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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Do You Have Valid ID?

You know you are from New Mexico if: 

   1.     You have shook out our bed sheets or shoes to check for scorpions.
   2.     You understand the waitress when she asks, “Red, Green, or Christmas?”
   3.     You know what a horny toad is.
   4.     Christmas decorations include red chilies, half-a-ton of sand and 200 paper bags.
   5.     You or your car has been attacked by a life-size tumbleweed.
   6.     Out-of-state salesmen want to charge you extra for international shipping.
   7.     A sunset stops you dead in your tracks.
   8.     You have used a snow sled to slide down a sand dune.
   9.     You understand the importance of “Hatch.”
  10.  You need a passport to travel to neighboring states…

I would like to settle on number 10 – Thanks to the Real ID Act, as of January 2013, New Mexico residents will be required to have a passport in order to fly within the US. Why, you ask?

Well, we are one of two states, Washington being the other, which gives drivers licenses to illegal aliens… Yup. We have handed out nearly 100,000 of them in the last ten years alone.

However, this now makes law-abiding citizen’s drivers licenses obsolete. The state along with our Governor has been battling this for some time.

NM residents must produce a passport in order to gain admittance into airports, labs and local military bases. (Because a birth certificate – proof of citizenship- is required to get a passport.)

I took my passport with me to Pennsylvania. I left it there while coming home for the holidays knowing that my family wasn’t going to be traveling… and low and behold! My host family has to mail it back to me just so I can return in January!

Passports are not cheap, nor are they easy to obtain. We have shot ourselves in the foot and all residents will now be paying the price.  

Do you have proof of citizenship? A birth certificate? Not of the state you are from, but of Heaven. What proves your residency as a Kingdom dweller?

Do a self-check. Is your ID valid, or could someone call it in to question? Imagine the many at airports this January who will be denied access to a flight because the TSA agent can not accept their photo ID… now multiply that frustration and fear times a thousand. What would it be like for the King of the Heavens to deny your ID? I cringe at the thought.

Matthew 7:22-23 says, “On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’”

Don’t lose heart! I love this verse – it motivates me to live a life of genuine Christianity. I hope it does the same for you. How then can you prove the authenticity of your eternal ID?

Back up a few verses to Matthew 7:16, it says, “You will recognize true believers by their fruit.” John 15:8 says that when you bear much fruit, you prove you are His disciple.

I want to bear much fruit! Cultivated from our lives should be a ripe harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) Christ should be able to taste of our fruit – others should experience it every day.

Along with you, I am a work in progress – not all fruits are currently ripe in my life, some may be a bit bitter and others kind of mushy, but I am working on it!

I desire that my Heavenly ID be authentic – genuine – tested and proved. Many, like those in my state, have received an ID that is no longer recognized by the nation. The amazing thing is, God is always ready and willing to give an ID to those who call upon His name with a sincere heart.

Don’t drive around with a fake. Get the real deal – your life fruits will show it. So, when you approach the King of Kings with your ID, he will run to embrace you as he already recognizes you as the grower of some of his favorite fruits!  

Love and blessings from The Land of Enchantment

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

You Can Say "No"

Happy Thanksgiving Friends! It feels so good to be back home in the wide-open spaces of the Pecos Valley… it is amazing how much one can miss the smell of cow poo and dirt! I have had my green chili fix and am enjoying the warmth and sunshine as well as my friends and family!

This summer, my parents and I were in the process of planning our week long, cross-country road trip to take me to Pennsylvania. Note that my family has never done a road trip vacation before! Mom left much of the planning to Dad and I.

He and I spent weeks researching which routes to take and where we might like to stop, things to see along the way, restaurants, hotels, etc.

We were thrilled when we found old battlegrounds in Lexington and Segway tours in Charleston! He and I began the process of booking rooms and activities in the two towns when (motherly timing) Mom walks in to see how we are coming along.

Excitedly we told her of our successes in planning and the great adventures that awaited… then she looked over our shoulder and her eyes rolled – that means trouble.

Leave it to a Mom – quickly, she pointed out that we were fixing to make reservations for Lexington, Massachusetts not Lexington, Kentucky and Charleston, South Carolina not Charleston, West Virginia. Both would have been way off our route! Needless to say, Mom fired us from trip planning and immediately sent the two of us out to buy a GPS. She no longer trusted our navigating skills!

In the past year, I have been struggling with the concept of an all-knowing God giving us a free will… how does that work?! A dear friend entertained this conversation with me recently. She pointed out that our lives are much like a GPS.

