When their lives look better

"Why?...I don't get it." These are words I often hear in question as I look into tear filled eyes, muttered when I listen to that hurting voice over the phone. And I often don't have words, but I have the Word. 


Have you ever looked at someone's life and compared it to what yours looks like? Envied theirs? Been jealous or felt forsaken? We can always question the "why" to seasons and circumstances of life. 
Why me? 
Why doesn't my life/story look like theirs? 
Why this load for me carry in life?

Perspective will make or break you. It will strengthen your perseverance and without it you will have fleeting allegiance. 

"Your steadfast love is better than life." Psalm 63:3
Better Than Life.

Better than the devastations and disappointments.
Better than the most fulfilling things and moments.
Better than any relationship.
Better than any dream home or job.
Better than any high or any low. 
Better than life.

I've learned that perspective, right perspective is anchoring to endure. A few specific things have helped shape my sight, to keep it on eternity no matter what crosses my path: Psalm 73 and "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn (consider a summer read of these two).

I appreciate the rawness of Asaph in Psalm 73 that I think we can so relate to:

He was despairing and envious of the wicked’s fortune. Those not seeking God seemed to have it all - wealth, abundance, care free lives, reason to boast, overindulging in whatever they wanted with no awareness of God and at no consequence (v.2-12) - so it seemed. It seemed he was missing out and forsaking these things for a worthless time and a God who was not "blessing" him in the same way. He wondered "what am I doing and what is this all for? Is this God even worth it?" (v.13). He felt hopeless, despondent, and condemned for longing for the things of the world that the wicked seemed to all gloat in and enjoy. He felt ashamed and guilty for even thinking it that he couldn't voice it (v.14-15). Sound familiar? He observed the "wicked" and was exhausted trying to answer “why them” and “why not me?”(v.16). “Until”...this is the game changer,,,

"Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end." Psalm 73:17

Did you catch it? "Until..." what? Not until he entered the presence of God did he see himself and the world clearly. The sanctuary represented standing in God's presence, holiness, character, spirit and power. I think it was here he was able to set his sights "on things above" and flourish from eternal perspective. He made the Lord His refuge when the world said look elsewhere (v.28).

When you're losing sight, where do you go? To whom do you look to? Fleeting world pleasures or faithful covenant keeping God? 

As I set my gaze on Him, I know Him more. When I grow in sight and view of the unchangeable, unconquerable, immovable, irremovable, untiring, unflinching, unwavering love of God I waver less because my gaze is on the Unwavering one. When looking at the worlds’ ways, Asaph’s (our) sight shifted to a god that seemed to have forsaken him and was holding out, until he fixed his gaze on God did he get it - his end and theirs. 

“Whom have I in heaven but you? There is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” 
Psalm 73:25

The Lord's considered every possible "what if" in your life, even beyond what we’ve questioned and chooses what will make us more like Him; what will cause us and others to know and magnify Him. That is to be our joy. 

Asaph began desolate, angry and despising the wicked…yet left the sanctuary in worship after gazing at the Lord, longing to “tell of all your works” (v.28). When you are despairing or tempted to give up or give in – look up. What will be your “sanctuary” place to regularly keep perspective? Find those places – gathering to worship with others, being in the Word, a quiet space away in nature, being in community, or an old place that takes you back to your First Love. Find it and be there regularly to the places that raise your sights. 

As we grow and deepen in eternal perspective our envy and jealousy will begin to weaken when looking at those that have things we desire, when we feel we are more “deserving”. Rather we grow in compassion and a yearning to love them with the Gospel and hope of Jesus because whatever you are seeing in their life that raises discontentment in you – is all they have without Jesus. That’s it and an eternity of suffering. Grow in love and compassion towards them to bring light into the dark places of the Deceivers empty lies they are sinking into unless you show them the Hope and purpose in Christ that is faithful and eternal.

“My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

In light of eternity, in light of His glory, He allows and do I dare even say specifically purposes in our lives to bear such things so we could offer the comfort we’ve received (2 Corinthians 1:3-6), that we would grow in dependence on Him, find Him greater than anything, and know His grace as sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). He is worthy. He is worth it. An eternity with Jesus - full restoration and peace realized is worth it.


