Tag Archives: Jesus

A prayer for an average September morning (and beyond)

On page 143 Lysa challenges us to pray for the next 30 days asking God to reveal Himself to us and fill us with a desire for him like never before. Write your prayer here.

Father God,  you are sovereign over all things.  You are in me, around me, above me and below me.  Your Truth flows out and becomes my truth, too.  You are leading me in the precise direction you have planned.  You have placed the people in my life for a reason.  You have given me all my quirks and faults and good parts for a reason.  I know this.  I have always known this.  But I also really want to know YOU.  I want to hear you speaking, and recognize when it’s actually YOU and not my agenda.  I want to be obedient, I want to say yes to you every day.  Every day is a new chance to refine the way I live my life here on earth.  When I fall, You are there.  You are there because you already know exactly where  I’m going to fall.  You are always there.  That is so awesome.  I want my desire for you to reach a place I’ve not yet experienced.  Thank you for little, wonderful experiences like last night when I sat with Lisa and Christine on Lisa’s porch and we drank kombucha and listened to the night critters singing their songs while our kids played inside and we talked about You.  They probably didn’t realize what I was thinking.  That I was just SO HAPPY to be with them and with You and to be a mother and a sister and a friend.  That I am so thankful for healthy, happy kids and nature and freedom and choices and second chances.  You are just full of surprises and I know that the closer I follow you on this journey, the closer we will become.  We can only become closer through Jesus, whom I am looking forward to getting to know better every day for the rest of my life.  In Jesus’ holy and awesome name, Amen.

p.s.  I was also about to thank you that my kids were playing very quietly under the table at my feet while I wrote this.  Then I peeked under there and they both had my makeup bag and were smearing makeup on each other.  I was about to get annoyed when Max looked at me, covered with lip gloss, and said, “I want to look pretty for my dance party!” And then he started laughing hysterically. Yes, lucky for us you are an awesome and creative God with a fantastic sense of humor.

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A Heart At Rest

How has saying yes to God through this study helped you find a heart at rest?

Well, I gotta be honest…right now my heart is NOT at rest.  Right now my heart is heavy and sad because I got some bad news.  But that’s okay, because:

Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I am going to rest in Him today.  I am going to apply these truths that have been reinforced throughout this study.  I am going to seriously REST IN HIM.  We all belong to Him, and He has written the story.  I need to remember that the purpose of this study is not just to get through it, but to truly come out RADICALLY OBEDIENT on the other side.  That means I will listen to His whispers.  Follow hard after Him.  Not believe the lies of the enemy.

I started my year-long study of Matthew last night and was really inspired by our new teaching leader.  Her lecture was sweet and beautiful and inspiring.  One of the best things I heard was, “Truth satisfies because truth is a Person.”  A disciple is literally translated to “one who looks like Him.”  And that’s what I want.  I want people to see the Lord in me and the incredible work He’s done in me and others and what He can do for you, if you let Him.  My ministry may never reach farther than the 4 walls of my home and the handful of people that read this blog.  And that is okay.  My heart is at rest with whatever He’s got for me.  He is a God of order, and a creative Creator.  He’s got this.  HE’S.  GOT.  THIS.  Just be obedient to Him and not only will your cup be filled, but it will runneth over all over the place and splash everyone around you.  What a beautiful thing.

Jesus is not surprised by my sin – NOT AT ALL.  He knows me.  HE KNOWS TEMPTATION.  If I come to Him, He will give me rest.  If I repent, I am truly forgiven.  Coming to Him is our greatest joy and responsibility.  And when we come to Him, we need to be ready for His command to GO:

Matthew 4:19
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

You can’t be all like, “Okay, Jesus!  I love You and I want to follow You!  Just don’t make me do anything too hard, okay?”   No.  That’s not how it works.  He lays on our hearts what He wants us to do to glorify Him.  And hey, whaddaya know?  It usually lines right up with all the talents and gifts we were given when we were created.  Interesting…

So, here I come and here I go.  Jesus calls us to come EVERY DAY.  Rest in Him EVERY DAY.  Go do His work (in whatever capacity that may be) EVERY DAY.  There is no day off from this once you’re there.  You can try to take a day off, but you will be convicted.  God will lean on your heart a little bit and try to steer you back home.

