, iPad, prayer, technology | Leave a comment

No Fear Here

Fear is… well, scary. (Duh, right?) There are a lot of different types of fears, big, little, valid, irrational, profound, imaginary etc. But being humans, it seems to be a part of our life. But it’s amazing how relief comes to alleviate our fears so awesomely and suddenly– in the most surprising places.

Yesterday was my first time to do staff devotional at our weekly staff meeting. I was excited, and a smidgen apprehensive, almost kind of intimidated. I mean seriously, our equipping staff (aka pastors/minister-ish people) totaled it up a couple weeks ago and determined that they have 99 years of ministry experience between them. Yeah, I’m going on like 4 months. No pressure, right?

I knew my devotional day was approaching, so I started to pray for God to reveal to me what to say. Each time I would start to feel butterflies (aka fear), I would pray even more. Over the past two weeks, He has led me down this bunny trail that I personally wasn’t sure made sense… but again, who I am I to question?

So I shared His message. He tied together the lessons I learned from the movie Courageous (for more info, check out See and Be Courageous) which lead me  sharing a previous post entitled No More Cornflakes when I discussed the occasional “flakiness” of my faith.  Fear seems to be the opposite of faith. Whenever I take my eyes off of Him, I get scared… What do I get scared about? I get scared about whatever little seeds Satan plants in my brain. (Big jerk!) Some of those fears include (or used to include at some point in my life):

Fear of abandonment/loneliness

Fear of betrayal

Fear of disease

Fear of death (before I knew Christ)

Fear of failure

Fear of not being a good wife

Fear of a variety of little dinky stuff that really doesn’t matter but Satan decides to mess with my head anyways

Look closely… the inscription is starting

to wear off, but it is still there…

“No fear in love…” 1 John 4:18

As I have previously discussed, I wear a ring everyday that says “No Fear in Love” from 1 John 4:18. In the context of the devotional I shared, it wasn’t necessarily about the earthly love of a man and woman– but rather that of Our Father and ourselves. His love IS perfect… and it says in that verse that there is no fear in love for perfect love casts out fear. What an awesome promise! God loves us… so what should we be afraid of?

However, it’s not quite that easy to turn our fears into faith simply by remembering that God loves us. Instead, it will require prayer. Pray specifically for God to turn your fear of ______ into faith that ______. This method can cover all kinds of fears, big, little, in between. Here are some examples:

God, please turn my fear of abandonment/loneliness into faith knowing that you are always here and never leave me. 


God, please turn my fear of failure into faith that you give me strength to accomplish things within your will. 


God, please turn my fear of not being a good wife into the faith that you called me to serve as an army wife, you are faithful and will help me succeed in the name of Christ. 

As my devotional time drew to a close, I shared a thought that God had given me on the difference between bravery and courage. While they are practically interchangeable in Webster, they are very different in a spiritual context.

Bravery comes from the Spanish word “Bravado” and reflects more of a knee-jerk reaction… something you do without thinking or motivation, but you just do it. Courage, on the other hand comes from the French word meaning “Heart.” It is a deeper kind of feeling, often pre-mediated, rooted in love and faithfulness. Cool huh?

Think about and maybe even consider making a list of your fears… Pray to turn your fear of _____ into faith that ______. Meditate on God’s love for us and root the actions of your heart in love and faithfulness… Be courageous in faith and live a life with no fear here.

Here’s to no fear,

SGK

 

“Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” –Isaiah 44:8

Categories: Christ, devotional, faith, fear, prayer | 2 Comments

Praying as a Leader

Christ Community Church Youth Presentation Week Two: DOMINATED. (By God!) Boom. America.

This is the text message I sent my boss Kelli last night after I finished presenting my second week of teaching to our church’s youth and youth leadership team. Dontcha just love it when God shows up and meets you there? Ahhhh…

Anywho, last night’s topic stemmed from “Praying as a leader.” Much like last week’s servant leadership, I could have probably done an entire day-long workshop on the topic. But thanks to God’s grace, He gave me the words to share it in about 30-ish minutes. (For a deeper look at prayer, check out A Little Big Conversation) Last nights presentation  went a little something like this (Not word for word, obviously… but you catch the drift.)

*****

Before we begin, let’s  travel back in time to my youth. Imagine me somewhere between 10 and 15 years ago (which would make me about 11 to 16 years old.) Put some birdnest bangs in the picture and braces… Got it? Ok.