“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

"Look for yourself and you will find loneliness and despair. But look for Christ and you will find Him and everything else." C.S. Lewis

Posture of Prayer

Years ago a friend and I went through a Bible study together that challenged you to spend time in prayer on your knees with your face to the ground. Going over the study one week this friend asked me if I had prayed as the study encouraged us to, in that posture. I said I hadn't (like it was something not necessary, my stubbornness at its finest). Her face lit up as she simply said I have, "there's something about that posture". 

The stiffness of my stubborn heart and knees were softened from an overwhelming season in life and I can say from submitting my knees to the ground that there is something about that posture. I would love to say I have spent time on my knees every day since, but I have to battle my will of self-reliance by choosing to humbly place my dependence on Him - praying on my knees can do just that. Lowering myself yielded before the King places my heart in the same posture. 

"The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth." Psalm 145:18

You'll find prayers in the Bible with different circumstances, content, request, results, and yes postures. 

The calling upon the name of God to summon His aid. Intercessory prayer, on behalf of someone else. To ask, request, beg, seeking by an inferior from a superior, request for something to be given.

It may be uncomfortable, unfamiliar and a bit awkward for you to interact with the Lord in a way that may be new or neglected, enter in anyways. May our knees show the wear of our desperation for Him. 

Consider your prayer life, position and posture from Colossians 3:1-3.

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1-3

I died
My life is now hidden with Christ in God
I am raised with Christ
Christ is seated at the right hand of God
My mind is to be on things above

The right hand position of a king has his ear. Close nearness. The king leans in to listen. Jesus is at God's right hand, with His ear in attention to his intercession. I am hidden with Christ. He intercedes for me. I have the ear of the King. What am I doing with that? Consider your prayer time. What is the content and focus of that time? Self or making much of Christ and God’s will?

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

Look with me at just a few of these postures from studying different prayers, circumstances, request, response, and posture:

Jacob wrestled with God, endured, and clung to Him asking for a blessing until he received it (Genesis 32:24-30). 

Hannah poured out her heart to God as a drink offering on her knees, silently praying her earnest desires (1 Samuel 1:10-20). 

David sat down before the Lord with such intimacy, humility, and gentle reverence (2 Samuel 7:18-29). 

Hezekiah spreads the very pages of a letter he receives from a threatening king before the Lord. He acknowledges the Lord's majesty, power, personal care, attention to His people, and asks Him for deliverance (2 Kings 19:14-19). 

Jehoshaphat led the people to seek the Lord corporately in prayer and fasting when a vast army was coming to attack. You see his posture in v.18 bowed down with his face to the ground in response (2 Chronicles 20:3-30). 

Manasseh's imprisonment broke him that he "humbled himself greatly before God" (v.12) that his prayer moved God even after the evil he had done and delivered him and this changed his life (2 Chronicles 33).

Ezra's concern for the people broke his heart when he saw sin. He fell before the Lord after sitting in despair over sin (tore his clothes and pulled his hair). He sat appalled. He fell on his knees with his hands spreads out the Lord and prayed - this convicted and captured hearts to turn from their sin. Then he approached the people. He repented for past and present sins with no excuse (Ezra 9-10).

Nehemiah mourned, fasted, wept, and prayed for the condition of the people and Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1). As he later worked on restoring the wall in midst of threats and discouragement, he prayed, sought the Lord, and posted a guard. Prayer and planning - faith with request, action, and perseverance (Nehemiah 4:4)

Habakkuk prays for the praise of God, the power of God, and for the purpose of God, because of his faith in God (Habakkuk 3).

Jesus uses a parable of a Pharisee and a Tax Collector both stood praying before God, one boasting of his "righteousness" and the other stood far off not even able to look up, broken, acknowledging his need for forgiveness. Both men stood with very different postures of heart (Luke 18:9-14). 

Jesus often removed Himself to pray to the Father (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12; 22:41) and He spent time in desperation on His knees submitting Himself to the Father (Matthew 26:39).