I pray that God reveals Himself to me in His Son and in His Word as I read and study the Gospel of Matthew for the next 9 months.  I really cannot wait.  I fully expect to meet Jesus in a way I never did before.  And then, once again, every day, every minute, I can come to Him and rest.

What a beautiful thing.

 

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Berks County sunset

The Great Life

Psalm 81:10

I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.  Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

If we open ourselves up to Him fully, He will fill us.  HE WILL FILL US.  We just have to say yes to Him.  It’s a pretty simple request.  So why does it seem so hard sometimes?

One thing that I struggle with is feeling inadequate.  I don’t know where this comes from – past incidents or just human nature or just part of the way my brain works.  But I need to remember that every mistake does not define me, and every weak moment is a chance to become stronger in Him.  To open myself up fully to Him means not only to let Him work through me to help others and glorify Him and all that stuff.  It also means to accept His grace.  If I don’t accept His grace when I repent – if I dwell on it and continue to beat myself up over things – then all that Jesus did for us means nothing.  NOTHING!!!!  He died to close the gap between us and God.  It is not a good witness to treat myself like poop.

I know I struggle with guilt when I screw up because I don’t want people to leave me.  This is just based on my past and has nothing to do with what my life on earth looks like right now.  God will NEVER LEAVE ME.  Jesus is right here with me, peering over my shoulder and whispering in my ear what He wants me to write next.  I don’t have to pray for forgiveness 16 times for that one thing I did.  Repent and reset.  He has forgiven me.  If I ask Him to keep changing my heart to be more like His, HE WILL.  PERIOD.  End of story.  I say this all the time, but it’s the easiest and most difficult thing in the world.

Psalm 81:16

You would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.

What does temporary satisfaction look like versus real satisfaction?

That’s a tough one to explain.  The best way I can muster is, real satisfaction is an investment.  If we do the work – rest in His Word every day, develop a meaningful prayer life with Him, say yes to Him and let Him change our hearts – the ROI (Return On Investment – and not to go off on a tangent but I am SO GLAD I don’t live a life where I have to hear, decipher, and then use acronyms like that anymore!!!!) is going to be more amazing than we could ever imagine for ourselves.

Temporary satisfaction is like, “Oh, if I buy that dress I will look so cool and everyone will think I look awesome and when I go out to the bar to get my drink on people want to know where I got it and think I am so with it and together because I am in this hip place with my hip dress and hip friends WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

(Not that I did it.)

1 John 3:18-19

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.

How do I apply this verse to my life?  It’s not what I wear or do or look like or watch or listen or even say that defines me…unless I am speaking from my changed heart about His truth.  To set our hearts at rest in his presence (which is such a beautiful phrase) means that when I do that, HE WILL TAKE CARE OF THE REST.  That is ALL HE WANTS.  When we say YES to Him, when we REST in Him, when we listen to Him when He speaks to us, we are living in His truth.  Example:

On Saturday morning,  I was reading my Bible.  Sometimes I just flip through and scan the pages until something jumps out at me and then I kind of roll with it.  Somehow, I ended up on Psalm 139:23-24 and I loved it.  I circled it, highlighted it, drew my famous squiggles on it.

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

So, then I wrote down the key words on the back of my Bible:

SEARCH

KNOW

TEST

SEE

LEAD

A few minutes later, I popped on Facebook on my phone and was reading the comments of one of the Proverbs 31 posts, and what did I see?  THAT SAME VERSE.  This is how God speaks to us.  He was telling me to pay attention to that verse.

So, that is my challenge today.  To let Him search my heart and really listen to Him so I can say yes to the challenges before me.  Maybe you would like to do the same.

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I found that leaf in a Bible at church a few weeks ago.  I opened it up and it fell out and it was such a perfect leaf…I wonder how long it’s been in there, and who put it there…I just love stuff like that.