God knows the ultimate destination that He desires us to reach; yet He provides us the option of how we want to get there - or if we want to get there at all. 

Thanks to the Word, the Lord lays out before us a map and explains exactly how to get to our destination. Yet, Matthew 7:14 says, “...narrow is the road that leads to life, only few truly find it.”

Matthew 22:14, “For many are called but few are chosen.” I believe that all of us who have knowledge of Jesus are called to join Him on the journey – He desires that none would perish. But He chooses few… this is because you must answer the call first. A friend calls you multiple times to invite you over for a feast. If you never answer the phone… You can’t go. Likely, they will call and invite someone else.

The Lord cannot choose you if you don’t answer. When we answer, He shares with us His heart and desires and helps us live a life that ensures we will reach our destination (which I hope you know is, Heaven).

But, like that GPS, we get to pick how we want to get there. Can you imagine how many ways there are to get from New Mexico to Pennsylvania? Countless!

Enter man's free will: we get to pick the routes. The Lord doesn't script our journey. He knows that we will make a few wrong turns and detours. And I believe there are times in our life when we are faced with a Y in the road, and each path would be a good decision - neither one wrong! Jesus hopes that we will simply follow His directions; which still requires an act of our free will - to say "Ok, Lord! Take me that way!" 

The Ultimate Navigator gives us the directions but what terrifies me is that we can say “No” to the direction of the God of the universe. In recent months I have watched people I deeply love say “No” to Jesus: NO to God’s best, NO to blessings, NO to ministry opportunities, NO to a life of holiness, NO to the direction He is calling them.

The scariest part is that the Lord is ok with us saying No – He will never force anyone to live for Him. Often He will find someone else to do the job – the job He wants you to do. Or, like in the story of Jonah, the Lord will send discipline to redirect one’s heart to obedience.

Too many Christians veer off the path and decide to go off-roading. This is never safe… here in NM; off-roading results in a cactus in your tire, life-size tumbleweed attacks or a dirt storm. In PA off-roading results in dense woods in which one can quickly get lost and lose all sense of direction or worse yet, drive off a hilltop.

The path the Lord provides isn’t a scenic highway along the coast; it is a windy, narrow, up-hill road. But, along that road lie unspeakable blessings, peace that surpasses understanding, and “gas stations” to provide you with fuel to ensure you reach your destination. The paved road is much safe than your little detour.

My heart breaks for friends and loved ones who have openly said “No thanks God, I will do it my way.” They miss out on so much life – eternal life. They proudly and loudly live their “No, God, I will find my own way” lifestyle through social media; blending in to the world and yet still showing up at church on Sunday. In Revelation 3, the Lord vomits this lifestyle out of His mouth – it is disgusting to Him.

Roadblocks and warning signs are posted along the path for a reason, yet countless speed through them into dangerous territory where safety is no longer granted.

I challenge you to pick the narrow road. Yes, it is hard! But the crown that waits at our destination is beautiful. The pleasures of this world satisfy for a season but only lead to death. I pray for you an eternal mindset…. Living for Heaven. What happens on earth is what is weird – operating in the Spirit, living for Jesus – now that is eternal!

God wants to hear you say, “Yes, I am coming with you – I am going your way!” When God hears a YES, when someone answers His call, you are chosen. You are selected for great things, for blessings untold.

Sync your GPS with the Word of God. Does is align? You can always get back on the road…. You are never too lost that Jesus can’t find you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

No Knight in Shining Armor...

For the past week, I have been on tour in Washington with Dannah’s tween ministry, Secret Keeper Girl. We've had four events thus far for 8-12 year-old girls and their moms; over 3,000 in attendance, and close to 100 salvation's.  It is humbling each night to step on stage knowing that I get to play a small role in the biggest decision that some of these girls will ever make.

Each night after a Secret Keeper Girl LIVE show, we head out into the audience to sign autographs and take pictures with the girls. This particular night it was well past 10pm, I was starving and exhausted, and yet a woman named Holly waited for me. She just wanted to talk. I heard her heart and her struggles and the Lord led me to tell her of my broken engagement. She hugged me and encouraged me as best she could. Then she told me, “Quit looking for a knight in shining armor.”