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

Ask is a request with faith. 
Seek is an action with faith. 
Knock is perseverance with follow through in faith.

"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray." 1 Peter 4:7


"As we touch a little of His will and thought we come to understand a little more of how He works and what He requires of us. So that gradually the will and thought of God which we have known and entered into becomes in us our prayer." Watchman Nee 

Can I be of help?

In all of creation that was said to be good in Genesis 1, there was one thing that was not.


"It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18

Being a helpmate, a submitting, selfless, serving, hardworking, supporting, faithful wife is highly esteemed and often looked to in Proverbs 31 as THE women to be. There are so many definitions, thoughts, and identities behind the idea of being a helper to a husband.  God created and designed men to be cultivators and women helpers. Not limited to, less than, above or below, but different, complimenting each other.  By God’s design we desire to live out those roles. 

So what if I'm not married?  And is that “helper” role only for the context of marriage?

For many Christian women, a prolonged season of singleness or any longing unfulfilled becomes a holding place, while waiting for a desire to be a reality. It can feel unfair if there is a desire/design from God to be that helper yet He has not given you the season of marriage to live that out. But it can be in the context of your life now, for those around you and not something on hold, passively waiting as time and lives pass you by.   

A helper. The Helper. Both come alongside, rescue, offer aid, guide, support, strength, and protect to help others thrive. 

In Genesis 2:18 we read that something was not good and missing, and a suitable helper to Adam is what God designs to fill that which was lacking. A helper - to surround, protect or aid, help, one who fights alongside, ally, act as part of a greater whole, offer support, strength and power. The word for helper, ezer, is used 21 times in OT - two times in reference to the first woman, a suitable helper and the majority use is in reference to God as our helper in a time of great need and protection. This word alone indicates the one giving the help is superior to the one receiving the help. But in the case of Genesis 2, God is intentional with words in the use of a suitable helper/help meet – ezer kenegdo - adds that of equal, rather than superior. One who is the same in value as the other and who surrounds, protects, aids, helps, supports.

Ezer describes aspects of God's character - He is our strength, our rescuer, our protector and our help. We tend to focus on the role of a helper as a wife and I think we often can use a shift of our focus to what that word says about the Lord as our helper and how we are to live that out fully in every aspect of life. 

Don’t miss the here and now of your days by being in a holding place, waiting, hoping. When you look back at these days in your life, what do you want to see, what would have wanted to do with that time? Make that a reality. Don't waste right where God has you no matter the season. Our time is short, but a breath (Job 12:10; Psalm 39:5; 144:4; Eph 5:15-16). Have eyes to see, a heart willing and hands faithful to act.

Unfulfilled desires whatever they may be often shift our focus away from a devotion to Christ, inward towards self. We get discouraged, drained, despondent, and weary in doing good because we focus on what’s missing rather than our mission, entitlement rather our calling. Follow after Jesus and draw others to Him in all seasons of life. When my gaze is on Jesus, I look up and out and see those around me more clearly. There are women hungry, lonely, seeking, and we often miss them when we are focused inward. 

Whatever you may be longing for, wait in active patience, trust, joy, and assurance that allows you give of yourself on the behalf of others.

“Waiting isn't just about what you're waiting for at the end of the wait, but also about what you'll become as you wait.” Paul Tripp

Whether you are married or sitting in singleness The Helper has designed you to be a helper in your home and to those around you. Am I more focused on a longing unfulfilled than I am focused on being present to those God has placed around me?

There is a uniqueness that comes with a season of singleness - opportunity for time, flexibility, an undivided heart and focus. It’s the time God wants to secure a devotion to Him alone. There is a uniqueness that comes with marriage that one can be offered by inviting people into to your life to learn from, observe, and participate. What a gift to put your family on mission to help others – may just be the best thing for them to know how to give of themselves sacrificially and bringing others in even it’s uncomfortable. 

As women we can help others thrive or strive. Thrive to all that God has made them to be. Or strive to measure up, earn approval and please expectations because when we look to self, we are disappointed with what’s done to or for us. They can thrive because you have enough in Jesus to give of yourself. Not cause them to strive because you are unfulfilled and grasping for something from someone. 

