Whisper Yes to quiet time with Jesus

Why do we struggle to spend quiet, undistracted time alone with God in His word and in prayer?

 

I tell myself every evening that tomorrow will be different. Nothing else will happen in my day until I’ve had my time following Jesus into the word of God. Then the next day comes and the day comes flying at me.

Now, I know people always say to just get up earlier before anyone else gets up in my house. There’s a bit of a problem with this though. My husband gets up between 4 and 4:30 every morning. I’m not going to to try to beat him out of bed in the morning.

So once I’m awake the day just starts to slip away. Distractions, even minor ones, creep in and try to steal my time.

I don’t know about you but then I’m trying to “squeeze” time for God in while I do other things.  Maybe it’s just me but I often find myself reading from my Bible app while I’m walking dogs only to have my phone ring.

I sometimes feel like I can’t focus for more than about a minute at a time most days. So I find myself praying while I shower, out feeding sheep or doing dishes.

Now I want to make it perfectly clear, I want to spend time talking to God while I do all those things. There isn’t anything wrong with listening to God’s word from a Bible app when I’m walking dogs.

But…Jesus has been calling me away from the distractions. Asking me if I will whisper yes to following Him into the quiet.

As for me, this means when distractions want to run rampant in my life I will choose to put them on hold.

One of the most important steps I’ve made is no social media before my quiet time with the Lord. I want my genesis thoughts each day to be centered on truth I can trust, not the chaos of the world.

Another one is realizing silence has actually scared me. I’ve been known to fill my days with sound of some kind all day.

This may sound a little simple but I also find when I first wake up, before I ever roll out of bed, I say “Good morning, Jesus.” Simply speaking His name first thing each day invites Him into my day.

Let’s be on guard for the distractions satan tries to throw at us to steal our time quiet time with our Heavenly Father. Stand firm against them!

I’m praying our daily whisper of YES to take Jesus’ hand will echo throughout our day.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NLT)
I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Do you treasure people or things?

How do you want to be remembered? Is it for the things you’ve accomplished? Maybe the awards and “stuff” you’ve collected?
What about the people we’re blessed by along the journey?
I’m a competitive person by nature. I like to set a goal and then go for it. I spent most of my youth competing in as many sports as possible.
One of my favorites was rodeo. I particularly liked to rope. Every free moment I had you’d find me roping a dummy in backyard or working with my horses.
Now I’m not what you’d call a hoarder. If you have something that means a lot to you it probably needs nailed down before I start cleaning. It could easily go out if no ones used in a certain amount of time.
Because of this I would have told you I always put people over stuff any day of the week.
But…when I won my first belt buckle as a kid rodeoing, I never looked back. It became my mission to win as many as possible. It was a bit of an addiction.
That same desire carried over into my adult years when I switched to training dogs instead of horses. Still working towards collecting as many prizes as I possibly could.
I was on a slippery slope of collecting stuff over people.
Along the way God quietly started working on my heart. He was showing me it wasn’t about how many prizes I could collect but how many people I could love.
Now I’m not saying goals are bad. I still set goals and work towards them. What I have learned is all the “stuff” I’ve collected over the years is basically collecting dust. It sure doesn’t give me any kind of love back!
People – they’re what’s worth collecting!
The time spent chasing my dreams wouldn’t mean much without the people who are on the adventure with me. I cherish the countless times we’ve laughed, loved and prayed together.
Love is what makes life worth living.
We may have to dust off a relationship from time to time but it’s an investment worth making.
The memories with people far outweigh any kind of award I’ve ever won.
When we’re willing to follow where God leads all the stuff in this world won’t matter. Our focus shifts. Hearts take the lead role.
When Jesus called the disciples and asked them to come with Him they left everything and followed. All the earthly treasures stored up couldn’t compare to the desire to follow where He lead. He asked them and he’s still asking us to put people over things.
When we’re following the heart of Jesus we’ll find the 
hearts of those He loves. (Click to tweet)
I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

But if You say so…

Have you ever known God is telling you to move but not sure what that means? Or even if you know where He’s calling you but it just doesn’t make any sense? I’ve been there a time or two as well.