I was quite taken back by the statement thinking maybe she misspoke. “Excuse me?” I asked.  “I said, you need to quit looking for a knight in shining armor.” I certainly needed clarification! She continued by giving me the most beautiful word I have received in a while:

“Don’t look for shining armor. It is for fairy tales and not reality. A man who’s armor is bright and shining has never been in battle before. You need a man who will fight for you. Who will lay down his life for you. Look for a man with scuffs and dents in his armor. Not only does it prove that he has experienced battle before, but that he has come out victorious. That, my dear, is what you deserve.”

My tough exterior crumbled and I collapsed into the arms of this stranger, crying. She prayed a blessing over me and I thanked her as best I could. This woman didn’t know me from Eve, nor did she have an earthly clue as to how many times I asked that young man, “Why won’t you fight for me?!” I have battled the thought that I'm not worth fighting for... 

Holly’s words filled me with hope and redirected my prayers and my vision for my future husband. As a result of her great wisdom and encouragement I have been studying the armor of God this week and I would like to share with you what the Lord has shown me:

First, Isaiah 59 scared the jeebers out of me. (Read this in the Message if you can!) The first half of the chapter speaks of the evil and oppression that the world is experiencing. Verse 15 says that the Lord saw what was happening, it displeased him because there was no justice. My bones chilled at the next verse, “He saw that there was no man and wondered why there was no one to intercede…”

So, the rest of the chapter describes the Lord putting on the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation – and garments of vengeance. Eeeeek! The Lord stepped in to fight because there was no man… I don’t ever want the Lord to look around and not see me ready to battle, ready to pray, ready to serve.

Paul was likely in a Roman prison, bound in chains when he wrote the book of Ephesians. He was guarded by soldiers each day who were probably wearing some sort of armor and carrying swords. The irony is that in chapter six, he describes the armor we ought to wear… I am sure he knew the scripture in Isaiah – Paul calls the people to dress for war. To stand. To be ready, so when the Lord looks around, He sees someone.

Ephesians 6:10-18 Describes the armor we must put on in order to stand firm against the Devil’s schemes. Nowhere does it say that the armor is bright or shiny, so let’s leave that for the fairy tales.

(Note that not everyone’s armor will look the same. Each piece will be intact, but it might look different. The battle clothes one would wear to invade the frozen tundra would be different than the ones used to carry out a special ops mission in the torrid desert.  Don’t look at someone else’s armor and wish it were yours – your mission is likely different than theirs.)

Belt of Truth: In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” Jesus is truth. We must fasten and secure the knowledge of Jesus as Lord to our hearts as well as our minds. We must know how to release the lies of the enemy and replace them with the truth of Jesus. Sometimes this will involve a heart or mind adjustment on our part. Once a belt is fastened, it takes and intentional act to remove it. Truth doesn’t just fall off.

Breastplate of Righteousness: Righteousness means to be free from guilt or sin; to be morally right. This breastplate protects the integrity of your heart. It is critical protection. Can one wear this essential piece of armor while secretly viewing pornography or slandering friends? Doubtful. Without this piece of armor, your vital organs are exposed. Get Righteous!

Shoes of Peace: These are the wonderful shoes that you will use to walk out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19). Everywhere we go, we should be walking the Gospel; by our living, by our language, by the way we dress… Don’t covet other’s shoes (the way they carry the Gospel). Again, some are trained to walk the gospel around the beach – they wear flip-flops. Others walk the gospel up the side of Mt. Everest and they need huge, heavy, waterproof hiking boots. Just put your shoes on. They will help you handle the elements.

Shield of Faith:  I love talking about faith! (The scripture according to Heather’s humorous interpretation.) In Luke 17:6, Jesus says that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we could move mountains. Ummmm, I want my shield to be bigger than a mustard seed! Our faith needs to enlarge! The bigger our faith, the greater the protection we have against the flaming arrows of the enemy. Many Christians in the army of the Lord become casualties because their shield isn’t big enough. They get hit with a flaming arrow. Build your faith! Your shield should have burn marks on it – Satan throws fiery darts on a daily basis.

Helmet of Salvation: The enemy likes to take cheap shots. Have you seen a football game in which the running back gets hit so hard that his helmet flies off? That is what the Devil wants to do to you. If he can hit you hard enough that your helmet flies off, he wins. He is out for your soul and if he can steal your salvation or get you to “take it off” even for a second…. Strap it down people! Cinch up the straps. Get your head in the game. Brace for a cheap shot from the backfield.