We can look to and learn from some the women of old in the Bible that provide glimpses of what it looks like for a woman to come alongside others.

Abigail – 1 Samuel 25
I love this woman and how she steps in to speak into King David’s path. Who’s an Abigail in your life and who are you an Abigail to? Boldly and lovingly approaching someone with helpful truth and guidance. Sometimes the very thing we need saved from is ourselves and the path we are headed down, in need of someone confronting us. 

Esther 
A woman who choose to boldly step out on behalf of others as she was sovereignly placed in a position in a specific physical place and time in history, “for such a time as this”. You are placed in a specific place and time with purpose, Acts 17:26-27, don’t waste that but keep your eyes up on the harvest. 

Proverbs 31 
Not only was this woman an incredible wife and mother but you find her being a helper to others and those around her. All of her doings involved others – whether that is her husband, her kids, the needy, or those seeking her out. She speaks words of wisdom. She is trusted by others to give sound advice. (31:26)

Priscilla 
Rom 16:3-4 – sacrificially gave of themselves at the risk of their comfort, time, and lives.

Titus 2:3-5 
These women could only train, teach, and urge the younger women by living by example and inviting them in. 

1 Timothy 4:11-16 
No matter our age or season we are to set an example for other believers in our speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. Not to neglect our gift. We have a gift of whatever season we are and our spiritual gifts - both to be used for the good and growth of others. 

2 Timothy 3:16 
The Word disciples us (teach, reproof, correct, and train) and we get to disciple each other by doing these same things, lived out in or lives by coming alongside each other. 

If you are longing and waiting to be helper to a husband, be a helper to those around you. If you feel constrained and restricted as a helper only to your husband, be a helper to those around you also, not neglecting your home but out of an overflow of your home. If you are uncertain what it looks like to be a helper, start by looking at The Helper who is our Help and Shield (Psalm 30:10; 33:20; 115:9; 118:7). 

“Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 63:7

“Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper.” Deuteronomy 33:29

“You make Your saving help my shield; Your help has made me great.” 2 Samuel 22:36

Responsive Writing

Have you ever closed the pages of the Bible and wonder, well what am I to do with that or already forget what you just read? Been there and we often will if we don’t take intention to interact with the very living Word of God. 

As we examine the scriptures, may we respond to its examining of us.

What makes a conversation? Interaction. Responses. Yes there are many things said through non-verbal communication but dialogue makes life giving conversation. God is sharing His very heart with you on these pages and we often walk away silent without responding to His very words. 

I have found what I call responsive writing to be just one way I love to spend time in the Word. It has been revealing, life giving, and moments of great refinement in my life. 

You don’t have to be a writer to interact with the Word in this way so don’t shy away from it.

In our hurried days, slow down, deal with the Word, chew on it, process it, and respond. 

There are no wasted words in Scripture, just hurried readers of Scripture.” C.J. Mahaney

I’m a quality time person. I need time to slow down and just be with a person. To share what we are learning, growing in, struggling with. There’s no set amount of time or frequency to it. This doesn’t have to be every day. But find time maybe once a week to really slow down and respond to scripture and you’ll begin to hunger for more.

"Visit many good books, but live in the Bible." Charles Spurgeon

Take time maybe in one chapter, or just a few verses and try responding by journaling through these, but first start by simply praying Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes to the wonderful truths in your law.”

What do you learn about the Lord - His attributes and activities? About yourself?

A friend of mine said something so true: “Knowing the Bible is one thing, knowing the Author is another. The book is even sweeter when you know the Author.” Perspective often comes from knowing who God is, His attributes and activities.

What examining of yourself is stirring in response to the text?

2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is God-breathed and useful to teach, reproof, correct, and train. Teach (show you God’s path), reproof (show you when you’re off), correct (show you how to get back on) and train (show you how to stay on). 
Personalize and process what the words have for you and your life. Turn the verses to questions of your life and write a response to them.

Are there any word pictures in these verses that help bring clarity or deeper understanding to the chapter? 

