Fan the Flame

You were uniquely and intentionally created by God. He imagined you and spoke you into being. He breathed His creative life into your mother’s womb, at a specific time, in a specific setting, with specific strengths, abilities and weaknesses. He has seen and overseen your circumstances and promises to bring good out of every situation. He will use hardship as discipline to teach you about Himself, His Kingdom and how life works.

As you love Him, look for Him and learn His ways, He will unlock His ancient paths which have been prepared for you.  God has purposely planted you, and He wants to help you grow; it’s who He is and it’s who you are in Him.  He also wants you to live by the power of His Holy Spirit.

Somehow, when we become believers in Christ we experience a kind of spiritual upgrade. God magnifies our abilities to perceive, experience and express the Kingdom of God. This spiritual expansion is often
accompanied by fillings of the Holy Spirit that...

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What Do You Want?

Some people live to fulfill their wants. It’s as if they were born knowing very clearly what they like, dislike and want. Others find it more difficult to clarify and express their desires. Toward which end of this scale do you lean?

It is unhealthy to be driven by our desires, neglecting the promptings, direction or call of the Lord. It is equally unhealthy for us to be ignorant of the desires God has put within us. It is very important to be aware of our internal desires and learn to bring them to God for His sharpening and supply.

Prayer is the appointed Kingdom means for obtaining what we need. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8).

Matthew Henry wrote in response to these verses, “Pray; pray often; make a business of prayer, and...

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How Are You As A Connector?

Some time ago, while on a walk in a park, I was noticing different kinds of connections between mothers and their toddlers as they strolled along.

Some moms had their coffee cups in hand and their child in tow. Their eyes were glazed over as if in a daze. They were with their child, but at that moment they weren’t “with” anybody.

Some were texting and checking the internet. They were somewhere else in their minds and focus.

Others were doting over their children, overloading them with words, tones, object lessons and tactile experiences. These ladies were MOMs –they were “WITH” their children.

How are you as a connector?

Are you passive and somewhat disconnected?

Are you distracted, often thinking about other things while relating to people?

Are you overborne, smothering others and making it hard for them to breathe emotionally, psychologically, intellectually or physically?

Or, are you able to simply be present with those God brings into your...

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Timing is Almost Everything

Have you ever felt like your words did more damage than good – even if what you said was correct? Or maybe you've disappointed others for not saying anything when it was hoped that you'd speak up?

It’s easy to lose in the communication game.

Sometimes we don’t know what to say, and sometimes we do; wisdom is when we know what to say, as well as when and how to say it.

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)

God’s revelation includes divine insight. God’s timing releases Kingdom power.

When you are called upon for counsel it is important to respond with more than your opinion. Your opinions don’t really matter to other people. What they need, whether they know it or not, is a word from the Lord. Such insight rarely simply drops from heaven. It requires a robust understanding of, and familiarity with, Scripture. Much of the language and truth of the Holy Spirit...

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How To Know The Voice Of The Lord

  • “What do you think Jesus is saying to you at this point in your life, in the context of the challenges and opportunities you are facing?
  • What indicators give you some measure of confidence that it is indeed Jesus speaking to you rather than someone or something else?”

These two questions start Gordon Smith’s introduction to his book, The Voice of Jesus.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27) Being a Christian means following Jesus Christ as Lord. It doesn’t mean to follow principles or even teachings, it is more personal than that. It is a matter of following the person of Christ by the help and ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Hearing the voice of Jesus involves the inner witness of the Spirit of God and the outer witness of the word of God, and often the support of other believers.  It is critical for Christians to “hear” the voice – or sense the leading – of the Lord. Yet,...

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Are You Grasping or Aligning?

Sometimes it may feels like we are not getting anywhere.  We may be working hard, being faithful and even bearing more weight than those around us. Yet, maybe few seem to notice our work, our abilities or our investment. At times like this, we start to wonder about the future – whether we will ever be seen or heard for who we really are. We may ask what we need to do to get noticed, appreciated and/or rewarded.

Strangely, we find James and John – two of Jesus’s closest followers – in a similar situation (Mark 10:35-45).  They, quite possibly with the input/influence of their mother (Matthew 20:20-28), decided they wanted to take their future into their own hands. They flat out asked Jesus to secure places of prominence for them in His Coming Kingdom. This seemed like a brazen request to the other disciples, though one that may have been in their hearts, too.

Jesus’s response included an interesting idea. He said that these places of prominence...

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What To Do In Times of Desperation

What do you do and where do you turn when you feel desperate?

We are desperate when we feel hopeless, when we feel like we are in an impossible situation that is too much to deal with emotionally, physically or spiritually.

Desperation is a human emotion … it’s going to happen. Unfortunately, it often functions as a logic suppressant.  It makes us stupid.  And, stupidity acts impulsively. We must be careful when we are desperate, or things could go south very quickly. These feelings can lead us to panic and to become isolated – a bad combination. Decisions made in isolation and acted upon rashly rarely turn out well.

We need not, however, follow the desperation tracks all the way to the station of utter despair.  Instead we can allow it to take us to deep places in our relationship with God. Some have even said only desperate people grow spiritually and are transformed. It’s when we come to the end of ourselves and the resources at our...

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Take Hold of Your Future

What are your plans for the future? Is there anything you want to accomplish or become? Is there anywhere you want to go or anything you want to do?

Have you given much thought to what God may have planned for you? He prophesied through Jeremiah that He knew the plans He had for the people of Israel. (Jeremiah 29:11) And, He knows His plans for you too. For, “You are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do.”(Ephesians 2:10) He has things planned for your future.

The apostle Paul wrote near the end of his ministry that he was pressing on to take hold of that for which Christ had taken hold of him (Philippians 3:12) God wants us (like Paul) to lean and press into the purposes for which Christ has taken hold of our lives.

We may imagine that Christ takes hold of us to accomplish His work, but God has more than work in store for us. He is primarily after relationship and wholeness. He...

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What Are You Creating With God?

gift purpose responsible tool Feb 24, 2024

Did you know that you are God’s personal work of art? When He made you – when He created you in His mind – when He spoke you into your mother’s womb – when He delivered you into this world – He said it is VERY GOOD. The only One who is good, declared your formation as very good. “You are God’s handiwork.” (Ephesians 2:10)

As God’s creation, what do you like about you? What parts of you can you most enjoy with God? For what parts of you can you be most thankful to Him?

Are there any parts of you that cause you to want to take issue with God? Are there any mistakes that He made in your conception, any parts that you would like to give back to Him? God’s primary gift to you is you. This may be a good time to talk with the Giver about His gift to you.

You are also God’s tool to use in this world for His purposes.

“You were created in Christ Jesus to do good works that He has prepared in advance for you.”...

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Surface Shame and Live Free

What is your experience of shame? Usually we don’t recognize the ways shame affects us. It lurks well under the surface of our lives stealthily affecting our decision making and actions. 

Shame can be defined many ways, but let's think of it as humiliation or distress that attaches to a person’s identity as result of wrong or foolish thought or behavior.  These thoughts and behaviors can be our own or those of another toward us. 

Adam and Eve were described in the Garden as naked, yet without shame before God or each other. (Genesis 2:25) However, after their sinful rebellion (the Fall) all people throughout history have struggled with shame-infected identities.

Shame is closely tied to feelings and fears, primarily the fear of being found out as flawed, weak, a failure or morally wrong. It leads people – as it did Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 - to hide from each other and/or from God. We hide so we won’t be found out. The more shame we feel, the...

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