Sword of the Spirit:  Ephesians 6 explains to us that the sword is the Word! Own it. Pick it up. Develop strength and agility to use it. Know it. You will need to draw it out. Operate in the Holy Spirit – so many Christian are afraid of the Holy Spirit. You are missing out on a life of power and miracles when you resist the things of the Spirit – Pray in tongues at all times. Persevere through the grace given by the Spirit. Walking in the Word and in the Spirit makes you a terrifying target to the Devil. He can see the size of your sword  (he can also see if you aren't carrying one) and he knows you will WAAA-PAAAA him if he gets close. I want to scare the devil.

I have been so blessed by Holly’s words and the revelation given to me this week. It has helped me adjust my prayers for my future husband. He will be a warrior with a few battle scars – not a pretty boy with shiny armor and good hair. Ephesians 6 has also helped me learn the areas of my own armor which are weak or lacking. I have been challenged!

I do want the Prince that the Lord sends into my life to be a seasoned Veteran of the God-of-Heaven Armies. Victorious in battle. Full of stories of triumph, as well as marks of affliction. He will be strong. He will fight for me – better yet, he will fight with all he has for the Lord our God.

May I challenge you this week to look in the mirror and see if every piece of armor is in place. If you have been under attack lately, feeling the darts of the enemy, is your shield up? Is it big enough to protect you? Is your breastplate on?

Are your feet moving with the Gospel? If you stand in one place too long, they will either burn with blisters or freeze – get moving and take off your fuzzy slippers.

Get in the Spirit – the power you will find waiting for you there surpasses all your understanding. Don’t take your belt off…. That is a scary thing to do. Your pants might fall down – that would make you the laughing stock of the army.

Live victoriously, Mighty Warrior! I pray the Lord not look around and find either of us unready. He will gladly do it Himself… It’s like Moms – when you don’t do the chore the right way the first time and then Mom has to come behind you and do it again…. Ehhhh, that’s never good. Be ready – do it right. 

Don't go in to battle naked. You will die quickly and be a distraction to the rest of us. 
Put your armor on and Fight.... we win. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Daring Adventure or Nothing At All...

As my season in Pennsylvania comes to a close, I now find myself on the Pacific coast of Washington touring with Dannah’s tween show, Secret Keeper Girl. We will be putting on six shows for moms and daughters sharing truths from God’s word. WOW.

I can honestly say that eight months ago when I was lying in the fetal position on the floor of my bedroom considering how on earth I was going to even get up… if someone told me I would be here doing this I would have said they were an idiot.

The life of faith inevitably involves risk. I daresay that if there isn’t a risk involved, you may not be experiencing faith.

By definition, faith is; complete trust or confidence in someone or something. 

Helen Keller once said, “Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing at all.” I like to agree with her! Loving adventure myself, I scuba dive, skydive, white water raft, bike, swim with beluga whales and dolphins… my next bucket list adventure is to swim with whale sharks!

But this daring adventure you and I are on is so much more than earth-experiences. Jesus wants it to be about faith. About miracles. About an eternal mission.

For the past couple weeks, I have been stuck in Matthew 14:22-33 – the story of Peter walking on the water. Granted I have read and heard the story a thousand times but never “got it” until this week.

As I was reading along about the great faith it took Peter to step out of the boat… blah blah blah…. I read the story like I would read the back of a cereal box. Then the Lord smacked me in the face! HELLO, HEATHER!!!!

There is a HUGE cliffhanger in this story…. Have you ever seen it?! Peter recognizes the wind and waves (his circumstances) and begins to sink. Jesus reaches out a hand to him and asks, “Why did you doubt?” Then they get back in the boat. The end.

Ummmm, excuse me, but What Happened?! Did Jesus pull Peter back up to a standing position on the water? Did He walk on the water back to the boat while Peter swam? Did Jesus turn into a lifeguard and drop down throwing an arm around Peter and drag him to shore? How did they get back in the boat?!?!?!

Since my world took a radical turn in late February, I have been faced with many “out of the boat” moments. Some which I took, and others which I stayed safely in my life raft and waited for Jesus to come and get me. 

Jonah still on my heart too, I contrast his call with the charge of the disciples. Jonah was told by God to go somewhere and do something. He didn’t. Instead he ignored God’s voice and turned his back. He was thus disciplined – thrown overboard and had the pleasure of hanging out in the bile pool of a whale. Ewww.

The disciples on the other hand were sent out on a mission too. They did not want to go without Jesus, but were obedient. Jesus knew it was essential for their faith to grow. Between 3am and 6am they began to battle the waves. Fear set in as evidence of the Lord’s presence appeared absent. However, it’s never absent!