We’d had a special speaker at church and I’d been hearing God whispering to me during the whole service, “Come”. It didn’t make sense. Come where? Do what?


“Lord, I NEED some details. Okay, maybe need isn’t the right word but I would LIKE some details.”


No details were given. Simply a chance to follow Him.


As we neared the end of the service I knew God was inviting me to be obedient and get baptized.


Why would God ask me to do something that made no sense and honestly felt really strange?


You see, I’d been baptized when I was young. I wrestled with God about it in my heart for quite some time. I even left the service right after and sat in my car for a bit.


As I sat there I tried to explain to God how this didn’t make sense. Why would I need to do this again? I was 41 years old, the pastor’s daughter and led the youth ministry. What would my “kids” all think of me?


I’m not proud to say those thoughts went through my head but am so grateful God never stops loving me. Despite my weaknesses.


No big bolt of revelation came. No profound understanding. Only a choice to come with Him or not. As He had shown me time and time again, the choice was mine. Would I say yes?


A little side note here, we’re what you’d call a “cowboy church”. Our baptism’s most often happen in a livestock watering tank. We’re not talking heated and comfortable by any means.


I bet you’re praying this is where I walked back in with my head held high and said, “Whatever it may be, bring it on!”


Nope. It was more of a quiet, “But if you say so God”. Not a resentful, apprehensive yes but a calm, expectant yes. A yes full of trust.


I let my need to see before I believed slip away as 
I followed God into the unknown.


He’s faithful and I’ve met Him in the unknown many times before. Each time I’ve answered, “But if You say so” He’s been right there to meet me.


Faith works when we use it.


When Jesus asked Simon Peter to drop his nets again it didn’t make sense either. Peter’s day of fishing had already proven unsuccessful. He could have tried to reason with Jesus why it wasn’t the best idea. But I love his answer!


“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” Luke 5:5


Now I know we can read on after and see what a glorious night of fishing it ended up being. But…Simon Peter had NO idea what the outcome would be when he said YES.


I love how we’re given such a great example to step out in faith even if we don’t understand. I find it so reassuring how Peter doesn’t come back with some lofty type of answer. He’s honest and real.
As I broke the plane of the cold baptism water I still didn’t understand. I simply made the choice to follow. Coming up out of the iciness I felt a huge wave of blessing wash over me.


Lord, if you say so…

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Move Close to the Heart of Jesus

Do you ever feel like you can identify with the Israelites?

I’ve read about the many miracles they witnessed first hand and wondered how their faith faltered so often. I mean come on, they saw the Red Sea part!

Moses reminds them in Deuteronomy how God loves them. Not because of how good they are, far from it actually, but because He’s chosen them.

In the same breath he also calls them out for being a stubborn people.

Oh good grief, here I am, raising my hand. Yep, that’s me. Just go ahead and put the name tag on. “Hello, my name is Stubborn.”

I come from a long line of stubborn people. We’re a strong willed bunch and it can take us longer to listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting than I’d care to admit.

It goes back to our faulty self preservation mentality. Generations of abandonment and addictions led us to believe the only way to survive was to dig in our heels.

However, let’s not forget an important part of Moses’ reminder. God chose them! Hand picked. Set apart. WANTED

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT)

I love this! My family may have been “back row people” before, to stubborn to come to the front row when called, but we are chosen!

Chosen to rise up from our past and come forward
into a relationship with Jesus.

I want to step out and have a front row seat at the feet of Jesus unobstructed by distractions. Nothing to block my line of sight to the everyday, wonderful miracles God has for each of us through His grace!

We may never get to see the Red Sea part but we have seen addictions broken, lives saved and legacies changed.

Many of us have been more than happy to hang out in the “back row” out of fear to move to the front. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of being truly seen.

If God is calling us to come forward, He’ll make the path,
we just need to step out and follow it.

If you’re reading this and not real sure you feel chosen, let me reassure you, Abba Father is calling you. The whisper you hear somewhere down deep, it’s from Him. He wants YOU!

