Monthly Archives: October 2014

praying hands (family)

Pinky power…the secret to getting “unstuck”!

She couldn’t move. High above the forest floor, she clung to the swaying treetop, paralyzed with fear. The fragile trunk wouldn’t hold her and the rescue worker who tried in vain to reach her. She had to come down to him… but she couldn’t move.

She had climbed with practiced confidence, oblivious to anything but the next branch. The view from the top was breathtaking… until she looked down. Who knew she would be afraid of such a height? White knuckles gripped the slender trunk. The man below urged her to climb down. Her body refused to budge. She wasn’t going anywhere.

“Can you move your legs?” her would be rescuer asked.
“NO!” Panic swelled.
“Can you move your hands?”
“No!” It was hopeless.
“What can you move?”
She had to focus. Slowly she checked off every moving part. Nothing moved until…
“I can move my pinky!” She wiggled the small digit hoping he could see her victory.
“Good! Can you move the other pinky?”
“Yes!” A sliver of hope was born.
“Excellent! Now, slide each pinky down the tree as far as you can. Then the rest of your body will follow.”

One pinky length at a time, she made it to solid ground.

What do you do when you’re stuck? Fear, doubt, disappointment and weariness are only a few of the things that can paralyze us. One friend recently posted: Motivation, please, please come back! Been there, done that!

I heard author Gary Stanley tell the story of the girl in the tree 25 years ago and his “pinky theology” has come in handy whenever I feel “stuck”. Asking what can I do rather than focusing on what I can’t changes the entire conversation! My pinky step starts with simply talking to God, “I believe, Lord, please help my unbelief…”

I believe You’re in control, but I’m worried You don’t have control over ________. Please help my unbelief.

I believe You love me, but I don’t see why You would allow _______. Please help my unbelief.

I believe You are always with me, but I feel totally alone. Please help my unbelief.

I believe you are all-powerful, but I don’t see any path to victory over my _______. Please help my unbelief.

Pinky prayers are a big deal. They can break the cycle of lies and open our hearts to the power of the Almighty God! Whatever is paralyzing you or defeating you, whisper a pinky prayer to our All-Powerful, Faithful God and you will get to solid ground.

The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 NLT

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Having a Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day…God is Bigger!

My dad was in an accident a few weeks ago.  For my mom it was the “perfect” end to a terrible, horrible, no good very bad week.

 

Mom is a list maker.  When the week went from bad to terrible she did what most list makers do…she made another list—recording all that had gone wrong:  big things, small things, annoying things and life altering things.  It was an impressive list.

 

Mom is no pansy.  She’s endured a lot of curve balls over the years and her rock solid faith often hits them out of the park.  But this list had wrapped around her heart and was tempting her to cry foul!

 

She showed the list with my younger sister.  Shared pity parties are so much more satisfying, don’t you think?  Not if you want to commiserate with Paula Sue!  My sweet sister scanned the list, handed it back and told Mom to tear it up.

 

“Write a different list.”  She instructed (note to self—your daughter will probably give you advice someday, teach her well!).  “Write down all the blessings that have come as a result of each of the things on the first list and then start thanking God for what He’s doing.” (note to mom—you taught your daughter well!)

 

God always wins.  He uses every horrible, no good, very bad thing for good for all who love Him (Romans 8:28).  Whether you experience the power of that reality depends on your focus.

 

Make a list of all the things that have gone wrong recently.

 

Does the list depress you?  Take the wind out of your sails?  Tear it up.

 

Now record the blessings that are blossoming from each item on the first list.  If you don’t see them yet, ask God to open your eyes to His Handy work.  If you’re still having trouble finding the blessings ask a trustworthy, follower of Jesus to help you.  Seeing the blessings does NOT mean there won’t be pain, or loss or struggle, but you will find joy and peace that “exceeds anything we can understand” in the midst of any circumstance life throws at us.  He promises.

 

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.                   Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

 

P.S.  On the top of my moms’ second list she wrote:  Jay didn’t die in the accident.  A totaled car, a bruised body and a broken finger… but a husband that’s still next to her at night.  Blessing.

P.S.S.  Thanks Paula.  You’re a blessing to both of us!

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What would Jesus do on Halloween?

Halloween is just around the corner.  Actually, in Orlando it arrived weeks ago.  Creepy billboards announcing Universal studios Night of Horror line the freeway, while Disney wanna-be’s create cemeteries with body parts coming out of…everything.  I hate it.  Why does humanity have such a fascination with evil?  I was pondering this question when I asked another, “What would Jesus do on Halloween?”  I suspect He would use it as an opportunity to light up the night of darkness.   After all, how many nights a year do children from your neighborhood (and beyond!) knock on your door, hold out their hands and receive whatever you put in them? Each year Halloween provides an opportunity many of us crave the other 364 days of the year…a chance to make a difference in the life of a child who has never seen the inside of a church or heard about Jesus (except as a swear word).

I’ve shared the story below with you before, but I think it’s a perfect example of the kind of work Jesus does on Halloween.  He’s not hiding in Heaven hoping the night ends quickly.  He’s out there working in the midst of it.  God takes what the enemy intends for evil and uses it for good.

Decked out in their costumes, she and two friends went trick or treating by themselves. House after house they yelled, “Trick or Treat” and held out their bags for the bounty. One house, however, was different. The smiling face that answered the door gave them more than just candy. Into the bag went something for their sweet tooth and something sweet for their soul.

The trio stopped at the bottom of the driveway and looked at the gospel booklet in dismay. Her friends threw it in the yard, but she couldn’t do it. She dropped the booklet back in her bag and forgot about it.

Later that night she dumped her candy bag onto her bed and spotted the booklet. Curious, she picked it up and read it. The truth of the Gospel of Jesus pierced her young heart and she accepted Him as her Lord and Savior right then and there.

The family who handed out the booklets may have been discouraged to find the discarded ones in the yard the next morning. It’s so easy to feel like our efforts aren’t making a difference. If they only knew the difference it did make in the life of one little girl! They may not meet her until Heaven, but what an incredible introduction it will be!

Dear friends, don’t let the enemy have control of this night. Give the precious souls who come to your door a warm smile, a generous amount of candy and a booklet that tells them about Jesus. I strongly recommend The 4Keys 4Kids booklet.  You can order them at dg4kids.com  Order them today, buy some great candy (don’t be a Scrooge when it comes to the candy!) and pray for the children who will come to your door.  Make it a family affair!  You could be God’s instrument to change a life that may have no other way to hear about Jesus!
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