I was saved when I was 11… and unsure where to go from there. But I did pray. And my prayers went a little something like this:

Dear God—
Please help me get to sleep tonight. Don’t let me worry about dying. Help me do good in school. Oh, and um, may your will be done… as long as it doesn’t hurt me or isn’t painful. I love you so much. AMEN. 

God yearns to hear us speak and talk to him, especially through prayer. Sure, there were a lot of areas of improvement in my prayer life. But I do know that he appreciated my efforts. While my methods of praying have changed dramatically in the past few years, I wouldn’t be where I am at now if I had not received some guidance on how to pray—especially as a Christian leader.

Think to yourself for a moment the last time you prayed… Was it today? Yesterday? Last year? Never? What did it look like? How do you feel about your prayer life right now?

The great news is that no matter when you last prayed or how you felt about it, God isn’t displeased… but TODAY is an opportunity to start new— to move forward with courage and excitement as we learn to pray as Christian leaders!

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” –Ephesians 6:18 
Praying is one of the most important things you can do as a leader! 

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty details… The first few are relatively simple.

  • WHO can pray? ANYONE! Every single one of you can talk to God. You are his beloved daughters and sons. Our father wants you to feel comfortable talking to him!
  • WHO can we pray for? ANYONE! Again, you can pray FOR anybody—believers, nonbelievers, your family, strangers on the street. If you want a “real life example” from my commissary adventures, check out Puppies & Potato Salad As leaders, consider specifically praying for your own followers, including other youth (or just people in general) within the community and school, that they might see the light of Jesus within your heart and want to follow you in the direction of the cross. Consider also praying for other leaders within our church family such as the ministers and your youth leadership team.
  • WHEN can we pray? ANY TIME! Pray when it works for you… While some people want complete quiet and it is encouraged to have a few quiet times with the Lord, we all can be reassured that God is listening 24/7. We can pray in the morning before or after we wake up, at mealtimes, on a walk, before bed… any or all of the above anytime!
  • WHERE can we pray? ANY WHERE! Just like when we can pray, God doesn’t care where you are when you talk to Him. I have found myself personally praying in random locations throughout the day: In bed before I get up, after breakfast when I have my quiet time, driving in my car, going on a run. Talk to him… He’s listening!
  • WHAT should we pray for? ANYTHING! Are you noticing a trend here? Praying can be simple if you allow it to be. If we are praying sincerely, pouring out our hearts to God, there really are any wrong things to pray for when it comes to “what.” That being said, remember God’s words in Scripture. Example: you can CERTAINLY pray for provision as a Christian/leader dealing with finances, but remember The Work from Matthew 6:24– “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Make sure to keep our priorities focused on HIM. Ultimately, we should trust him to give us what we need as leaders to be successful—it won’t always be easy. But it will be worth it!
  • HOW do we pray? WITH OUR HEART!  Praying doesn’t have to be fancy with “thees” and “Thous” and “doests”… they just need to be from our hearts. They shouldn’t be robotic, the same thing every single day just because you have always done it like that. Do it sincerely! (Reference back to my robot prayer that I said when I was younger…)

So we have the basics. Now, let’s dig a little deeper. Consider when you pray to use the acronym ACTSL (said like Axel… but spelled different 😉

  • ADMIRATION or ADORATION: God is amazing, awesome, all-powerful—let Him know it!
  • CONFESSION: This is an opportunity to clear your heart—remove any barriers between you and the Father. (It could be sin, conviction, doubt, junk of the world etc)
  • THANKSGIVING: Approach Him With an attitude of Gratitude!
  • SUPPLICATION: Present your requests… Petition Him! Here are a few “ideas” or suggestions to pray for…
    •  Pray for others (especially our followers, fellow leaders and the “lost”)
    • Pray for God’s will to be done … Sincerely! (Not like I said in my prayers of youth ) Pray with courage. (See yesterday’s post) He’s kind of a big deal… and knows the bigger picture. Trust him.
    • Pray for the needs for self: This is where you can ask God for what you need, maybe even what you want… Ideas include: Worries, Strength during a specific time, discernment (which is a fancy word for good judgment or understanding) guidance, empowerment, hope, comfort, humility, forgiveness, righteousness, conquering sin, the list is endless!
Then finally on “How” to pray…
  • LISTEN for a RESPONSE: Don’t be afraid of a little silence. It is an opportunity to be open to hear what God wants to say to you. And don’t be disheartened if God doesn’t grant your “requests.” He knows what we need… I’ve have often heard that God always answers prayers: Yes, Not yet, or I have something better in mind. Think about it… true huh?

