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She Counsels with Truth + Love

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17

“We are pretty much the only hope that God has for reaching people who need him.”

Joyce Meyer

On a recent visit with my daughter back in St. Louis, Missouri, she invited me to her friend’s 50th birthday gathering.  It was to be just a small group as her larger party had already taken place.  My daughter, who is 23, is blessed to have a number of women in her life who are not only mature in their marriages and in life in general, but in their faith.  As I sat listening to them, I said a silent prayer of thanks to God.  He, once again, put me right where I needed to be.

I listened as these Christian women of varied ages shared memories of shared events and the joy of being disciples to younger women.  You see, their church encourages all ages to seek being discipled by more experienced Christians – something I haven’t experienced in the 20 years I’ve been an active Christian.  

The birthday girl’s good friend suddenly announced we were to all take turns expressing what we loved about the newly christened 50 year old.  She turned to me and said, “You don’t know Renee well so you don’t need to say anything.”  I disagreed.  I definitely had much to love about this woman that I had just met.

As each woman spoke, I felt the love flow throughout the group.  It was sweet and brave and authentic.  And at my turn I’m sure they all wondered what I would have to say.  

“As a mother I miss my daughter terribly.  She’s so far away.  She has no family for hundreds of miles.  And now with a baby on the way it grieves me that she is alone out here.  But I realize she isn’t.  I am so thankful she has Renee as her friend and godly counsel.  A mother couldn’t ask for anything better besides being here herself,” I said.

You see my daughter’s friend, Renee, has taken her under her beautiful wings.  She provides wise counsel about marriage, faith, motherhood and more.  I could be jealous when I hear my daughter talk about her relationship with Renee.  But my faith progression has brought me instead to a place of thankfulness.  My daughter is incredibly blessed to be surrounded by Christian women who are prepared and ready to offer Biblical counsel.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free" Luke 4:18

That’s Jesus in the above verse.  Jesus our wise counselor setting us free from our prisons.  And He trained up His disciples to spread His message of salvation and freedom.  Like the old shampoo commercial goes, “and they told two friends and so on and so on.”  Which brings us thousands of years later to this little group at a café in Missouri. 

Here’s what I noticed about those six women I sat with that night.  1) They didn’t gossip 2) They lifted each other up with genuine compliments 3) They showed love and concern for each other 4) They were confident in expressing their faith and 5) They were eager and willing to take up being disciples.

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

These women are living the Great Commission.  Teaching and guiding and loving Jesus’ flock.  I sat there like a fan-girl marveling at being in the midst of ordinary women who were so extraordinary.  Yes, ordinary women.  They aren’t pastors or scholars although one is in fact a trained Christian counselor.  They are students of Jesus.  It gave me hope of what I could achieve with faith and the blessings of God.

I took the opportunity to ask a few of them a Christian counseling question.  

“If I find myself in a situation with a fellow Christian who is struggling with an issue, what’s your best advice?” I inquired.

Without hesitation three of the women, including my daughter who herself disciples young women, said: “You need to really get to know the person.  There needs to be a sense of trust that you come from a place of love.”   And the birthday girl?  She emphasized my old favorite, truth plus love.  Not being afraid to speak God’s truth into someone from a loving perspective.   Remember that Jesus trait of having a warrior spirit?  Renee takes it to heart.  She knows the end game – saving a soul. 

“As you being the process of bringing correction into someone’s life, put yourself in his shoes.  If you were the one sitting there, would it be easy or difficult for you to hear what is about to be said?  If the person you are correcting acts closed at first it may be that he’s just embarrassed or reacting out of insecurity.  Therefore don’t stop the conversation unless you can see that he’s just being combative.  You need to be patient and slow in judging their reaction to your correction.”  