God used specific word pictures drawn from the things around the audiences eyes and experience. We are each gifted uniquely with perceptions. What picture do you envision from the words read? Any pictures used in the text you are drawn to?

You may not walk away with much response every time, but keep at it. He breathed life not only into you and me, but also in these very Words to give us life through them. Linger there in His words, in His presence. 

I have found this to be such a great training ground to go to the Lord first and process with Him rather than running to someone or something. There’s something about pen meeting paper; responding to scripture personally, intimately and with authenticity. 

As we examine the scriptures, may we respond to its examining of us.



Arise Talents


As much as I would love to share everything about our trip to Uganda serving alongside Sole Hope, right now I want to share a need and offer you a tangible way you could come alongside and provide for a child an opportunity for a better education. 

During our time in Uganda we got to meet Dickson Nabiru, a local distinguished artist and friend to Dru and Asher Collee (director and founder of Sole Hope) who has a heart for older orphaned children. Before being orphaned himself, at the age of 15, Dickson’s father taught him many different skills of art and also impressed upon him the importance of helping those in need. With his artistic ability and heart of service, Dickson has created a ministry called Arise Talents. At Arise orphaned children come, they are given shelter, food and an opportunity for an education. While the children are at Arise, Dickson also teaches them the skills he knows as an artist, which is a very rare sacrifice because your trade is your livelihood. 

Dickson and some of his amazing art

Samuel, Sasha, Dickson, Jesse, Trevour with the new Arise Talents logo

In Africa, education is not free and is a luxury many cannot afford. As Dickson takes in children, not only is he providing for their immediate needs, but he is also putting them through school. Right now the children are in a classroom setting of 80-100 students to 1 teacher. His hope is to send them to a school with a better student to teacher ratio which would give them a better education and provide for them more opportunities. 

We got the privilege of spending time with Dickson and the children of Arise Talent. My heart was immediately drawn to them as a group and individually - getting to know their names, smiles and laughter was such a joy. 
(our team with Dickson and the Arise Talent kids)

The school Dickson desires the children to be enrolled in consists of three terms in a school year at $220 a term, $660 a year; to provide his children with the education he desires, an education they deserve.

So I ask, would you prayerfully consider as an individual, a house, a group, a family, or as a couple supporting the education of an Arise Talent child for a school year? 

A monthly sponsorship would be $60 a month over an 11-month time frame beginning February this year. Or any one time donation to help a child get an education. 

The immediate need right now is for five of these children to be sponsored enabling them to enter their new school, beginning February 3rd! That’s soon! Two of them have been funded from within our team and we are now looking to get the remaining three supported. 

Contact me here for more information and to set up your support for an Arise Talent student.

Arise Talents kids:

Jesse Mwesigina – 14 years old

Samuel Waiswa– 12 years old

Trevour Muwanguzi (funded) – 9 years old

Sasha Kisakye (funded) – 13 years old 

Victoria – 14 years old (photo to come)


Send an email here for more information and to set up your support for an Arise Talents child. 



The Arise Talents kids sing and pray before every meal, expressing gratitude to the Lord. During our time there they sang and perfomed for us. What a sweet thing it was to hear their voices and see the gratitude in their faces. 
"If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in." Isaiah 58:10-12

What do I have to offer?

What do I have to offer?...Have you ever wondered that?


This question would be and often is a question echoing from the haunting walls in my life from the enemy. What do I have to offer?

If you've read through the pages of scripture it doesn't take you long to see what people the Lord choose to use - the lowly, outcast, unexpected, inadequate, under qualified, ordinary... do I need to go on? We get it. We can see and hear that God loves using the ordinary to display something extraordinary. I think our nature often desires to feel adequate, qualified, useful, extraordinary.
"You give them something to eat...we only have five loaves here and two fish...bring them here to me." Matthew 14:16,17,18

When reading Mathew 14:13-21 I see Jesus have compassion to feed the multitude and the disciples’ inadequacy in what they had to "offer" to feed the people. I think we often view ourselves that way with the needs around us. In the hands of Jesus, He breaks us, uses, blesses, and multiples when we are willing to give and be used. After feeding all the people, not only was the multitude “satisfied” from the disciples’ shortage, but there also was 12 baskets full (for each disciple) of broken pieces of food. Bring what fish and loaves you had and watch what He will do with your willing obedience and how you walk away filled abundantly in Him.