Glimpses of God

Philippians 2:14-16

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.

When I read this, I immediately think of being a wife, mother, and homemaker.  How easy is it to start grumbling when we get stuck in the rut of wrangling the toddlers, cleaning the litter box, scrubbing the toilet, hearing “NO!!!” from little mouths all day, figuring out what to make for dinner, stepping on the cat thinking she is a Pillow Pet (not that I did it), not being able to pee in peace…

When I reread this, I immediately think of Jesus, and how he suffered beyond comprehension to save me.  How he never grumbled or argued.  I think of the phrase “hold firmly to the word of life” and what that means to me.  I think of my sweet children who are figuring out this crazy world, just like I still am.  I think of how fortunate I am to have a toilet to scrub and I’m not homeless, going to the bathroom in an alley.  I think about how blessed we are to have enough food to eat and clean water.  I change my vision of this rut:  what a beautiful rut to be in!

Without the Word of Life, without God, without Christ, without the Holy Spirit, I have no vision.  I don’t even remember how to see without Him.

When I see the phrase “warped and crooked generation,” I think of how every generation probably thinks theirs is worse than the last, as far as morality and crime and drugs and the like are concerned.  I know my mom thought the world would end in the 60’s because everything was just so crazy.  “Blameless and pure” is tough to imagine.  Christ was blameless and pure.  And we are made new through Him.  It’s still so hard to let those whispers from the enemy just float away while I remember that truth.  That enemy is a crafty one, I tell ya.  Just when you think you are really with it, really in tune with God (which you are), he comes along and throws a wrench into things.  At least for me.  It’s a constant battle to keep my vision in focus, keep my palms up, stick with it.  And it will be a constant battle until I go home.

When I see the phrase “you will shine among them like stars,” that creates such a beautiful image for me.  And it also means it’s a lot to live up to.  I often stress about being a good witness because I am so open with my faith.  Some people are just waiting for you to mess up so they can call you a hypocrite.  Which, let’s face it, sometimes we ALL ARE HYPOCRITICAL.

When I read this all again, now that I’ve thought it through, I get a glimpse of God, and His righteousness, and His mercy, and His goodness, and His gifts, and His perfect timing, and His blessings on my life.  They are PLENTIFUL these days, they really are.  I have never felt so loved, so perfectly loved.  I want to remember this feeling of perfect love the next time I actually get to sit down and paint my nails and one of the kids has a poopy diaper 5 seconds later.  Or when I finally get around to making the bed and the kids rip it apart immediately.  Or when I get so frustrated at my daughter not letting me brush her hair that I throw it across the room in frustration, and it breaks and she cries.  Not that I did it.

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Lower Your Nets

When Simon Peter was approached by Jesus, he was obedient and subsequently blessed.  So much so, that Simon Peter left everything behind right there on the spot to follow Him.

Jesus is asking us all to lower our nets.  What little thing is God asking of me today?  What seemingly small act of obedience will result in blessings beyond comprehension?

Who knows.  Not me.

The things pressing on my heart are to stay calm with the kids, enjoy these moments with them at this young, snuggly age where I am the most important person in their life.  Sometimes that gets really hard.  But it is so crucial.

Also I am reminded that my body is a temple, and I need to treat it as such.  I want to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

I want to renew my passion for the Lord every single day when I wake up.  Every day is a fresh start.  My passions of yesterday do not need to be my passions of today.  It is totally fine to change my vision as I listen to God – as long as my vision lines up with His Word.  I admit that sometimes it is easy to tweak God’s vision to match mine – but I need to remember that just because something is PERMITTED doesn’t mean it is ACCEPTABLE.

Finally, I want the love in my heart to overflow today.  Overflow for Jesus, my husband, my kids, my friends who are coming over today, my mom whom I will surely speak to before the day is done…even my crazy cat, Gertie.  I love that crazy cat.