It doesn’t matter who your name tag said you were before, God is calling you by your true name, “Chosen”.

Whatever is holding us back from moving forward as God calls to us, let’s offer it up to Jesus. Take His hand, put one foot in front of the other and move into whatever row will put you closest to the heart of Jesus.


I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Step out of the Comfort Zone!



Sheep need sheep.


They’re designed as a herd animal. Isolation literally causes them to panic and eventually shut down.


Maybe I’ve been spending a little too much time with sheep, but there is a ton of information we can learn about ourselves and our walk with the Lord by observing sheep.


Sheep are a prey animal and as such are wired to be quite fearful. It’s self-preservation.


It can also make it downright challenging to get them to come out of their comfort zone.


Is it any wonder in scripture we are so often referred to as sheep?


Know that the Lord, He is God! It is he who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3 (ESV)


We love our comfort zone. We want to be right in the middle of our own “flock” where it feels safe and people already know and love us.


I was recently invited to a Writer’s Retreat only a couple of hours away from where I live. There wasn’t going to be a soul there who I’d met in person yet.


It would have been easy for me to go and keep myself isolated. I have close friends at home, my family and my church. This could just be a quiet, solitary weekend away to write, right?


God had other plans.


Not only were there amazing women of God there but they pulled me right in. We jumped right out of that comfort zone and headed for the deep water.


There was no chance to feel panic or shut down due to fear. God was showing me how quickly He can orchestrate deep bonds between fellow believers.


It might not feel safe outside the tight knit group of those we already know but if God is calling you to go, He will go before you. When we follow God out of our comfort zone and invest in relationships we discover another level of fellowship.


Following Jesus into the deep is where our faith becomes stronger.


Be brave. Step out into the deep end of relationships.


Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)

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I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Have You Done All You Can Do?

I love this passage from Ephesians! So alive and active here.


“Standing” may sound passive but it’s not. We put on God’s armor, resist and brace ourselves to withstand the punches from the enemy. Gloriously, we are not expected or ever instructed to do this in our own power.


I don’t know how you feel about that but it’s a HUGE relief to me. I’ve realized over my life that I’m not nearly as strong as I would like to think. I’m so grateful for that revelation now. Knowing I can simply fall into the strong arms of Jesus and trust His strength, not mine.


We are called to be strong and immovable. But, how can we be strong and immovable when we just acknowledged we’re really not as strong as we first thought?


In Proverbs 10:25 we’re told that WHEN the storms of life come the wicked will be whirled away but the godly have a lasting foundation.


There’s our answer. We need to have a lasting foundation in order to stand firm against the fiery arrows of the enemy.


So when we’ve done all we can do in a situation in our life and it doesn’t turn out the way we planned, we really need a strong foundation to help us stand firm. Otherwise we’ll be swept away in the current of doubt and lies from the enemy.


How do we get that solid foundation? Connection.


Maybe that sounds a little simple but hear me out. When you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of troubles it can be a real struggle to pull out a fiber of truth if we’ve never planted any in the first place.


Stand firm by staying connected to the author of truth!


To be perfectly honest I can’t always remember where a verse is found or even the exact words when I’m treading to stay above water. But…I know the truth of God’s word and even if it’s one word I can grasp onto and cling to for dear life to stay afloat, it’s there. Planted through connection with my Heavenly Father.


Way to many times in my life I haven’t had eloquent words to pray in the middle of a situation. Sometimes the best we can squeak out in the moment is “Jesus help”. I’m so grateful that He hears that cry and knows the heart behind it without fancy words to explain it.


Let’s be real honest, it doesn’t always mean things are going to turn out like we’ve planned even as we stand firm. God is still there though – standing in the gap for us.


Our plans are fickle little beasts with short term vision. God’s plans are far reaching and see the whole picture. Not always easy to remember in the eye of the storm. We must be rooted deep!


This week as we move through life’s storms lets stand firm in God’s grace. The battle we fight is spiritual, personal and intense. It takes courage, determination and prayer but take heart…through Christ we are victorious. 