Rick Renner, Sparkling Gems from the Greek

Isn’t this the reaction we worry about the most when we need to speak truth to our Christian friends or family members?  A fear of making someone angry or embarrassed?  But here lies the reason why “Wise Counselor” sits at the end of our faith progression.  Without love, without a sense of serving God, without courage, without knowledge of the Lord’s will, we will probably fail at being what our friend, child, sibling, co-worker, or sister in Christ truly needs.  

So, when Jesus asks us to “follow” He isn’t just offering Himself up to save us from eternal damnation which by itself is a pretty amazing gift.  He’s saying “join me in a journey.”  He’s saying, “we’ve got work to do together.”  And if we stop partway on the journey and decide we are “fine” where we are at, we miss the opportunities He wants to put in front of us to free more captives.

I don’t know about you but I need wise Christian counselors in my life.  And if I could be like Renee and be a blessing in other’s lives, I know it’d make Jesus smile.  My imperfect progress, as my friend Betsy likes to say, is still progress.  I want to know and live out having the mind of Christ.  I’m not where I was when I started and I still have a ways to go.  Thankfully, I can trust that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are my guides and cheerleaders.

When we started this journey, I invited you to say a prayer of confession I found in Sparkling Gems from the Greek.  And true to God’s ways He put another in front of me to close out this series.  Please join me in this prayer and confession.  I pray that you seek love, humbleness, courage, and wisdom on your journey.

“Lord, I ask you to help be kind and patient when it is essential for me to bring correction.  Help me to not be offended if the person I’m trying to help doesn’t respond at first the way I wished he would have.  Help me put myself in that person’s shoes and to sympathize with how he might feel.  I ask You to give me wisdom to know what to say, when to say it, and how to say it.  I also ask that You give the other person the grace to hear what I am telling him so he might see that I have his best interest at heart and that I am only trying to help him.  I pray this in Jesus’ name!”

“I confess that I have the mind of Jesus Christ!  When it is needful to me to speak correction to someone else I do it with love, kindness and patience.  I refrain from allowing anger to rise up inside me.  I am careful about the words that come out of my mouth, and I refuse to participate in vain arguing.  I remain in control of myself as the Holy Spirit works mightily inside me.  My words bring life to all who hear and receive them! I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!”


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Retire From Self Care

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

“I believe Jesus died to deliver ourselves from ourselves.  How many of us are just fed up being ourselves all the time?”

Joyce Meyer

The darkness, fury and despair of the young woman sitting next to me grew with each passing minute.  We were so close I could feel her shoulder touching mine.  Sitting on the airplane we found ourselves in that strange world of invading each other’s personal space while pretending neither existed.  Her billowing cloud seem to want to seep over the dividing line of the armrest to pull me in.

This seemingly quiet, unassuming young woman opened her computer and began pounding on her keyboard like the devil itself was trying to escape her fingertips.  My eyes drifted to her brightly lit screen.  I couldn’t help but notice the many words in all caps.  And I was drawn to know what was causing her so much angst.  It appeared she was writing a complaint letter about a work environment.  As her fingers marched like Roman soldiers across the keyboard, pounding and erasing and pounding some more I couldn’t seem to tear my eyes away from the battle.  She was hurt and outraged.  She felt betrayed and abused.  Her past hurts served as the basis of why her employer should’ve known better.  And then those pounding fingers suddenly slammed the lid of the smoking computer closed.  Her fury still burned.  You could almost see the sparks coming from her.  

Over the course of three and half hours I watched this woman join the battle numerous times, editing, adding and pounding.  And then she started in on an email to her family.  I kept praying that she, once there was internet service, would have a change of heart and not send off the bombs she composed.  But alas, before deplaning, she picked up her phone and started, with the same fervor, sending off salvos via text messages.  I have never seen a person’s finger move with such speed and aggressiveness.  Like driving pass a car accident I couldn’t seem to look away.