Dear Lord,  I want to see You today in all I do.  I want to honor You as much as I can in my words and actions…but most of all with the purity of my heart.  Please prompt me to lower my nets just like Simon Peter did; in that very moment, I want to do as You say even if I think it’s wiser to do otherwise (which, let’s face it, is ridiculous).  And then in that moment, I will be following You.  Thank you for the cool breeze wafting through my windows on this sunny day, and for helping my kids play nicely and quietly so I can write this blog this morning.  As you know, many times I am typing with two 2-year-olds literally hanging from my neck or trying to get me to stop writing and put on some Curious George.  Thank you for Curious George, which seems to have a magical calming power over my rambunctious children.  Thank you for forgiving me when I fall, which is all the time.  Thank you for giving me a confidence I never had before.  Thank you for saving me.  Thank you.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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This verse doesn’t have much to do with today’s post, but I thought it was so lovely!

#FreshVision (Fresh Passion)

The Lord made me a passionate person.  Period.  When I get into something, I GET INTO IT.  Big time.  Like, I can remember every male celebrity obsession I had since I was 5 years old (yes, I had a celebrity obsession at 5 years old.  It was Bob from Sesame Street).  I moved on to Henry Winkler (Fonzie!!!), and Robin Williams (Mork!!!)  and then on to John Schneider from the Dukes of Hazzard, then Ted Danson from Cheers (I was in 4th grade.  It still seems wrong), then Jack Wagner and then Michael J. Fox and Kirk Cameron and Michael Hutchence from INXS until I finally settled on Jim Morrison.  That lasted all of high school and a little bit after.  And who am I kidding, just a teensy eensy bit now, too.  I still get into my Doors moods when I just think they are the bee’s knees.

God made me this way so I would eventually figure out that my passion needed to be on HIM.  Not some bloated dead rock star or a goofy teen idol.  I have always loved to write…I’ve wanted to be a writer since 1st grade when I wrote that as the first sentence in the first journal I ever started keeping:  “I want to be a writer.  I want to be as famous as Shakespeare.”  Bold aspirations for a 6-year old.

So, my fresh passion is this:  I want to write about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit and crazy things about my life and my walk in faith and what I think about things and how I do things.  I want to keep doing this blog as long as it takes to refine my writing, my style, my voice, until I get to a place where I figure out how I’m supposed to continue with this thing.  This is my passion.  Okay, let me rephrase that:  God is my passion.  I want my gifts to be used for Him.  My gifts include my husband and children, extended family, friends, church family, and my writing.  I enjoy doing many other things, but nothing else can really reach others like this.  Sometimes when I speak one-on-one to people, I insert a lot of “dudes” and “mans” and “knowwhatimeans” into the conversation.  This is somehow easier for me.

I want people to know the God I know, see the Jesus I see, feel the Holy Spirit I feel.  It has transformed my life and I want to share it with others.  This comes naturally through writing.  So you might see a lot of posts this week.

One thing I wrote in my journal yesterday:

“I must let go of some worldy things that constantly tempt me.  I want to stand WITH God, not oppose Him!  He is so good to me, and I have seemed to lose my obedient spirit this week.  Where did it go?!  Is this normal, to face more opposition the closer we get to Him?”

And then I wrote, “YES!!!!”

I also wrote that is is pointless to navigate through this life obediently without Him RIGHT THERE WITH ME.

I like that.  It’s true, too.  I am learning that I am really, REALLY hard on myself when I mess up (I always have been this way).  And I don’t have to be.  I don’t get any special extra points in heaven if I dwell on my mistakes for a week.  We ALL fall, and we all have our different things that bring us down.  I need to remember to repent, reset, and MOVE ON.  MOVE IT ALONG, PEOPLE…NOTHING TO SEE HERE.  God forgives us in that moment of repentance (that is, really truly intending with all your heart to follow Him and not repeat that transgression).  Jesus suffered in ways we cannot imagine so that we can have that.  Our suffering in comparison to that is like…well, I can’t even go there right now.  That’s for another time.

