Prayer · trust · worry

How To Ruin the Trip of a Lifetime or a Day At Home

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This time last year I was on a 15-day trip to Israel!  This was my second time to have the privilege of going, so I knew what was in store…well, sort of.

Our first trip to the Holy Land was great for the most part.  It did involve rain…lots of it and some pretty cold weather, oh and also a night in a room with little heat.  I loved being there, and was so thankful for the opportunity to see where my Savior lived and ministered and died for me.  However, I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to make the trip again.

  • The flight over is pretty long and grueling.
  • The weather was nasty at times.
  • It’s an expensive trip.
  • Been there, done that.

Then my husband got the wonderful idea to take some of our church people over as a group.  I hated for him to go “alone,” so, I knew “his” trip back meant “our” trip back. I prayed about whether or not to go along the second time. Then all my reasons for not going again began to be crossed off the list.

  • The flight over is pretty long and grueling. We were traveling with a bunch of our dear friends! Even the flight would be fun!
  • The weather was nasty at times. The weather prediction was pretty fabulous!
  • It’s an expensive trip. My husband’s trip was paid because he was the leader of the group. The Lord provided my expenses as we saved.
  • Been there, done that. A second trip would bring new, greater understandings.

Spite all those answers, I worried.  I worried about the safety of the flight.  I worried we might not come home.  I worried about traveling home on Inauguration day and protesters…on and on my anxious thoughts went. Finally one day the Lord convicted me of this sin of worry.  I was not trusting Him.  I confessed and asked others to whom I had spilled my fretting to forgive me.  I was now ready to travel!

We prayed much, packed our suitcases to bulging, and headed to Israel!  That trip was one of the best experiences of my life!  It was FULL of blessings – beautiful weather, floating in the Dead Sea, luxurious hotels, a perfect boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and getting to do it all with my husband, son-in-law and dear friends.  My prayer partners/friends and I prayed on the Sea of Galilee, in the Mount of Olives, at the Garden Tomb and the Road to Emmaus.  We laughed.  We cried.  We read God’s Word and marked up our Bibles.  We sang. We ate falafel. We shopped.  We snapped hundreds of pictures and we came home with our hearts so full we thought they would burst.

But that trip was nearly ruined.

How?

Simply by my worry.

 

Those worries could’ve cause me to ditch it all and stay home and miss those blessings!  Thank the Lord I didn’t carry it to that extreme.  But even continued fretting would’ve kept me from enjoying every minute while I was there.

I’m grateful for the turning point before we left when I let it go.  It kept me from ruining it all.

None of my fears happened.

None of them!

Have you ever worried about something so much that it changed your plans, or you took the matter into your own hands instead of making it a matter of serious prayer? Have you ever worried so much that it overcame your thoughts during the day and into the night?  It might have been a relatively minor situation, but it plagued you.

Little worries can turn into big mistakes when we take over.

Little worries can ruin big plans.

Little worries can rob us of today’s giant blessings.

But this will only happen if we allow it!

The Lord commands us instead ~

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Reign in your worries and pray about them, giving every detail to the Lord Who is in control of every inch, every second, every detail of it!  Pray rather than letting worry ruin the trip of a lifetime or a simple day at home!

What worry is taking over your thoughts?  What imaginations are running wild in your heart? Will you allow it to ruin the blessing of a lifetime or even this day?  It’s your choice.

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Christian Life · Prayer

How To Have a Strong Prayer Life When It Seems So Hard

I won’t lie – pastors get down – really down when the attendance falls off on the night a Prayer Meeting is scheduled.  It happens often.  You announce you’re going to gather just to pray, and the crowd thins as though the fire alarm had just gone off.  My husband will get in the car and I know what question is coming my way…

Why won’t people gather to pray?”

I’ve been thinking about that and I’d like to address that question with three answers.  How about watching this video and tell me if you agree?

What keeps you from praying?  What makes it difficult to be consistent and fervent? Do you agree with the reasons I stated in the video?  Is your prayer life all it could be, or do you need to make some changes?

The download of my prayer journal is still available to anyone who will contact me via the email on my contact page.

Let’s stay on our knees, friends.  God answers the prayer of the righteous! Proverbs 15:29

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Christmas · Family life · memories · Prayer

Christmas Favorites 2017

Since I was absent the week after Christmas I didn’t get to share SOME of my favorite pictures and moments.  There were lots of them, but let me show you just a few.

We got to spend an early Christmas weekend with Whitney and her husband.  They’re great hosts – taking us to see the lights in the downtown city near them, fixing great food as you can see below, and giving us a cozy guest room to stay in.  We got to visit their church and loved worshiping with them!  Whitney doesn’t just blog about comfort at home – she lives it out!  Her house was decorated so beautifully for the holidays!

Christmas 2017 1

If you can’t visit Dollywood any other time of the year, you must go at Christmas.  It’s just breathtaking.  We got to go see the lights and shows (many that share the Gospel!) with dear friends and it was a great evening.  Sights like this one are at every turn!

Christmas 2017 2

Our little grandsons were sick on Christmas Eve, so they missed going to their other grandparent’s home or going to church.  However, after the service, we all went to their house where I fixed brunch for all of us.  Then we got to watch these little sweeties open the gifts we gave them and big teddy bears from their great Nana and Papa.  Wow!  That was special.

To see Alli and her husband love and parent these boys is a reminder every day that God answers prayer!