I’ve come to realize that God puts me in all types of situations to test and teach me.  I was learning a valuable lesson.  You see, my tendency to get outrage over “unfair” situations is something I’ve battled with forever.  As I watched this young woman blow up at probably everyone in her life, I realized how much I need God to lead me out of my sin.  How much I need God to provide me with a different perspective.  How much I need to rely on God for peace.  What I wanted to do was turn to her and ask if she knew about Jesus.  I wanted to wrap Jesus’ love around her.  To somehow snap her mind off her problems and look up to God.  I could turn and look at this woman and see my own face looking back at me.  And I didn’t want to be “that girl.”

In 2019 there were more than 18 million self-help type books sold in the United States.  The number of unique titles rose nearly three-fold from 30,897 in 2013 to 85,253 in 2019.  That’s a lot of people trying to fix themselves!  Isn’t that, so often, what we turn to our friends, co-workers and professionals for – advice on fixing our problems?  

Aren’t we exhausted yet trying to fix ourselves?  As the world drifts farther from God it shouldn’t be surprising that so many people are working so hard to fix their own problems.  Jesus came to save our souls but I believe He also came to save us from ourselves.

“The only way we are ever ready for a change in our life is when we are tired of “me.”  When we say we cannot continue to do the work of trying to make ourself happy.  We are fed up.”

Joyce Meyer

When we stop striving, stop trying to control what other people think of us, stop trying to please everyone, stop shaming ourselves for our past, stop playing victim, and start putting God as our King, our Creator, our Lord we can release the yoke of our fleshly life.

"Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

And follow Him.  Retire from our self-care routines.  Self-care as in trying to fix ourselves.  Certainly we take care of ourselves, our minds and bodies.  But God always calls us to take a new perspective in every aspect of our lives.  When we take time to mediate, what do we mediate on?  When we decide what best to eat or how to stay in shape, who do we do it for?  Why do we word vomit all over our family or friends trying to get them to see “our side?”  For ourselves?  Or for our Heavenly Father?

I’ve heard the evangelist teacher Joyce Meyer make this statement many times: “I was always on my mind.  I was so selfish.”  To change that she created these three steps:

Live to please God, not yourself.  You are making a Kingdom investment.  And you will always get a great return on your investment.

Refuse to have “me” on my mind all the time. I’m not thinking about what’s wrong with me all the time or how I can get people to do things for me.

Always use money and things to bless people.  Don’t use people to get money and things. 

Jesus frequently took the focus off Himself and placed it on God. He prayed for help in times of pain and trouble. He told the disciples to look to the Father. He guided new believers to putting away their shame and accepting forgiveness from God. The times He had to solidify His place as the Savior He seemed almost reluctant. The focus for Jesus the man was always God and how to best please Him.

In my study on Revelation, I was asked the question, “How does the fact that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords affect our everyday choices and decisions?” In other words, getting ourselves, off our own minds and onto the Creator.   I’m finally leaning more on Him as my wise counselor.  He is my exercise coach, my nutritional advisor, my mental wellness guru.  When I see my mind and body as belonging to Him, I realize the responsibility I have to keeping myself focused on what He wants for me.  I fail frequently.  And when I do I come to Him seeking and receiving forgiveness.

I encountered the young, angry, hurt woman at the end of my trip.  Before it had even started however, I failed to grab on to God’s promised peace by my favorite method of failure –outrage.  The TSA officer and I had a bit of a confrontation.  I blustered and was rude.  As I walked away, I realized I was wearing my silver cross around my neck.  I may have flushed in embarrassment.  I failed to show grace and patience and forgiveness.  I took the situation personally.  It was all about “me.”

The difference for me at that moment was instead of adding it to my Vault of Shame I lifted it up to God.  I had a counseling moment with Him.  I felt His disappointment and His love.  It set me on course to be more aware of my behavior choices while in the crowded airport.  

“We are in the middle between hating sin and sinning.  When we aren’t accustomed to making good choices it’s hard.  The devil is working against us.  The more often we make those good choices it becomes easier.”