Last but not least…

  • WHY do we pray?
    • To be OBEDIENT
    • GLORIFY GOD! It shows that we have faith in Him
    • INVITE the POWER of God into our lives – prayer provides closeness with the Lord, and we can enter into His presence.
    • It CHANGES us –Prayer shapes us… we are changed by being in His Presence. It helps us to keep our eyes open for the needs of selves and others. It empowers us, motivates us, softens us (in a good way) strengthens us… Pray can be such a powerful change agent!!

When we pray as leaders, we have to ask God to lead us first. He is the one driving us, guiding us, directing us. And he does it all with such a deep love and profound knowledge that we cannot match. However, if we remember WHY we pray, then he will empower us to accomplish His will by leading others in our every day walk with Christ. I saw this quote one day at the gym as a decal on the back window of a soldier’s truck… It had a soldier bowing down with some crosses and said “I can stand up to anything when I fall on my knees.”

Let me say it again:
“I can stand up to anything when I fall on my knees.” 

Ok, we have discussed who, when, where, what, how and why we pray. So what’s the next step? We can pray for God to help us all to learn to pray! Praying to pray! There is A LOT of power within that!  God wants to hear you speak… So speak to Him, and remember to keep on praying, because we can stand up to anything when we fall on our knees!

These are the nifty take-home bookmarks I made to help
our youth remember how to “Pray as a leader.”
Standing up, on my knees,
SGK
“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” –Jude 1:20
Categories: leadership, Love, prayer | Leave a comment

No Panic Needed

My beloved and I just returned from a four-day anniversary mini-vacay in the North Georgia mountains. Ahhhhhhhhh….

“Sans Souci” means “Without a Care” in French…

First of all, it was awesome. Nature is cool. Mountains are legit (not many of those in Kansas where I come from.) The cabin we stayed in was cozy. And our baby dog Justus behaved (it was his first overnight road trip.)

That being said– we have left what we like to call “pretend-land” and returned to reality. I have heard many folks say “I love to travel, but I hate the moment that I arrive home.” I have to admit, I used to be one of those people, easily overwhelmed by the TO DO list waiting at my doorstep the minute I check out of pretendland.  Time to hit the PANIC BUTTON!!! But not anymore.

Admittedly, this week is going to be busy for me. It is finals week for my masters. Unlike most school weeks, this week doesn’t end on Sunday at midnight, but rather Friday at midnight…  which shaves two days off my paper writing time for finals. Thus, I have to figure out how to squeeze out 31 pages of semi-profound (and coherent) text between now and then. I am certainly not a procrastinator, but due to the anniversary-ish nature of our trip plus the lack of internet, I wasn’t willing/able to work on this paper writing excitement in the woods this weekend.

Ok, so 31 pages of writing to do… plus my blogs this week… gotta do some church-work too… oh, and my running training program kicks up a notch this week as well (still need to go trot-jog 5 miles today). Did I mention I am teaching a class on servant leadership for the youth Wednesday night?

I don’t tell you this to gain sympathy. Yeah, no. In fact, I hope that you are empowered by the fact that I don’t feel the need to panic. That’s right. No freaking out here. I have some profound school-ish things to do, but in the last 4 semesters of school, God hasn’t let me down yet– and I know he will help me to make it happen yet again.

Our beloved baby dog…

Pre-puke. SIGH.

I had been praying for the last week or so for God to empower me to make it through this second to last finals week of my masters program with minimal stress and maximum efficiency. We’ve been home about two hours, and I have accomplished a lot already, all for God’s glory…  Even though upon arrival, I was greeted with my husband’s truck door being left open all weekend because he apparently forgot to shut it which equals dead battery (sigh– men and their aversion to closing things) I was also greeted by a pile of baby dog vomit in the backseat from the four hour car ride (we are still working on Justus’ ability to enjoy vehicle motion.)

God has already granted my request of “No panic needed.” It’s Monday– do you have a crazy stressful week ahead of you? If so, never fear– instead, pray for no panic needed. I have spent the last 63 days of morning God time and Bible study working through the book of Romans. I landed on Romans 12:11 today… and it was certainly no coincidence.

