Finding Strength in God

Good morning friends!  I am reading through the book of 1 Samuel right now.  As it has before, the relationship between David and Jonathan continues to amaze and delight me.  The type of relationship they shared is a unique example of how God can so deeply knit hearts together.

A couple verses that stand out to me are found in 1 Samuel 23:16-17.  It reads – “And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.  ‘Don’t be afraid’, he said ‘My father Saul will not lay a hand on you.  You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you.  Even my father Saul knows this.’  The two of them made a covenant before the Lord.  Then Jonathan went home but David remained at Horesh.”

Notice it says that Jonathan went to David to help him “find strength in God”.  Why, you may wonder, did David need help?  At this point in his life, David had been anointed King over Israel, but he had yet to take the throne.  The current King, Saul, was still ruling and reigning and hating David.  He hated David so much that he was trying to hunt him down in order to kill him.  David was on the run and was becoming weary.  Therefore he needed help in finding strength.  David knew the source of His strength, it was God and God alone.  Although he knew the source of his strength, he still needed help finding strength.

This is where the friend of his heart comes in.  These two simple verses show us how Jonathan helped David find his strength in God:

  1. Jonathan went to David. He gave him the gift of his presence.  Whatever else Jonathan was doing in his life, he put that on hold for a time in order to go help his friend.  What a friend.
  2. He calmed his fears. He brought words of comfort and peace – “Don’t be afraid . . .”  Sometimes we just need someone to tell us that everything is going to be OK, don’t we?
  3. He spoke the truth to David. “You will be king over Israel.”  Jonathan knew the truth and he reminded David of the truth.  God was still in charge and His plans would come to fruition in David’s life.  God hadn’t gotten David this far to ditch him now.
  4. Jonathan committed to stick with him and involved God in their commitment as they made covenant before Him. Two is better than one, but three is greater still.
  5. Finally, Jonathan left and went back to his life, but not until Jonathan knew David was strong once again. This is a good example of a healthy relationship.  Jonathan helped David, but then he left.  There is no unhealthy co-dependence here.

What a great lesson about how to help those closest in your life to find strength in God.  Do you have people who look to you to help them find strength?  Do you have people you look to?  It’s important that there is both, not just one or the other.  However, the more of a leader you come, the more lopsided this equation can become as well.  As a leader, you have many people looking to you and fewer and fewer you can look to.  Beware of this!  Isolation is a tool of the enemy to make you disconnected in the body of Christ.  Fight against it.  There are times you need help being strengthened in God.  Make sure you are being real and vulnerable with a couple of people whom God has placed in your life.  Just like God has placed you in other’s lives to strengthen them, He’s placed trusted people in your life to strengthen you.  Let them.

Your Friend in Ministry,



Trusting God to Fulfill Your Desires

Hello friends!  It has been quite a while since I’ve posted on my blog, due to tech issues.  I finally asked my husband for help and he was able to get me up and running again in no time flat.  This was a good reminder to humble myself and ask for help sooner rather than later when I get into situations that are bigger than me.

I hope to get back into a somewhat regular routine of blogging again.  However, I have been surprised by this season of life, raising teenagers.  They require a lot of my time and attention, which makes time for other endeavors more challenging.  But because I know this season will be over in no time, I am making the most of it by giving it (and them) my full attention, which is the joy of my life.

Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to share the message for Mother’s Day at our church.  It was based on Hannah from the Old Testament, entitled “Trusting God to Fulfill Your Desires.”  I thought I would share the basics of the message with you.  If you’d like to hear the whole message, click on this link and it will take you to the video on our website from May 8, 2016.

You can find Hannah’s story in the first couple chapters of 1 Samuel.  If you are unfamiliar with her story, why not take a few minutes to read it now?

Hannah’s story teaches us that we can trust God to fulfill the desires that He’s placed within our hearts.

What did Hannah do with her desire?

  • She gave it to God. 1 Samuel 1:10
  • She made a vow. 1 Samuel 1:11
  • She fulfilled her vow. 1 Samuel 1:28

What did God do with Hannah’s desire?

  • He remembered Hannah. 1 Samuel 1:19
  • He gave Hannah what she wanted because he knew he could trust her to offer what she wanted back to God. 1 Samuel 1:20
  • Did something bigger than Hannah could have ever imagined.  1 Samuel 2:26

So, what can you do if a desire is consuming you?