Joyce Meyer

And so, on my return flight, as I sat next to the woman with fire bursting from her fingertips, and like lava flowing out on her family, friends, co-workers burning bridges left and right I wanted to be like Jesus.  To be able to look her in the eye and know her hurts, her overwhelming pain and say, “follow me.”   

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Cor 5:15

It wasn’t a counseling moment for her.  Although I prayed for her.  It was a reminder message to me.  To live for Jesus.  To place my thoughts on Jesus.  To release my pain and hurts to Him.  To stop trying to defend and take care of myself.  To trust that He wants the best for me and will guide me to whatever that looks like.  To take my mind off me and have the mind of Christ.


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Our Faith Progression

We, therefore, desire to copy his character and put our feet into his footprints. Be it ours to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. What saith our Lord himself? “Follow me,” and again, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Not Christ’s apostle, but Christ himself, is our guide; we may not take a secondary model, but must imitate Jesus himself. 

Charles Spurgeon
 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Many years ago, I had the benefit of listening to a sermon series on our progression as a disciple of Christ.  I have heard many pastors say there’s too many of us Christians who seem stuck at the beginning of that progression and aren’t fully living the life Christ wants for us.

It may even come as a surprise to some that there is an expected “progression” in our faith lives.  We assumed that once we accepted Jesus as our Savior we’re done.  We are able to check off that box on the questionnaire asking what our faith is: Christian.  

"But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:16

We all have probably heard the above verse a few times in our Christian lives.  But reading the entire chapter reveals something even more.  The progression.  

"When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power." 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

The apostle Paul himself explains that when he first came to the people of Corinth He came with the first step in the progression – the message of Jesus’ love for us.  That He died for us.  He rose again for us.  Paul goes on to say:

"We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature." 1 Corinthians 2:6

The mature.  Who among your faith group would you deem “mature” in their faith?  Who among them would you deem a “baby Christian?” And where do you count yourself?  This is not asked in judgment.  All who are saved are equally loved by God.  But you can probably tell the difference between people who are further along in their faith progression and those that aren’t.  And it has nothing to do with age.  The sign of a maturing Christian is that they’ve received the gift and have actually opened the box and are using it.

So what is this progression? In the sermon series I mentioned, these steps were defined as: 

  1. Believer – Mark 9:23 
  2. Follower – Luke 9:23
  3. Apprentice – Ephesians 4:14 
  4. Learner – Philippians 4:9

Jesus Himself shows us this progression as He lived out those three world-changing years. 

  • Step 1) The Loving and Faithful Friend 
  • Step 2) The Obedient Servant
  • Step 3) The Courageous Warrior
  • Step 4) The Patient Teacher
  • Step 5) The Wise Counselor

Throughout this series, the Jesus Mindset, we will meet people – some famous and some very ordinary– who exemplify the different steps in the faith journey. And it is only correct to start with the first step.  Lest we think we have step one down pat I should warn you that so many Christians remain in step one because of the difficult truths and expectations presented.  It is the message we hear over and over in our churches.  It is the first and the last message Christ has for us, which makes it the most important of all.  

“As the Father loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.” John 15:9

When I was researching various pastors who make love and friendship a cornerstone of their message I realized I had an old friend already in my midst waiting to talk to me again.  As I perused through my Christian books I stopped on, “How Happiness Happens,” by Max Lucado.

Pastor Lucado probably needs no introduction.  He is an internationally known pastor, author, speaker and more.  He’s written too many books and articles to count.  And the theme throughout is love. How to accept Christ’s love.  And how to show love not just to our friends but to complete strangers.  He reminds us that Jesus is our loving and faithful friend and wants us to model that character trait to everyone we meet.  When you read about Pastor Lucado you see his lifelong mission is to set solidly in our hearts the message of God’s love for us.  He shows us how to translate that great gift to others.