 

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

I continue to pray that my 31 pages of writing and all of the things on my TO DO list will be a choice of power granted from God. That I can do it with zeal and spiritual fervor, smile on my face know that this time next week will find me in a 10 day break from school (the first that I have had since the beginning of May!) And that all of my TO DO list items can be used to serve the Lord and glorify Him.

May all of YOUR TO DO’s be Soli Deo Gloria, for the Glory of God alone… Oh, and remember: there is no panic needed.

Writing for His Glory,

SGK

“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” –Proverbs 19:20-21
Categories: calm, faith, prayer, to do | Leave a comment

A Heart of Ministry

NEWSFLASH: Being a “minister” can be draining.

Notice that I put the word minister in quotation marks. Those aren’t sarcasm quotes… but what I like to call flexibility quotation marks. Before you completely check out, you should know that YOU are a minister too.

“Whoa, woman. Back the God truck up. I don’t work in a church. I didn’t go to seminary.” That might be true, but I assure you that you have ministered to people– maybe even today.

Yes, the word “minister” can be used as a noun to represent someone who specifically fulfills a role or office within a church. HOWEVER… it is also a verb…

Minister (verb): to give service, care, or aid; attend, as to wants or necessities: to contribute, as to comfort or happiness. 


By defining it in this way, we can <hopefully> say that the majority of us are ministers. While I minister (verb) to people daily, I am also a minister (noun) within a church. (Specifically in the words of Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights, I am a “newborn, infant, baby Jesus” minister.) One thing that God has already shown my in my time of being a minister (noun) is that ALL of us can minister (verb) to ministers (noun.)

Confused yet? Ok good, my work here is done. Just kidding. Let’s look at a “ministering a minister” experience of my own. A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to minister (verb) to another minister (noun) while shopping at the PX here on post. Her name was Gale and she was selling copies of her latest devotional. I stopped to chat with her for a few minutes. Our awesome and encouraging conversation ended with a hug, and a list of things to pray about for her. See? Ministering to the ministers!

Here’s the bottom line: Our ability to minister isn’t limited to status, title or experience. We all can have a heart of Jesus, which, if you look closely, was a heart of ministry aka giving service/comfort– for ALL types of people. He ministered to people “above” him (think: Nicodemus, rulers etc) and “below” him (tax collectors, prostitutes etc)

My “boss,” Kelli Wommack is a REMARKABLE minister (both noun and verb.) I am blessed to learn from her– but I have already learned that ministers sometimes need to be ministered to.  We all are on the same mission to glorify Christ, lift up our brothers and sisters in love. After reading her blog today, The Purpose of Difficulty, I kind of got the vibe that it was shaping up to be a difficult day (but yet still used it as an opportunity to minister to others!) We all have rough days.  It’s just part of life. And God can use those difficulties for us to minister to one another.

So I sent her an email referencing a devotional from yesterday’s staff meeting as a challenge to write 10 things we are thankful for each day. My list looked like this:

1. Running 3.5 miles w/6 hill sprints in it… and not throwing up

2. Pecan carmel candle burning in the kitchen

3. Finding the bottom of my sink after doing dishes

4. Gorgeous weather and sunshine!

5. Puppy dog cuddles and kisses

6. An amazing role model and boss in Kelli Williams Wommack!

7. A cabin named “San Souci” waiting in the mountains for my husband and I this wknd

8. Future opportunity to teach SHAPE-y things to youth

9. The Amazing Grace wind chime in our front yard

10. Chocolate-mint flavored water that I discovered yesterday

It was as simple as that! A reminder of God’s love in the form of simple little list. I also pray for Kelli on a daily basis. She is a great friend and mentor. Kelli is incredibly talented. She has a BEAUTIFUL heart for Christ. And I personally feel beyond blessed that God allows me to occasionally minister to her heart with a pep talk, encouraging word, email or Starbucks coffee. Don’t let The Enemy tell you that you aren’t “good enough” or “experienced enough” or “knowledgeable enough” to minister to someone’s heart. We are all human… and who couldn’t use a little extra love every now and then?

Jesus was always on the look out for folks to minister to. Paul also asked continually for people to pray for his mission within the church. Shouldn’t we follow their lead, ask for prayers and ministers to the hearts of our own ministers? Literally, let’s thank God for the ministers in our own lives!