God uses our experiences to equip us for our calling.  This usually means “bad” experiences.  Tough experiences.  I’ve got a lot of those.  Let me stew on that and write about it soon…

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#StickWithIt

I haven’t posted in a few days because I am struggling. Struggling with anxiety over a certain situation in my life. The other day I wrote about the Ripple Effect of our sin. I am experiencing that right now. Because I am filled with anxiety, it is manifesting itself in ways that are unrelated to the situation and that is just NOT COOL. I also realize that anxiety does not come from God, and when I feel this way that indicates that there is an absence of God’s presence in those moments. I AM LED BY THE SPIRIT. I will let Him lead me to the place where he wants me, where I am safe and protected. My story is already written. In order for it to play out, I need to be obedient. I need to say yes to God. I need to let Him lead me, not say to Him, “Hey, I love you and I know you have plans to prosper me and not harm me, but you don’t understand what I am dealing with! It’s so hard because of XYZ. I try so hard, but BLAH BLAH BLAH.” Stefanie. Please. Get it together.
So how AWESOME is it that the verse for this week of study is this:

Romans 5:3-4

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Basically, I need to stick with it. Keep saying yes, even when I get attacked from all sides. Keep saying yes, even when, as my pastor put it yesterday, that one yes will bring a thousand no’s. Keep saying yes, even when it hurts. It’s easy to say yes when you are being blessed at that very moment (which I have been in amazing ways over the past several days – real acts of love from people around me that have the Lord working through them. If you are reading this, you know who you are and I love you). These acts of love (your love and His love) fuel my desire to be radically obedient to Him. That is a beautiful example of the Ripple Effect.

Therefore, in this very moment, I am letting these beautiful things fuel that fire that I want, nay, NEED, to burn deep in my soul. The desire to serve Him out of desire, not out of duty. I am going to stick with it. Stick with Him. Be not just a follower of Jesus, be not just a Christian, but be a DISCIPLE. So please, people who I am hurting or offending or confusing or what have you, stick with me. I may make mistakes, but that’s just the way it is. We all make them. It’s gonna happen. Please know that I am trying. I am surrendering every part of me to God, and I am allowing Him to shape me into something that looks more like Jesus every day. There are going to be good days and bad days. But I’m going to stick with it.

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Remain

John 15:4 “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

There are 5 definitions for the word “remain” and they are all applicable to remaining with Christ:

1. To continue in the same state or condition: These matters remain in doubt.
2. To continue to be in the same place; stay or stay behind: We are remaining at home.
3. To be left after the removal, loss, passage, or destruction of others: Only a few trees remain. See Synonyms at stay1.
4. To be left as still to be dealt with: A cure remains to be found.
5. To endure or persist.
I am choosing to remain in Christ every second of every day. It’s a conscious choice. It’s not like to accept Jesus and decide you want to follow Him and then you’re like, “OK Lord, do your thing!” No, it is a very conscious effort. To continue in the same state or condition. To continue to be in the same place. To be left after the removal, loss, passage, or destruction by others. The be left as still to be dealt with. To endure or persist. I am making that conscious decision and effort to remain in Him. As a growing, blossoming, ever-changing yet steadfast relationship.
And when we turn back a page to John 14:20, we have this: “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
This is all so simple. Jesus is in me. I am in Jesus. We are both in God. This is what I want to remember when times get rough. I don’t need to fear any day, any conversation, any confrontation, anything at all. How can I be afraid when I am being carried by Him? When He is in me and I am in Him and we are both in God? What safer place can there possibly be?
And yet this is all so hard sometimes. The world wants me to yell and scream and get scrappy and fight back and drink too much and eat too much and be lazy and spiteful and materialistic. The enemy whispers that these things are fine, legal, everyone does them! And that’s when I need to nestle into that awesome little group hug that is Jesus in me and me in Him and us in God. Then I am protected. Then I need not fear. And neither do you.