“I’m a pastor. I can sit down with somebody who has a broken heart and love them and encourage them and remind them of how God cares. But I struggle when I look at a budget. Or I struggle when somebody says, ‘Well, what’s the long-term strategy for our church?’ Well, I don’t know. I guess we’ll see. Let’s love God, preach Jesus, and pray.”

Max Lucado on his leadership style

So much of what Pastor Lucado speaks of seems simple.  And yet, I find myself day in and day out forgetting to live out the simple messages. 

“Greet one another for your sake.  Experience the joy of showing people they matter.  Greet each other for their sake. What is small to you may be huge to them.  Most of all greet each other for Jesus’ sake.”

Max Lucado, “How Happiness Happens”

How often do we go through an entire day and find ourselves never having truly connected with another human being?

“Listen intently and praise abundantly.”

Max Lucado, “How Happiness Happens”

Isn’t that what Jesus did throughout His ministry? You can only imagine how the woman at the well in John 4:1-26 felt when Jesus was with her.  He wasn’t looking over her shoulder at a bird or cute dog while she spoke.  He wasn’t thinking about the next town He was to visit or His next meal.  He saw her.  He listened to her.  He loved her even when she pushed Him away.

It’s definitely easier to live out the Jesus Mindset of being a loving and faithful friend with people we choose to be around.  We pick our friends and we even pick who in our family we spend more time with.  We are deliberate with whom we ask to go to lunch at work.  But Jesus loved the unlovable.  He touched the untouchable.  

“You wonder why God doesn’t remove the enemies in your life? Perhaps because he wants you to love like he loves. Anyone can love a friend, but only a few can love an enemy.”

Max Lucado

Isn’t this where so many of us get stuck?  We count ourselves, “good people” or “good Christians” and yet we harbor, at best unforgiveness, and at worst hatred for people.  

I grew up in a household where unforgiveness and hatred ran deep.  I had a parent who judged harshly and never forgave. People and places got etched into stone on “The List.”  That was my touchstone, my guidebook.  So when I started hearing the message of God’s love, faithfulness and forgiveness it was difficult to accept.  The first step was to believe God felt that way toward me.  And to be honest, I find myself frequently falling backward into not returning those gifts to others.  

The lessons and examples from Pastor Lucado are great every day reminders on living out Jesus’ request of us to love one another.

“God is love” (1 John 4:16). One word into the passage reveals the supreme surprise of God’s love—it has nothing to do with you. Some people love you because of you. Not God – He loves you because He is He.  

Max Lucado

Isn’t that amazing? Wouldn’t you agree that most of the people in your life love you because of who you are to them? A daughter or son, a wife or husband, a longtime friend with similar interests, and so on. We may even find ourselves saying we love a person who is related to us but we don’t like them very much. It’s all conditional. But God loves us because He is love. Let’s not just gloss over that. Take a moment to really let it sink in. He is the definition of love. Like a cloud of love envelopes us and snuggles us wherever we go!

I saw a picture the other day of a woman at the store who had created a contraption designed to keep people six feet away from her. It involved a hula hoop, straps, signs, warning reflectors and more. When I saw this I thought, “that’s the exact opposite message of Jesus.” His cloud of love surrounding us is more like a fog bank — it pulls others in and seeps into everything. It quiets the world around us.

Today, when you go out into the world, picture your God cloud swirling around you. It’s beautiful and inviting. Its little tendrils reach out and wrap around others you meet. Invite them in with a smile, a greeting, a shrug of forgiveness. With each act of love we a do a bit of cloud seeding — leaving a piece of Jesus to grow.


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Jesus Mindset

“But we have the mind of Christ” 1 Corinthians 2:16

We so often hear the phrase, “To be like Jesus” but what does it really mean in our everyday lives?  My BSGs were in a deep conversation on Revelation about whether or not we believe in the rapture.  And, more importantly how does either position effect our lives.  History and our current world are full of scholars who know a lot more about the details of the Bible than probably you or I will ever grasp.  But there’s a difference, which is a deep and wide crevasse, between knowing and living out the qualities of Jesus.