Might I point out, it was Peter’s idea to walk on the water. He presented the great plan to the Lord. Jesus agreed. Peter asked for a command – Jesus said one word, “Come.” (When I ask the Lord for direction or a command, I am often unsatisfied with one-word answers; “Go, Speak, Write, Love, Forgive…) I need to know why and how. Peter was content with one word = challenge for myself this week!

Although many scholars criticize Peter, I am left in awe. His faith was large. He asked to go and Jesus said come. When Jesus gives a command, you better obey! At that moment, Peter was far safer on the water than in the boat with the others.

Notice the storm didn’t stop when Peter got out of the boat. This is in the dead of night, sheets of rain falling, waves crashing, boat rocking, cold, wet, tired, sore, frustrated… then Peter walked to Jesus – while all of this was still going on!

We ask God to do things – to give us faith – to help us grow. Then, when He does, we are shocked. Peter freaked out. He remembered who he was: a fisherman. He remembered where he belonged: in the boat. He thought, “this is impossible, I shouldn’t be doing this,” even though it was the very thing he asked to do!

When we start sinking, there is not a whole lot of time for a long prayer. “Lord, save me!” is all the poor guy had time to get out! And Jesus reached for him. I like to imagine Him eye rolling and smiling; much like a father would when his little girl gets stuck on the monkey bars. Daddy to the rescue!

In this moment, I am sure Peter was not only scared and in shock but humiliated. Eleven other dudes were watching with their mouths hanging open from the boat. I like to think that Jesus brought him back up to a standing position and together they walked back to the boat = then the storm ceased.

Often times Jesus responds to us in accordance with the measure of our faith. He doesn’t set us up for failure and He answers us when we cry out to Him. I like to think that the Lord “picked him up and dusted him off” and together they faced the others.

Sometimes the walk back with Jesus is humbling… I am sure Peter was saying things like, “Uh, thanks for saving me. I am so sorry! I won’t pull a stunt like that again. Please get me back to the boat.” Can you imagine the conversation when they got back in the boat?!

The times I have stepped out of the boat, I become much like Peter; growing in faith and walking on the water, until… I look around and remember where I am and what’s going on and the reality that I am terrified and that it is impossible for me to be doing what I’m doing… I begin to sink into fear and doubt and the vision of Jesus’ precious face becomes blurry.

I admit that facing my hometown during the holidays has been one of those sinking things. Memories, traditions, our anniversary… people who know, people who ask. I wasn’t happy about it in the first place, planning to hide out in my house to avoid the possibility of having to face the situation.

However, a prayer I did not fully consider was, “Lord, I will speak and share my healing with who ever, wherever.” That same week I was contacted by two schools in my hometown asking me to come share with their high school kids… “Ummm, Lord, I meant anywhere but there.”

I don’t want to be like Jonah. Being vulnerable in front of strangers is hard enough but in front of friends, family, wedding guests, and people that proudly and excitedly hung the save-the-date from their refrigerator is another story.

The potential for sinking here is great, however, I know not to take my eyes off Jesus. He has beckoned me out of the boat. Asked me to do what I consider the impossible.

What has the Lord asked you to do? Is it a one-word command that you are still trying to mull over and think about? Your faith is shrinking….

It is like a little kid determined to jump off the high dive because their Dad said it was ok. They proudly race up the stairs – then they stand on the edge and look down. Although Dad is treading water waiting to catch his son, the child begins to shake. Tears fill his eyes. He shakes his head back and forth… I can’t do it. The Dad yells up encouragement. But, the longer he stands on the edge, the more scared he becomes.

JUMP! Get out of the boat. If you are headed toward Jesus, you are moving in the right direction. If you can’t see Jesus, you might be like Jonah taking the smelly scenic route to your destination – you are missing a lot along the way. The view isn’t nearly as great, nor is the chance for faith-building.

Don’t wait, don’t think. When Jesus says, Come, Go, Write, Forget, Think, Forgive, Pray, Serve, Love… you had better do it and do it fast. Notice that 11 others had the same opportunity to get out and walk and they didn’t. That’s why the story is about Peter.

I want my faith life to be an adventure – not nothing at all (or one with a whale belly.) 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Sleeping in the Stern

When I moved to Centre County, Pennsylvania in August, I certainly never thought I would be bracing for one of the most legendary storms the east coast has ever seen.