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” Philemon 1:4-7

Have you ministered anyone today? Do you know of a church leader that might need a mini-pep talk? Pray for them. Be their cheerleader. Being a minister (noun) can really take a lot of out of a person sometimes. (Any job working with people can be exhausting!) Don’t forget about your own ministers inside AND outside of the church… We are ALL in this TOGETHER. As believers, we can all have a heart of ministry!

A Noun/Verb kinda gal,
SGK

“I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.” Romans 15:14

Categories: cheerleader, Kelli, ministry, prayer | 1 Comment

Taste the Rainbow

At 2:58pm yesterday, I returned home from one of the most awesome, intense, transformational, profound, exhausting, replenishing, breathtaking experiences of my entire life.

For about 48 hours from Friday afternoon to Sunday, I was hanging with the Holy Spirit and about 60 other women at Christ Community Church’s Women’s Retreat 2011. The theme was “Come Away…” And away we certainly went.

God showed up in a huge way, especially for me. I could literally write a book (ok, well at least a 20 page report) about the profound revelations and transformation that God revealed in my heart this weekend. But today, I would like to share with you how God allowed me to “Taste the Rainbow.”

Can you see Him? Look closely.

He was there!

We arrived on Friday afternoon and in typical conference fashion, were scrambling around ironing out last-minute details (I was on the planning team.) As registration was winding down, Pam (the preacher’s wife) gasped and said “Hey ya’ll, LOOK.”

Outside the window, over the trees in the distance was a rainbow. Please note that it had not rained on us all day. I took note, thought it was cool and continued to scramble. Little did I know that a revelation was brewing (no, not the FINAL revelation… just A revelation.)

I was set to close out the evening that night in prayer before we dismissed for free time or sleep time or whatever time. As that neared, I prayed that God would give me the words he wanted me to say. Suddenly, the revelation hit me. The rainbow. It is scriptural. As worship was winding down, I grabbed my phone, opened the Bible App YouVersion and searched “Rainbow.” It appears in Genesis and Revelation (beginning and the end.) Specifically in Genesis 9:14-15 it says, “Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.” Hmmm, very interesting. Promises and convenant. Duly noted.

Another verse appeared in Ezekiel 1:28– “Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.” Also profound. The worship music wound down and it was time to pray in front of these 60 ladies.

I briefly shared with the girls about the rainbow and the Scripture from Ezekiel. We had already experienced a profoundly moving night during the programming, and I mentioned that the rainbow was a physical sign of God’s presence if anyone was doubting that he showed up that night. I began to pray. My heart was pounding and my knees were weak. Not from nerves, but I was pretty sure that the Holy Spirit was so overwhelming I was going to hit the floor (facedown) if he also hadn’t been there to hold me up.

I got done praying and I would love to share with you what I said. But I have NO IDEA. Everyone said it was really legit and moving, but the only thing I remember was saying that God invited us to come away (romantically speaking) and didn’t greet us with roses or chocolates, but with a promise of his love in the sign of the rainbow (please take note: we will come back to this momentarily.)

So yeah, that was awesome. But it doesn’t stop there. God, as usual, was an overachiever and was with us  all weekend in a big way. Long story still long, Hollie spoke the next morning about how God calls us beautiful. He loves us and romances us. Doesn’t get made, doesn’t condemn. He LOVES. Oh how he loves us! Hollie then gave us all personalized, individual love letters FROM God. (He used the hands of some of the women in church to write them, but there was NO DOUBT that they were done well in advance of the conference and were from HIM.)

Well, I took my love letter and went outside under a shade tree for quiet processing time. Good thing I was sitting down, because one of the first sentences of my personal letter said “Some offer ROSES or CHOCOLATES or other earthly trinkets, I have gifts for you– gifts of POWER and TRUTH. Gifts with ETERNAL VALUE and lifelong benefits.” Holy roses and chocolates people!! Needless to say, my love letter also has a few salty teardrop marks.

God was there. But the even better news is that God is HERE too. In my living room. Around your computer screen. In your car. At work. At home. At the gym. AND He love you. SO MUCH. More than any words can say or song convey. HE LOVES YOU!!! He longs to be with you, transform you, speak to you, love on you daily. Let Him. Receive His gifts. Come away with Him, open up your heart and let Him in… If you do, He too will let you TASTE THE RAINBOW!

All for His Glory,

SGK

“Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars.” –Revelation 10:1

Categories: chocolates, glory, prayer, rainbow, retreat, revelation, roses | Leave a comment

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