“We, therefore, desire to copy his character and put our feet into his footprints. Be it ours to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes. What says our Lord himself? “Follow me,” and again, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls.” Not Christ’s apostle, but Christ himself, is our guide; we may not take a secondary model, but must imitate Jesus himself.” 

Charles Spurgeon

Imitation is not knowing of something but molding ourselves into an almost exact copy.  I say “almost” because of course, Jesus is God and we are not.  We walk the Jesus drawn path toward His perfection but we are always in a human mode my friend Betsy calls, “imperfect progress.” 

Our modern view of Jesus seems to be stuck in one quality, however.  And truth be told, if we could regularly live out that one quality it’d be a great step forward on our path.  That quality?  A loving friend.  

We hear the word “love” over and over in our churches, in our faith songs, on our Christian social media.  But what about Jesus’ other characteristics?  How many of us are willing to take on being Jesus the Warrior, Jesus the Servant, or Jesus the Counselor?  If we have hesitated is it because we know that once we decide to move along in our sanctification journey, we will encounter more and more resistance from the outside world?

Are we prepared, like the disciple Stephen, to be a martyr for God?  Are we prepared to state unequivocally that we must obey God rather than human beings? (Acts 5:29)

And so, we return to the original question, what does believing in the words of the Bible and Jesus mean to our lives?  It means we are to be in constant preparation for His coming.  It means we love our neighbors, we share the gospel whenever possible, we humble ourselves, we seek reconciliation and not revenge, we encourage and lift up our fellow travelers, we carry the message of Jesus throughout every generation, and we stand up for the truth of His Holy Word.  It means we make a perspective shift on every single aspect of our lives because we believe that one day soon our “age of grace” will turn to the “age of judgment.”  

Jesus expects us to be working on that preparation. It’s why He came – not to just leave us knowing God loves us – but living like God knows and loves us.  He came to be our example for gathering up residents of the future Kingdom come. 

Join me in this journey of looking at the different qualities of Jesus as we delve into His mindset so that we can become His imitators.  We will be challenged to accept all of His qualities, not just the ones with which we feel most comfortable.  Along the way we will meet some people whose lives are examples of those characteristics. 

Jesus was a great disrupter – possibly the greatest of all time.  Let’s let Him disrupt and reshape us.


As we begin this series take a moment to pray this confession found in Rick Renner’s, Sparkling Gems from the Greek:

“I boldly declare that I am a new creature in Christ.  Old things have passed away and all things have become new!  I am not who I used to be anymore.  I don’t think like that old person; I don’t see like that old person; I don’t talk like that old person; and I don’t behave like that old person anymore.  Now I am in Jesus Christ, and I think like Him, see like Him, talk like Him, and behave like Him.  I have come alive with vibrant life because of His resurrection power that works in me! I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!”

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Rinse & Repeat

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:42-44

If you are a parent, or even a supervisor of others at work, you can relate so well to Jesus already.  You work day in and day out to show those who look to you for guidance how to live, work and even play.  Through your love, your willingness to give up other things to serve them, your confidence, counseling and teaching you hope all that you share sinks in deeply.

And then you turn your back for a minute.  

I was listening to the Talk It Out podcast the other day.  It’s three friends who discuss the teachings of Joyce Meyer.  This particular episode found them doing their first Covid-19 distanced podcast.  One of the women shared how the day prior, when they were practicing how the podcast would actually work, she set up her two kids in the bedroom with snacks and a movie.  She then went to another room for privacy.  Everything was perfect.  The kids had what they needed and were properly admonished.  

Partway through the run-through her daughter interrupted the proceedings.  As the mom turned to see what caused the interruption all she saw was a massacre.  At least that’s what it appeared to be.  Her young daughter had somehow gotten a hold of red nail polish and had painted her entire feet and hands.  And the white bedspread.

When asking her slightly older son what happened he replied unabashedly, “I dunno, she needed me to open it so I did.”