Granted, I hate storms. Regular, old thunderstorms can still send me running for my Daddy’s arms! The host family I am living with took any and all precautions. We stocked water and food, filled the bathtubs with water, had the wood-burning stove on for heat, and said our prayers.
Sure enough, the wind hit. I am used to windy west Texas days, but it is different when you are in the woods and hear the creaking, cracking and snapping of every branch. The rain came next, pounding the windows. The lights in the house flickered.

My “little sisters” (ages 6 and 4) wide-eyed and desperate looked to me for affirmation. “It’s going to be fine girls…” when inside I was incredibly uneasy. It is amazing how brave you can be for little ones!

Monday night, I crawled down to the basement with the girls while the parents stayed upstairs with the baby. The girls started out on the ground in Cinderella and Tinkerbell sleeping bags… somehow we all ended up on my air mattress.

For the record, sharing an air mattress with those two was far more dangerous than any hurricane! SMACK – foot in face. PUNCH – fist in gut. DROOL – way too close for comfort!

Lying there with the girls fast asleep on either side of me, I began to pray - one of us wasn't sleeping! The Lord brought to mind the story in Mark 4 where Jesus and the disciples were out on a boat when a big storm blew up. They became fearful of the rain and waves that walloped the boat and angry that Jesus was somehow sleeping through it below deck.

In the basement, we were “below deck.” No windows to see out of; the fan from the wood-burning stove blocking out all noise. I was only aware that there was a storm because I had observed it prior to going downstairs.

Then the Spirit asked me a question (seems like the theme lately).

What would have happened if the disciples came down and rested with Me instead of fighting the storm?

The story in Mark 4:35-41 is considered a midrash of the story of Jonah; Midrash is a tool of interpretation which assumes that every word, letter, and every stroke of the pen in the Torah has meaning. Midrash Aggadah focuses on biblical narratives and can include any retellings, additions, or twists on Torah stories.

The story of Jonah and the storm recorded in Mark 4 are designed to parallel one another – with just a few differences.

1. Jesus was the one who suggested they pile in the boat and cross over to the other side - the Decapolis. The Decapolis was a grouping of ten cities on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire. Each city had a certain degree of autonomy and self-rule; complete with idol worship, paganism, sexual immorality… Much like the city of Nineveh.

2. Jesus was confident; His faith so anchored in the Father, that He was able to sleep peacefully during the storm. This was not the case for Jonah. He was asleep not because he was at peace with God, but because he was rebelling against Him. I heard a pastor at a church in San Antonio speak on this story. He said, “Be very concerned if you feel confident enough to run away from God’s will and then are comfortable enough to sleep…”

3.  Jonah awoke and jumped overboard. Jesus awoke and calmed the storm.

The disciples knew that it was Jesus who led them into the storm. They also knew the scriptures: “Then they cried to the Lord in the midst of their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:28-30

In verse 41 of Mark 4, the disciples were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Because they knew the promise of the Psalms, they began to recognize that Jesus was more than just an influential Rabbi… He was exactly who the prophets and writers of Psalms  wrote about. 

How would the story have ended if the disciples chose to rest with Jesus instead of battle their circumstances?

Lying in the cold basement with the girls, I had much of the night to ponder the potential outcome (of Sandy and the question God asked me). While the Mark 4 Bible story has already been written, I can choose how I would like mine to end.

Rather than being rebuked by my Savior because of my small faith, I would much rather take comfort in curling up next to my Jesus. I can’t think of any safer place to be.

Then I looked at my precious sisters asleep on my shoulders… they were unaware of how dangerous the night was. They were not concerned with power outages or flooding. For all they knew, we were having a special campout downstairs on the airbed!

Childlike faith is a beautiful thing… I want to lay down in the stern of the boat with Jesus.  

In the last eight months, I have faced the greatest storm of my life. I have been guilty of trying to steady the boat by myself. Think Deadliest Catch weather with fiery, little me attempting to do something about it... kind of pathetically humorous, huh? 

Jesus is the one who led me to this place. He is the one who is leading you across your ocean. You and I will have a much more enjoyable trip if we learn to lie down and rest rather than fearfully battle what we can not control. 

If you are taking a Jonah-style nap, I hope you wake up before you are thrown overboard to a whale... Those taking a Jesus-style nap, I thank you for your example of faith and peace in my life. 

** For the record, God put a hedge of protection over State College. Much more fortunate than the majority of our neighbors, we never lost power, had very minimal flooding and just a few down tree branches. Thanks to the many of you praying for us! Praising the Father for His provision.**