The reality is I don't have much to offer in and of myself, but I'm willing. To step out in faith and discomfort and insecurities and face the accusing claims from the enemy that I don't have anything to offer. I'm willing, doesn't mean I always do. I'm sometimes immobilized by fear or insecurities. My willingness often carries with it the enemy’s accusations, but if I'm willing to be go with Him anways, He shows Himself all the more to me and through me.

"Cursed by everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them...Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us...so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith." Galatians 3:10,13,14

So I embrace the enemy’s accusations and point him to the cross - he's right - Jesus saves!

I could listen to all the enemy’s accusations against me - that I have nothing to offer, that I'm in adequate, not enough, lack wisdom or giftings, life experience, etc.

Bring what you have.
Offer what you have.
Watch the Good Shepherd break it, bless it, multiple it...do with it far more than you imagined. He has written your story with great purpose.

Looking to you

Who’s looking to you? For answers, guidance, counsel, leadership, provision, etc. We all have someone looking to us at some point, in some context. A child looking for attention or more of something. A friend looking for guidance, for time, for help. A coworker or employee looking for direction, vision, assistance, answers. A family member looking for time, solution, care. Whomever and for whatever it may be, someone is looking to you to receiving something. What if you don’t have what they are looking for or rather have nothing at all to give? Do you feel drained, inadequate, disqualified, discouraged, irritated?

What Jesus offers is enough for your life and enough for those looking to you.

Recently in a season of feeling that I often had nothing left to give anyone after my 8-5 job, I was frustrated and discouraged. 

I came across in Acts 3 a typical scene in Jerusalem taking place. People entering the temple for the 3pm prayer time. A busy flow of people coming and going. Prime place for a beggar to be asking to receive something from those passing through.

Peter and John are approaching a specific entrance to the temple referred to as "the Beautiful gate" where they notice a crippled man begging for money. They could pass by and pay no attention. They could give him what he is asking for. But instead...

"Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them." (Acts 3:2-5)

Someone looking to and expecting something.

"Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk". Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong." (Acts 3:6-7)

What he wanted they did not have nor give. They offered what they did have, offered what he needed, not what he asked for.



When I feel drained, discouraged, stretched or irritated that someone is looking to me, it’s often because I've been running on my own self-efficiency - looking to my own abilities, strength, and resources. I am limited. Jesus is unlimited. And we get the full measure of Him and His Spirit that we might offer Him to others.

When you feel tugged and pulled in many directions by others looking to you for something, know they need Jesus, not you, you get to be a vessel directing them to the life spring.

There's a freedom in knowing you aren't expected to meet every need of those looking to you. Freed to give because Christ meets us to freely give to others.

1. Be aware of running on your own strength. Recognize when you are irritated and growing wearing of others. How do you respond when being asked of something from you? Our response to others indicates what's going on inside.

2. Practice the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. That takes slowing our hearts down to seek His counsel, guidance, leading and provision. The Lord so longs to do so if we would look to Him as our source, not ourselves. My counsel, guidance, leading and provision is limited. We would also be able to stop and discern the needs of others, not just what they ask of us, but what they truly need.

3. Place your dependency on Him. When you find yourself at your end, know you are being positioned in a place of dependence on the Lord. Ask The Lord to give you wisdom, guidance, provision, because you have come to your end. He loves and longs to meet you there.

I will never read that interaction in Acts 3 the same. That’s why the word is living and active. As my life and seasons change, the Word remains. And in those changes of life, the scripture continues to shed new light on my heart from familiar words. God’s word is life. 

"We gain the most when we give. We learn the most when we teach. We receive the most when we serve." Rick Warren

Rest for your souls


“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you fill find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

Years ago these words of Jesus breathed life into me during a season of carrying a self-imposed weight of ‘doing’. Now these words have breathed life, pushing on how I once viewed rest and pursued it.