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Ripple (The Word As A Weapon)

“Ripple” is not just an awesome song by the Grateful Dead.  The Ripple Effect is very real and something that we need to think about.  The effects of our actions are far-reaching.  Often we never know the consequences of our sin.  And the consequences are not always major, like in a time-travel movie where someone accidentally steps on a butterfly in the past and consequently obliterates all of mankind.  Or like in season 2 of “Breaking Bad” when Jesse’s girlfriend gets back into drugs because of him and thus hundreds of people perish in a horrific tragedy that grips the nation.  No, sometimes the ripple only shimmies on over to our kids, or our spouse, or friends, or people at church, or at work.  But then what does that person at work, for example, do with the consequences of your sin?  Just forget about it and move on?  Probably not.  People aren’t really wired that way.  You just never know the endgame of your actions, and it’s hard to look 2 or 3 moves ahead when you are in the moment.

Jeremiah 12:2

 You have planted them, and they have taken root;
they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips
but far from their hearts.

This verse refers to the “faithless and the wicked,” and how their way of life seems to be easy and prosperous, while saying yes to God seems (and let’s face it, IS) hard.  The person being referred to in this verse is not someone I want to be.  I want to be wrapped up in Him always.   I want to grow and bear fruit and have Him on my lips and in my whole heart.

I know this is unorthodox for a bible study, but I am also a Deadhead and the lyrics to “Ripple” are fantastic and beautiful and talk about this very thing I am trying to convey.  It’s a classic and gorgeous song.  For example:

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

and…

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.

and…

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

 
Beautiful lyrics.  The great thing about music is you get to interpret it however you wish.  Right now I am interpreting this song to be about the far-reaching Ripple Effect of my sin, my words, His words, His work through me, through you, through all of us.  It’s a mighty responsibility, and one we all have to start taking to heart.  I want my words to glow with the gold of Sonshine.
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Amazed (Because You Answer Me)

I was looking at and pondering on Psalm 84:4 the other day and wrote about how we are all in His house together.

Verse 5 is pretty good, too (“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”) I was reading those verses in accordance with this study, and I was about to write some notes on it, when my eyes jumped to the next page and I saw Psalm 86:5-7, which just spoke to my heart so much this morning. So much so that I highlighted it and underlined it and drew squiggles and flowers and polka dots because I wanted it to stand out as the beautiful thing it is:

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I don’t even know where to begin with this. There’s a lot of things that are weighing on me right now. But the amazing thing is, I’m not weighed DOWN. I still feel His love within me, stronger than ever. When I start to feel sorry for myself, He gently reminds me of those that are truly suffering. Those who truly have it rough. I am FINE. I am fine as long as I rest in Him.

In my last post I said I was going to write about how challenging it is being me sometimes and how hard it is to follow Christ wholeheartedly, and telling Him that He can have all of me, and I want to be used in a mighty way by Him, and He is my author and perfecter and all that stuff. Now I’m kind of embarrassed that I wrote that. Now it feels silly to whine about this stuff. Sometimes we fall into that trap of “poor me, life is so hard, my problems are so major.” That’s the enemy. The enemy is trying to dig his claws into me big time right now…yet I still have peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) Thanks for that reminder, Jesus. You really could not make it any plainer. I appreciate that this lesson is not in parable form, because I just need some direct guidance right now.

Lysa TerKeurst writes:

“But sometimes it is down on your face in the mud in complete humility (and sometimes even humiliation!) that you will find a sweet and tender truth. It’s from this position that you can say, ‘Jesus, I love You and I want You more than anything else. I love You and want You more than the approval of my peers, family and friends, and even the naysayers in my life. I love You and want You more than the comforts and trappings of this world. I love You and choose to believe Your truth over Satan’s lies. I love You and choose to worship You and You alone. Jesus, I love You and want to come to You empty-handed and offer my life in complete surrender.'”

Once upon a time, I would never have been able to comprehend the above paragraph. Even when I began truly following Jesus. I was still holding onto so much of myself. And I gotta be honest, I am not even sure what exactly happened. All I know is me, Stefanie in Reading, PA, right now, right this very moment, wants what is in that paragraph with all my heart. And the way I am going to get there today, now, right this minute, is this: Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to me cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, BECAUSE YOU ANSWER ME.