Christmas 2017 3a

Christmas afternoon we headed to Kentucky to spend Christmas with my family.  What a special joy it was to have my sisters and our husbands and our parents all together for Christmas Day!  It was also a time to celebrate my dad’s 85th birthday.  We are blessed beyond measure, and so thankful to the Lord for wonderful relationships, and time together to share a meal, laugh (lots!) and praise the Lord for His blessings this past year.

My brother-in-law on the far left has recovered miraculously from a fall from a roof in early September.  To see him standing, walking and enjoying the day with us was a gift in itself!  God sustained him and my sister as she cared tirelessly for his needs all those months.  Many of you prayed for him, and we are grateful.  Thank you.

Christmas 2017 4

I thank the Lord for a wonderful 2017 where I saw the Lord answer prayer after prayer.  Guess what?  On the first day of this year, another longtime prayer was answered!  I can’t wait to see what else God is going to do.

I was moved to tears by many who requested the prayer journal I shared about in the previous post.  Your names are all in my journal and I can’t wait to hear how your prayer life will result in blessings untold as you wait on the Lord to answer!

Be refreshed this weekend as you gather in a local church to study, worship, pray and fellowship!

What was a highlight of your 2017?

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Christian growth · How-to Video · Prayer

Setting Up An Effective Prayer Journal

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I’ve shared often that I love looking at the answered prayers marked in my prayer journal and many of you asked how I set it up, or what I use.  Today I’m giving you a tour of my journal via the video below!  I hope this will answer your questions and set you on the path to the blessing of much prayer!

Leave any questions you may have in the comment section.  Don’t forget to email me at RefreshHerblog@gmail.com if you would like the download for the prayer journal!

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Prayer · worry

Take It To the Throne

 

phone notificationRecently I got a text message about a difficult issue concerning someone close to me.  Their situation was critical, and there was nothing any person could do to fix it.  I found myself so anxious and uptight. In tears, I expressed my concerns to my husband.  Right then he took me by the hands and stopped to pray.

Immediately, I felt the Lord’s peace come over my heart.

Gone were the anxious thoughts,

the worry

and the twisting of stomach and emotions.

With shame I asked the Lord to forgive me for not stopping myself from worrying and taking time to pray.

Why is it easier for us to go on with our fretting, rather than running to God’s Throne to find mercy and grace to help in our time of need?  Hebrews 4:16 I knew I was helpless to change the situation, yet I went about my tasks with my furrowed brow and fearful thoughts.

Even though the situation we prayed about wasn’t helped immediately, I was!  God’s peace flooded my heart as my husband took us to the Only place where help could be found!

I also knew I needed to help the sender of the text.  I called and said,

“I need to help you by taking your hand, too, and going to God’s Throne right now.  Can we pray together?”

If you’re anxious about ANYTHING today, can I remind you of what you probably already know?  You need to stop letting it weigh you down and simply go to God’s Throne in prayer and leave that burden with Him.  And if you know someone who is worried, or in a difficulty or a hopeless situation (your spouse, a friend, a child), do what my husband did for me and grab their hand and take them with you to the Throne of God.  What peace you will both find there!

Is there a burden you need to stop and pray about?  Is there someone who needs you to stop and pray with them?  

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baking · Crafting · Fall · Family life · friends · Husband · Prayer

Five Friday Favorites

We had our first really cold day of fall this week!  It came just in time for Trunk or Treat at church, making it a fun fall activity!  I made these costumes up for my husband and me.  I thought since he’s my other half, it was perfect!!

Dale and me

Life has been so enriched with these precious little boys in our lives.  They are growing and changing so much!  They’re imitating…

october favorites 4

and learning and rolling and growing…and stealing our hearts!

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Fall also means Pumpkin Roll!  Here was the first one of the year!

october favorites 6

To be a part of a group of praying friends is a HUGE blessing in my life.  These ladies are my prayer group.  We have cried, rejoiced, laughed, and prayed so much in the last couple of years.  Wow.  We are rich, indeed!  We got to celebrate a birthday of one of these precious gals this week.  What a joy to rejoice that she is God’s gift to us as a sister in Christ, a friend, and prayer partner!

Oct favorites 2

What fun activities have been a part of your week?

Do you have a group of women you pray with?  I’d so encourage you to ask God to give you at least two or three!

Refresh your life this weekend in God’s house!

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God's character · Praise · Prayer

God Will Make You Laugh!

Imagine that you walk into your OB office and you see a 90 year-old pregnant woman sitting there waiting for her appointment.  Yes, it’s  Sarah, Abraham’s wife.  While waiting for her name to be called, she’s  knitting little baby slippers for her first-born son.  She sees you looking at her, a little grin stealing away on your face, and she smiles, nods and says, “It is funny, isn’t it?  Let me tell you how this happened!  This baby is God’s gift to me and my husband –  he’s 100!”

Then she laughs, and seeing her joy, you laugh with her.  We read in Genesis 21:6,  “God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.”

God revels in doing what seems to us to be the impossible. His acts are so astounding that often, they are laugh-worthy!  They are surprises in answer to our prayers that we would have never dreamed of!  A son is raised to LIFE?!  There were probably sad tears that turned to laughter!  A man is struck blind on the road and hears a voice from heaven calling his name?  From that day on, he no longer persecutes Christians, now he is preaching Christ!  A tax collector who had been cheating people now follows Christ and repays those he’s cheated?  God feeds one of his servants using a raven?!  These situations are all laughable because no one but God could have ever done such wonderful things!

What are you waiting for God to do?  Don’t try to figure it out!  God is going to do it in such a way that will make you laugh!  He’s an awesome God and He loves to demonstrate just how awesome He is!  When He answers, tell someone so they can laugh with you!

Have you had a “laughable” answer to prayer?