Monday, January 31, 2011

Setting My Default to BELIEVE

I want to adjust my default setting to BELIEVE so that my early responses reflect my faith and trust in the One who is able to accomplish all things. A wonderful example of this came to me after our recent small group meeting. In our discussion of Ephesians chapter one, each one of us marveled at the idea in verses 19-21: the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to us who believe. *

When we were leaving to go home I saw one of the women hurry back into the church. I found out later she took her husband directly to the hospital because of an erratic heartbeat.

I received an email the next morning. They had taken our lesson in Ephesians chapter one to heart and chose to believe and apply the truth we discovered afresh in verses19-21.

Here is their testimony (shared with permission):

“Thank you so much for praying on Thursday wonder he wanted to leave so quickly. He felt his heart go into atrial fibrillation just at the end of our group prayer time. We went to the E.R. and they eventually transferred him to ICU overnight. They released him late this afternoon. His heart went back into normal rhythm by late morning. It was wonderful to pray with him in the E.R. and be reminded of what we had just learned about in our small group....that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, LIVES in us. We prayed that the POWER within him would restore his heart to normal rhythm. SURELY, if that power could raise Christ from the dead, we had the confidence that He could take care of this small in comparison.”


Oh, may we all have our default set to believe who He is, what He says, and then share how He is working in and around us each day!

How have you believed God? How will you train your heart and mind to believe? I would love to hear your stories—because they encourage others to believe.

Believing with you,


“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” Ephesians 1:18-21 NIV

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Do You Believe That He Is Able?

Jesus asks, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” in Matthew 9:28.

This question hit me between the eyes. Do I believe? Do I think God is ABLE? In my head, yes, but, I want to believe just as strongly with my heart. What’s the verse that says, immeasurably more than we can ask or think? More than we can imagine. That’s describes my God! But, my finite brain limits Him—I need to be freed from that. I need to know how small I am and how great He is.

Believing means that I need to remove the barriers I have erected, the ones that keep me protected and others at arms length. Barriers like mistrust, fear, discouragement, self-sufficiency, and self-protectiveness. These barriers create the perfect conditions for unbelief.

To believe, I let down my guard and put my complete trust in Him, without reservation. My hands are open, palms up in surrender. I am expectant because He promises to be faithful. Then, I begin to watch for His fingerprints on my life.

I have so much to learn and understand about believing in Him. I want to grow in my faith and trust in His all-powerfulness. I want to embrace each day, every opportunity, to look at things with fresh eyes, believing-eyes. He is able--I am the one who hinders Him most. Belief unlocks the ability to watch Him work in and around me in ways far greater than I can imagine.
What is it that you need to believe God for? What barriers cloud your ability to trust?
Expecting. Believing. Because He is able!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Do not be afraid....only believe." Mark 5:36

Being afraid is probably the biggest obstacle for me when it comes to believing. I think the enemy loves it when I "what if" everything to death. The what-ifs act like bungey cords around my way am I going to let go of all the possible pitfalls.

As I read the passage in Mark 5, Jesus is on His way to the home of a synogogue offical named Jairus. Jairus has pleaded with Jesus to heal his daughter who is sick at home. While traveling, the crowd following Jesus gets thicker and they begin to press in on Him and the disciples. Jesus notices that power has been released, and finds that a woman who has been bleeding for twelve years was healed simply by touching the hem of his garment.

I can imagine the crowd being amazed at this unfolding before their eyes. The woman, outcast because of her uncleaness has been not only healed of her issue of blood, but restored to her community as well when Jesus proclaimed her healed.

Jairus was witnessing all of this when a member of his household interupts with news that it is too late; his daughter has died so there is no need for Jesus to concern Himself anymore.

Enter what-if pitfalls for Jairus....
Whatever faith he possessed evaporated when he heard the news that his daughter was dead. Yet, Jesus says:

"DO NOT BE AFRAID ANY LONGER, ONLY BELIEVE." (Mark 5:36)  * The word here means, keep on believing.

This story encourages me that it is never too late for God. I shouldn't get discouraged or lose heart. God is able to heal Jairus's daughter whether he arrives late or not. It also shows me that I can't allow fear to get in the way of believing. Often circumstances can begin to overwhelm belief, but this passage shows me that I need to keep my God in focus--because nothing is impossible with Him (I learned this from the Angel's visit to Mary).

So, I commit to believe and not be fearful about:

1. Medical issues, medications, decisions, next steps
2. My sister's need of full time work, financial needs, housing needs, decisions
3. Taking on writing a Bible study
4. A friend's needs
5. How to use my writing and speaking this year
6. My children's spiritual walk
7. My extended family's HUGE needs

I could continue on....

Are you fearful about things? How can you believe past your fears?

Only believe,


Sunday, January 09, 2011

Do You Believe?

What does it take for you to believe?

I have been walking with Jesus for a long time so it's hard to remember what caused me to first draw near to Him. I remember desiring to do the right things. I remember wanting to know more about Him. I was a young teen when I made my decision to follow Him; I realized I could never be good enough to go to Heaven on my own. I needed Jesus. My epiphany came in the normal course of my daily activities; I remember sitting at the kitchen table listening to my mom explain about her finding the Savior. It made perfect sense for me to believe too. It was the missing piece. That’s when I chose to believe and follow Him.

In our Christmas story in Luke chapter two, there were two people given a chance to believe. Both were visited by the Angel Gabriel. Both were given pretty shocking news. Their stories are similar yet the results were very different. Zacharias was struck mute for his unbelief until he wrote on the tablet nine months later, His name is John, after the miraculous birth of a son in his old age. Mary was called blessed by her cousin, Elizabeth because she believed what the angel told her.

In reading this account I have been struck by belief and unbelief, two choices that I have every day. Will I believe God or not? I want to choose to believe God for whatever He says, in His word and in His promises. This is easier said than done when faced with impossible odds or the murmurs of doubt that always manage to crowd my thoughts. I struggle in the same way that people in the Bible struggled. I wonder if I am more like Zacharias or Mary in my responses.

As 2011 begins to unfold, my word to contemplate is BELIEVE. Because, believing isn’t finished just because I know Jesus. Believing is something I need to do every day while I walk with Him.

Believing requires faith and trust—in something. I have to believe in things every day. I believe when I board a plane I will make it to my destination safely. I trust the pilot. I trust that the mechanics inspected the aircraft before takeoff. I believe that my car will start when I leave for work in the morning. I believe when I cross over a bridge it will not collapse. I trust these things without even thinking about them. So, the question is, do I believe God? Do I trust that He is able to accomplish everything He says He can do?

I find that it is sometimes easier to believe God for the big things. I believe I am going to heaven because Scripture says if I am trusting in Christ for my salvation, because of what He accomplished on the cross, His grace is all I need. I trust that I will have a job to go to. I believe that God is working in the lives of those I get the idea. But, sometimes it is harder to believe for the smaller everyday things--the things that are in my face. Somehow I think those are my responsibility.

So I have begun to read verses about believing every day and will pass along what I learn. I hope you will come along with me…there is so much He wants to do in us and through us. But, like Mary and Zacharias, we have a choice; we need to start by believing.

Will you believe with me? He is able because nothing is impossible with Him.


Saturday, January 01, 2011

2011: New Beginnings

Where are you going?

Been stagnant?

In limbo?

Hanging on?
Go back to your reference point

Remember His faithfulness

Anticipate new things

One step at a time!