  1. Determine if it is Godly or not.  If it is an ungodly desire, do whatever you can to remove it from your life.  Don’t rest until it is.
  2. Surrender it to Him daily.  Give it back to Him as often as you need to – even if it’s several times a day.
  3. Discipline your heart and mind to focus on God.  This is where it gets really challenging.  But a desire can be dangerous because it competes with God for first place in your heart and mind.  You could have the Godliest desire, that’s put in your heart by Him, yet it could become an idol in your life, if that’s all you think about.
  4. Believe that God remembers you and is working on your behalf.  The word remember means so much more than simply to recall – it means to express concern for someone, to act with loving care on their behalf.  God expresses concern for His people and acts with loving care on their behalf.  He did that for Hannah and He does that for you too.  When you submit a desire to God, you can trust that He is working on it.*The Lord will work out His plans for my life – for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.  Don’t abandon me, for you made me.  Psalm 138:8, NLT*For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for Him!  Isaiah 64:4, NLT
  5. Have faith that God will fulfill your desire in one way or another.  Use the verses below to      bolster your faith in God while you’re waiting.

    *I remain confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.  Psalm 27:13-14

      *The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.  Psalm 145:13, NIV

      *Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4, NIV

      *He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; He hears their cry and saves them.  Psalm 145:19

*Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.   What a person        desires is unfailing love; . . . Proverbs 19:21-22a, NIV

How many know, that when you do these things I’ve shared with your desires, an amazing transformation takes place.  Crying out to God, especially when it’s done for many years, becomes less about our specific request and more about getting to know, trust and rely upon our God.  He becomes our heart’s desire.  I love the verse in Proverbs 19 because it perfectly concludes what God wants to speak to us today, through His Holy Spirit . . . Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.   What a person desires is unfailing love; . . . Proverbs 19:21-22a, NIV  I believe if you get to the root of every desire, it can be linked to the truth of this verse – what a person desires is unfailing love.  Hannah’s desire was to have a baby so that she could prove that God loved her and hadn’t forgotten about her.  If you examine your desire, deep down, you can most likely link it to the desire of unfailing love.  Aren’t you grateful that unfailing love is exactly what you are promised?  Through God sending Jesus to walk among us and give His life for us, He fulfilled each of ours greatest desire.  Unfailing love.  I want each of you to hear me right now.  You are loved.  You are not forgotten.  God right this very moment, is working on your behalf.  He can be trusted.  He is faithful to all His promises and loving towards all He has made.  You can be confident of this – you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Your Friend in Ministry,


One Word for 2016

A couple of years ago, on the blog, I did a series about choosing “One Word” for the year. To view those blog posts, click on the “One Word” category over on the right.

For some reason, last year, I wasn’t too into “One Word”, so I didn’t do it. When this New Year began to roll around, I found myself somewhat interested in it again and began to think about what my one word would be. The only word that kept coming to my mind was, “Vision”. Mostly because the vision in my right eye has been so poor, clouded and blurry, due to a cataract that I will have removed at the end of the month.


Then one morning as I woke up, I had a picture of a steep snowy narrow path, it was a very steep, almost 90 degree angle mountain that was covered in deep clean snow. I was at the top of the mountain as my son was making his way up the mountain. I could not see him but I knew he was coming, so I was cheering him on. As I looked around I noticed there were others who loved him cheering him on and waiting for him to arrive, I was just the loudest (*smile*). However, we were not alone. There were others at the bottom and along the path who were discouraging him by telling him he couldn’t do it and to just give up. Sometimes their voices seemed louder than the voices at the top, especially when he was tired and needed to take a rest. Yet, if he lifted his head and looked up, he heard the voices once again and it gave him strength to keep trying to pull his feet out of the deep snow and take another step in the right direction, up the mountain.

Those of us at the top of the mountain knew it would take strength, endurance and perseverance to keep going especially when he felt weary or overwhelmed, that’s why we were cheering him on. As his Mom, I was concerned about him falling off the mountain, but as I peered over the edge, I saw that he was securely harnessed and strapped to the mountain so that there was no way he could fall off. I instantly knew that the security of the wires that held him to the mountain was Jesus Himself not letting my son go. The wires and harness got stronger the more those of us at the top prayed.  I wrote down this picture and the specific spiritual implications I knew God was giving me.

As the picture faded, I realized that the previous week I had another picture come to my mind which was a spiritual implication about something I was going through.

Then it hit me, the Holy Spirit was giving me “visions” about things that I needed to see from His perspective. Just like my physical vision is in the process of getting crisp and clear, I believe God wants to make my spiritual vision more sharp as well. This will have a positive effect on my life, my family, friends and church I serve as I can see things effectively and pray with a depth of insight I haven’t known before.

And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. Joel 2:28-29

Heavenly Father, I commit this “One Word” to You this year. Thank You that You will restore the physical vision to my right eye and that You are going to give me spiritual vision and insight this year. It is going to be a good year and I look forward to growing closer to You. In Jesus’ Name and for His sake, Amen

What about you? Do you sense the Holy Spirit prompting you to choose “One Word” to focus upon this year? What is your “One Word” for 2016?

Your Friend in Ministry,