sarah young

The Gift of Giving Thanks

“I can never thank You too fervently or frequently.” Jesus Listens, November 1 For many people, it’s difficult to see how life can be considered a gift, because that means they’d need to acknowledge the Giver. Most people want to make it seem like they don’t need someone else’s help. We humans take pride in our independence. The Jewish tradition has an inspiring view of gratitude that I think every person, no matter their religion, can learn something from. Every day it is the goal of those who practice this particular tradition to recite one hundred blessings—or thanks—to God, beginning with eighteen blessings right when they wake up in the morning. The tradition says that as you are sleeping, your soul leaves your body, and what better way to come back to reality upon waking than to reci...

Feeling the Warmth of His Unconditional Love

Sometimes I hear you whispering in my heart, “I take great delight in you.”It’s hard for me to receive this blessing, but I know it’s based on theunconditional Love You have for all your children. Jesus Listens, May 2 We live and feel deepest from the gut, not from the head. The love I have for my child, the way I felt during the first dance at my wedding, the doubled-over weight I’ve held staring into the casket of a lost loved one, and the laughter that comes from watching my niece open a gift on Christmas morning—none of that emerges from an intellectual equation I’ve solved. It comes from somewhere deeper, somewhere more instinctive, an emotional place. That’s how author of Hebrews describes Jesus’ response to sin and the havoc it wreaks on our lives—a gut-level, emotional response of ...

Four Spiritual Tools to Build Your Brain Power

You formed me with an amazing brain that can communicate with You, think rationally, create things, make decisions, and much more.” –Jesus Listens, February 12 Your brain is a powerful place. It’s the command center of all that you think, feel, and do. That means all of the functions of your emotions, desires, perceptions, ideas, and memories take place inside your brain, which contains about 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion interconnections. Did you know the way you think constructs neural pathways in your brain? You can compare this pathway creation process to the way a semitruck makes deep tread marks in packed snow. These deeply-embedded thoughts produce your feelings, both good and bad. If you spend a lot of time worrying or feeling angry or fearful, then your brain builds neural ...

Want to Save the World? It’s Easier Than You Think

“While Your comfort is flowing through me to others, some of that blessing absorbs into me.”– Jesus Listens, October 21 “I know! I’ll be an epidemiologist and help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. That’ll save the world!” “I know! I’ll come up with a cure for cancer. That’ll save the world!” “I know! I’ll be like a modern-day Mother Teresa and tend to the poor. That’ll save the world!” A Life of Purpose We all want to do something meaningful with our lives to bring about good in the world. As image-bearers of the God who saves, we find that desire formed into our very being. But if I’m honest, the older I get, the more realistic I am about what I can actually accomplish with what I have, and the less saving the world seems feasible to me. What if I told you that saving the world ...

The Three Best Words for the Brokenhearted

“I can invite You into those broken places and collaborate with Youin putting the fragments back together in new ways.” – Jesus Listens, July 3 In fresh grief, well-meant words can sometimes wound. Even now, I shake my head at the unhelpful comments I made as a young mom handing over a hot casserole and the painful comments said to me a few years later after my husband died. So when a radio host recently asked me for the three best words to tell someone in grief, I perked up. Maybe it’s “I love you,” I thought as I waited for his answer. Those words sure comforted me as a new widow. Or maybe it’s “let me help.” Practical love is so needed when life falls apart. But neither guess was correct. The three best words to say to someone in grief? You’re not alone. The deepest comfort comes w...

5 Ways Fasting and Prayer Can Boost Your Faith

“My soul thirsts for You—the living God. The deepest yearnings of my heart are for intimacy with You, Lord.” – Jesus Listens, June 30 You have the choice to change your life with a simple decision. If faithfully done, choosing to fast and pray will alter your existence, rock your spiritual world, and bring your life on this earth into God’s perspective. I was drawn to fasting when I read in Matthew 6:16 that Jesus didn’t say “if” you fast, but “when” you fast. I knew I needed to follow what I believed was a call to fasting, but where to start? Most think a fast only pertains to food, yet in scripture we read that Daniel fasted from specific things: “I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over” (Daniel 10:3 NIV). E...