Jesus spent three intense years teaching, showing, guiding and yet even His closest disciples struggled to model Him.  And we sit here about 2,000 years later, with our red nail polish spilled all over our guidebook.  Oops.  

The thing about the red nail polish on the sheets is it never completely comes out.  It leaves a pink stain, as the mom found out.  She sat night after night staring at it.  But thankfully, each time we fail to live up to the lessons of Jesus we can come with our stained hands and hearts and ask for forgiveness.  We are washed white as snow.

We need to get up off our knees and try it again.  We turn to Him and say, “show me, teach me.” Because He will come back into the room with us to see how well we have lived out His example.

Join me for my next series, “Jesus Mindset,” where we break down the different characteristics of Jesus and how we can live them out.  We will all get them wrong at different points but God always holds out his hand to lift us up and dust us off.

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Praise The Lord

Sing the praises of the Lord, 
you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
Psalm 30:4 

A prayer to constantly praise and thank God

Mighty God, I admit that when things go wrong in my life I am quick to ask for help.  But when my life is running along smoothly or even when a prayer is answered I’m equally quick to forget to thank you.  Each and every morning when I rise, I commit to thanking you for what you will send my way that day – even the “not-so-good.”  Because even in those times I know I have the opportunity to grow in my faith.  And throughout my day I will remember to thank you even for the little gifts you send my way.  LORD, at the end of my day I’m frequently so tired.  But you are never tired of hearing my praise for you.  I will, before my eyes close, remember the ways you revealed yourself to me that day.  Whether you acted as my counselor, comforter, King, creator, or protector, I will praise you.  In your son’s name I pray, Amen.


In the late Spring of 2020, I was led to learn more about how to pray.  Using what The Navigators call, “The Prayer Hand,” I learned the five parts to highly effective prayer.  That’s not to say we can’t or shouldn’t pray short, on-the-go prayers throughout the day, but the Prayer Hand revealed to me what was missing from my prayer life – praise.

Praise is different than “thanksgiving” I learned.  When we praise someone, such as our children or a friend we compliment them for what they themselves have done, created or just are such as their patience or sense of humor.  When we thank them it usually involves something to do with our relationship.  We thank people for helping us or making things easier in a situation.  The same is true for our praise and thankfulness toward God.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving 
and his courts with praise; 
give thanks to him and praise 
his name. 
Psalm 100:4

This concept was so foreign and awkward for me  — it seemed that “praise” was so flowery and silly – that I dove headfirst into figuring out how to “do” it.  And so, I created my 30 Days of Praise blog series.  I took all the different characteristics of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and set about praising them for well, just being the amazing Triune God.  

And although that 30 days was pretty awesome, I still struggle with daily praising Him.  And that has revealed something else about me.  I have a hard time praising others (and myself to be honest).  I’m great at thanking people when they help me out. But just unabashedly praising people?  I realized that effort and awareness requires me to look outside myself and my own “things I gotta do right now” world.  I need to pay attention to the human beings around me.  I mean really pay attention.  To the salesclerk, the deli guy, the mailman, my neighbor, that person I see walking their dog every single day, my husband, my children, my friends – I need to look at them and see them and praise them.  Why? Because they too are God’s creation.  And I can praise God for putting them in this world.

Praising God means honoring Him for the rain, the sunrise, the puffy clouds, the air we breathe, the Son He sent, the joy He provides, the Word we read, the awesomeness of the universe.  We praise Him from whom all blessings flow!  I love the doxology I used to sing in a previous church and it takes on full meaning to me now:

Praise God from whom all 
blessings flow, Praise Him 
all creatures here below, 
Praise Him above ye heavenly 
host, Praise Father, Son and 
Holy Ghost, Amen

I will keep working on my path to praising God each and every day.  I want to be His thankful daughter.  I seek to find ever more reasons to praise Him.  And in doing so my eyes are moved off me and onto Him.

If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!