I encourage you to let the words from Laura Daigle’s song O’Lord to lift you up and give you hope!

Is There Power in the Tongue?

Have you ever been in a situation where you wished you could reel the words back in you spoke in haste?

Yeah, me too. Way more times than I care to admit.

Scripture tells us there is the power of life and death in the tongue.

We must use our words wisely.

Negativity can quickly seep into our lives if we don’t stay on guard for it.

My family and I ranch (raising cattle and sheep) and as such are very dependent on volatile markets, expenses and weather. It’s WAY too easy to get caught off guard and let negative words from others suck you into the black hole of doom and gloom.

“The cattle market is dropping!”
“We’ll never get any rain!”
“Feed costs are out of control!”

You have a choice when these kind of words come flying at you from family and friends. Either join in and let the power of the tongue fill you with negativity or speak words of life to counter them.

“The cattle market is fine – God will provide.”
“The rain is coming in God’s perfect time – God will provide.”
“Jehovah-Jireh – God will provide.”

Have you ever seen a massive ship sailing effortlessly across the waterDespite its immense size and the fact that it is propelled by mighty winds, a small rudder directs the ship in any direction the pilot chooses. It’s just the same with our tongues! It’s a small muscle, capable of marvelous undertakings. And do you know how many forest fires begin with a single ember from a small campfire? 
James 3:4-5 (Voice)

Let’s squelch those embers of negative words before they spread like wildfire through our lives. Instead, let’s make the choice to use this small muscle for positive, life giving power.

Life and death are in the literally in power of our tongues. We believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord and we are saved by our tongues speaking it out.

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 
Romans 10: 9-10 (NLT)

Jesus came to live in human flesh and die a brutal death to save each of us from an eternal separation from Him.

If you haven’t accepted Jesus into your heart and would like to – feel free to use this very simple prayer as a guide.


“God, I know I’m a sinner and I can’t save myself. I believe that you sent your son, Jesus, to die for my sins, raise Him from the dead and give me eternal life. I repent and turn from my sinful life and ask You to come and be the Lord of my life. I invite Your Holy Spirit to fill and guide me. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Welcome to the family of believers! I highly suggest getting into a good, Bible based church and fellowship with others.

I encourage you to share your decision with me either in the comments or privately through the contact form. I will be praying for you!

Marked for Christ


Scars can run deep. They leave a lasting mark that each of us handle differently.


My dad grew up in a home where food was scarce for quite some time due to his father leaving his mom with several kids in the backwoods of Missouri. The effects of a starvation mentality from a young age has definitely left  it’s mark on my him.


When he was young his uncle took him to work with him for job and afterwards they got a big steak. Uncle Hank told him, “We work hard and we eat well.” That has stuck with Dad. He has always worked very hard to make sure no one in his scope of influence goes hungry.


Being raised by a single mom, who was blessed by a church family that literally prevented them from starving to death, left another profound mark on him. Dad has always had a strong desire to help people out who are struggling, especially single moms.


The scars from Dad’s childhood could have made him bitter and had the opposite effect on him. But…he was marked as child of God and the Lord had His hand on Dad always.


I’m not saying he’s lived a perfect life or never made mistakes. He’ll be the first to tell you that too. He’s tried running from God’s calling on his life in the past. He was set apart to follow Christ and share the good news of God’s love with others however.


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)


The Holy Spirit never stopped pursuing Dad. After a big wake up call he realized it was time to throw off everything that hindered him and follow the path God had marked out for him.

When we run we look forward to where we’re going. We don’t try looking over our shoulders to see what is behind us. I’ll admit I’ve tried that and ended up on my knees. We’ve already seen what’s behind us so we’re well aware of it so we need to focus on the path marked out in front of us.

God has a path of faith marked out for each of us. We need only to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.


I, for one, don’t want to let the marks left on me from the past define me. As soon as I accepted Jesus as my savior, God put his mark of salvation on me and I want to share the good news with others! God loves. God saves.



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