Rescued and Renewed

Allow the Light of My healing Presence to shine into the deepest recesses of your being—cleansing, healing, refreshing, and renewing you.  Jesus Calling, March 17  The year 2020 proved difficult for many with unforeseen challenges, setbacks, and turmoil. Despite living in a fallen world, the year caught many of us off guard and shook up our faith. God never promised us a life absent of difficulty, but He did promise to never forsake us, and that He would work all things together for our good.   As I embarked on the year 2020, I had lost sight of God and was living under an illusion of security as I assumed I had control over my...

Working from a Place of Rest

Learn to unwind whenever possible, resting in the Presence of your Shepherd. This electronic age keeps My children “wired” much of the time, too tense to find Me in the midst of their moments.Jesus Calling, October 24 Hurry is not God’s best for our lives. Family and work responsibilities fill our days, leaving little time for recovery from stress and overwhelm. We struggle and strive to stay one step ahead of our never-ending list of things to do. All the while, we are withering under the pressure of career goals, relationship demands, and personal obligations. Staying busy is easy. Staying well-rested—now, there’s a challenge. Our society has cultivated a mindset of resting after completing work. The problem is the work is never done. There will always be more to do on your to-do list. T...

A Journal of Healing

I am a God who heals. I heal broken bodies, broken minds, broken hearts, broken lives, and broken relationships. My very Presence has immense healing powers. Jesus Calling, August 20 2011 was a rough year. I was serving as a full-time associate pastor on a large church staff where God’s Spirit was leading us into ministries outside our comfort zone and church doors. We were serving others, particularly the poor, in God-sized ways. I was especially enjoying ministry with my friend, our Senior Pastor, Dr. Ken Diehm, One day, he even laughed and said, “We don’t even have to work to lead, do we? We just look where God is at work and run that way!” In February of 2011, we ended a normal work week, said a casual goodbye, knowing we’d see each other for Sunday worship. But overnight, my friend Ke...

You Can Find God

When you set out to find Me in a day, you discover that the world is vibrantly alive with My Presence. Jesus Calling, July 25 “Hi, my name is Jessica. Are you calling to give a compliment or a complaint?” My husband gently responded, “I’d like to give a compliment to one of your drivers.” There was a long pause. “I’m sorry, I think I may have misheard you. Did you say you’re calling to give a compliment?” How’s my driving? “Yes, you heard me correctly. I’d love to compliment one of your truck drivers. I’ve been driving behind him and noticed a How’s-My-Driving? sign and this phone number, so I spent the next few minutes noting everything he was doing right.” She couldn’t believe it. After ten years on the job, receiving back-to-back complaints about her drivers for eight hours a day, this ...

Lean into Your Weakness to Find His Strength

It is good that you recognize your weakness. That keeps you looking to Me, your Strength. Abundant life is not necessarily health and wealth; it is living in continual dependence on Me.Jesus Calling, March 16 The story I’m about to tell you is a personal journey that involves stepping out of my comfort zone, leaning into my weakness, and finding the courage to admit, “I can’t do it.” I’m going to be completely honest: I wouldn’t be where I am today without spending daily devotional time reading God’s Word and hearing His voice, and a group of family and friends who gave me the space to be real. New Beginnings In 2005, my husband and I, along with another friend, started a non-profit. Ten Thousand Homes was established to bring hope and home to orphans and vulnerable children. We moved to S...

When You Feel Weak, Choose to Adore God

Accept your weakness and brokenness, beloved; let them open your heart to Me. You can be fully yourself with Me… Whenever you’re feeling weak and wounded, come confidently into My Presence to receive abundant Love and Peace.Jesus Always, September 23 This morning I ran the same stretch of road I’ve run several times for years. My feet know the path by heart—same country road, the same dog discovering me anew every morning, and the same state route.   No mile marker had changed … but everything had changed. The state route that once signaled the inertia of American culture—caffeinated drivers riding the bumper of the car in front of them, distracted with the 8 hours ahead of them or their phone on the dash—felt like a back-country road. Five cars passed me on my half-mile stretch. I he...

  • 1
  • 2