What brings rest to our souls? To your soul?

Sleep is the rest our physical body needs and often our soul. A little R & R often keeps us sane and able to keep doing the work we have to do here. But what truly, really brings lasting rest to our souls?

“Slow mornings” are an extended time I cherish and protect to spend quality time with the Lord, reading His Words, journaling through them, responding to Him, listening, asking, seeking, knocking. This time does bring rest to my soul.

But maybe another rest for our souls does not come from such “practices” but being a part of the actual commission - making disciples and bringing the hope of Jesus to lost hopeless people. 

Our ultimate, complete, and whole rest is in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, Him rising again defeating death, bringing restoration to a broken world. 

What brings rest to our weary souls while trying to live an alternate life in this world - aligning our hearts to God’s heart, to His purposes for us in these days here, giving of ourselves endlessly and tirelessly to the work of His Kingdom here and now.

When I selfishly pursue self, my desires, comfort, ways, my soul is lacking rest and peace. I grow weary of others. I do not want to give but want to receive.  My interest, my days, my time becomes priority over others’. The center focus we thought that would give us success, fulfillment, power, strength - this focus on self is an empty deliverer and deceiver.

As I consider an opportunity to help with a tangible need in Uganda, Africa, I’m reminded of and considering what true rest for the soul looks like. It may feel uncomfortable, uneasy, risky, hard, when we give of ourselves but I can think of no greater joy than bringing the hope and life and truth in Christ alone. We may often be called out of our “comforts” to love others by giving of ourselves. And we are also called to be Jesus right where we are. In our homes. In our work. In our relationships.

There’s such an incredible rawness and radical dependence on the Lord when we step out to do uncomfortable, exhausting things for His Kingdom, to reconcile people to Himself. 

Why do we need a Comforter if we are comfortable?” - Francis Chan

There may be still unrest, chaos, uncertainties, and suffering around you and in your life. But the rest of a soul, the quiet and gentle spirit comes from a soul, heart, and mind aligned with God’s heart and will. A soul at rest with the Lord, no longer fights for its way, its rights, but lays down its own agenda, takes initiative for the good of others and can’t do anything but be the gospel in motion and words.

In Matthew 11, Jesus offers a "yoke" that is different than the law seeking righteous teachings of the pharisees at that time. Jesus offered a yoke free of dead deceitful doing, a yoke of grace, freedom, reconciliation, wholeness, completeness, unending joy! From this He lived a life poured out for others. He walked with the Father allowing Him to fill Him, guide Him, instruct Him, and from what the Lord gave Him to do, He lived out for the sake of others. 

Those in Christ are new creations. Our old nature has been put to death at the cross and we are given new life, a new nature, rising with Christ. We are meant and empowered to live differently. To be about a different agenda and not our own anymore. Yet we often do choose ourselves and our soul is at unrest when it’s not living out what it’s been given new life to do: To know God and make Him known. Maybe the rest our soul often needs is more “doing”, not the empty self-promoting doing of trying to win the favor of God or man, but living out the way the gospel compels us to boast in Jesus and sacrificially give of ourselves to make Him known and for others to come to know Him.

if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:10-11

I know I may not do this well or perfectly and that’s the beauty in it. The more I gaze at Jesus the more His heart becomes mine and I get to journey through the laying down of self more and more each day with Him, in His grace.

May I kneel before Him with tired achy knees, dirty sweat, blistered hands, wrinkly tired skin from pouring out my life and enjoy full rest when I see Him face to face in glory to be with Him for all eternity.

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:22

“…even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

"I want to be challenged endlessly; I want to be learning and growing every minute. I want to be taught by those I teach. I want to share God's love with people who otherwise might not know it. I want to work so hard that I end everyday filthy and too tired to move. I want to be used by the Lord. I want to make a difference and I want to follow the calling God has planted deep in my heart. I want to give me life away, to serve the Lord with each breath, each second. " Katie Davis 

"Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure…Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight…Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. …Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? THEN shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:3-12

Carry Your Name” – Passion – Christy Nockels