Story

Talk to God About Your Struggles

“Whenever you are tempted to grumble, come to Me and talk it out. As you open up to Me, I will put My thoughts in your mind.” – Jesus Calling, October 9 As a pastor, I’m called upon to create sermons each week. And one particular Sunday morning, I felt like I had a good handle on the sermon I would be giving in a couple of hours. I’d just battled a short bout of sickness, and I was beginning to perk up and have some energy. I was ready and felt pretty good about the message I planned to give.  But on the way to church, the good feelings disappeared when I learned some disturbing news about a friend I care about deeply. Both my wife and I had spent significant hours and energy to encourage this person to walk in a better direction. It hit me hard that they had willfully strayed off the...

Love Works

Learn to relate to others through My Love rather than yours. Your human love is ever so limited, full of flaws and manipulation.My loving Presence, which always enfolds you,is available to bless others as well as you.Jesus Calling, May 12 Let’s face it: 2020 was a difficult year, and we are ready for a better 2021. COVID-19 wreaked havoc on our lives. We went from a booming economy to great uncertainty almost overnight. We have seen illness, death, job loss, social unrest, increased anxiety, a bitter presidential election, and a loss of normalcy in our lives. We are grieving over many things, including the sense of security many thought we possessed. But the truth is, the only things we can control are our own actions and attitudes. As we turn the page on 2020, I think we should seek to li...

Immanuel: God Is with Us

“Long before I was born, I was proclaimed to be the God who is with you. This is rock-solid truth that nobody and no circumstance can take away from you.”Jesus Always, December 20 “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:1One prayer changed my life forever. Since then, more prayers have come, but that prayer was the one that set my life on a completely different trajectory. How did I get here? After spending several years in my teens and twenties running away from God, one day I found myself lying on the floor of my parents’ bathroom. It had been a couple of months since I received the first of what would be five cancer diagnoses. There I was, on the floor, a few hours into a 3-day quarantine for intense radiation treatment. I was 26. The tr...

Our Anchor of Hope

Hope is like a golden cord connecting you to heaven. The moreyou cling to this cord, the more I bear the weight of your burdens;thus, you are lightened. Heaviness is not of My kingdom. Cling tohope, and My rays of Light will reach you through the darkness.Jesus Calling, January 8 On Sunday, June 23rd, 2019, I received the call that no mother ever wants to get. The phone rang and it was my youngest son, Garrett.  “Mom, it’s Zach! Mom, he’s gone! Zach’s dead!” I immediately fell to the floor and cried out to God. “Why my Zach?” In the very next breath, I screamed at Satan. “You think this will break me? You will not break me!” I knew that only God could bring us through this. My Zach was the most loving young man. He had countless friends, an amazing love for others, and an on-fire devo...

Why You Need a Cross-Cultural Coach

Look at other people through lenses of Love; see them from My perspective. This is how you walk in the Light, and it pleases Me.Jesus Calling, June 9 Having a life coach is in vogue nowadays. I get it; coaching helps people fulfill their purpose and potential. But you seldom find someone searching for a cross-cultural coach. Like a dentist, a diversity coach may not seem critical until you’re facing pain. Yet, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It was pain that caused Peter to receive diversity coaching from Paul, but you don’t have to wait to receive your own training. Galatians 2:11–14 presents three cross-cultural coaching tips Peter received that you can also glean from. Welcome the Confrontation. Everything was going well as Peter visited the Antioch Church. He seemed to be enjo...

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...

Faith Strengthening Our Biggest Spiritual Muscle

On some days, your circumstances and your physical condition feel out of balance: The demands on you seem far greater than your strength. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives—giving up or relying on Me. Jesus Calling, September 8 My young son was in a drugged sleep on a potent drip of antibiotics. He needed two more surgeries in his tender brain, which would bring the total to five since the massive hemorrhage in his brain tumor three months earlier. There had been glimmers of light. He’d laughed, and I’d even heard his voice at the neurological rehab where he was learning how to walk, talk, and eat all over again. He was coming back, then he’d had a setback. More surgeries were scheduled. I called my friend Joan and explained the situation. “You don’t think you can do ...

The Consistent Practice of Prayer

Rest in Me, My child. Give your mind a break from planningand trying to anticipate what will happen. Pray continually, asking My Spirit to take charge of the details of this day.Jesus Calling, June 10 I don’t know about you, but I’m a do-er. I like to make a plan, create action steps, and then create boxes for those action steps that I can check off. Yes, I’m that girl. I want to look and feel productive. If there’s a problem, I want to solve it. I want there to be a tangible way to grasp the solution. And that’s exactly why prayer was so hard for me to prioritize. Prioritizing prayer I was too busy hitting the ground running as soon as I woke up, working and taking care of everyone else throughout my day, and then falling into bed exhausted. After realizing that prayer should be a huge pa...

Becoming Godmothers Who War

I infused meaning into your mind and harmony into your heart. Join Me in singing My song. Together we will draw others out of darkness into My marvelous Light.Jesus Calling, June 14 To be a mother is to be a warrior True mothers fight for their children and want more for them than what they experienced. My prayer as a mother is that where I’ve known oppression, my children will know freedom and that my failures will serve to position them for success. Conversely, our mother’s heart hurts when we see the youth stray. I believe God is inviting us to be godmothers who are mother protectors. When we arise, men, women, and children are protected. One of the many ways to be a good mother is to be a woke one—a mama who is paying attention! She is awake and aware. Deborah first called as judge Deb...

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 ...

Fighting for Moments of Joy and Hope

On the Jesus Calling® Podcast, author Dawn Barton shared how she’d lost a child, survived rape, beaten Stage 3 breast cancer but lost her sister to the disease just a few years later, watched her mother suffer through a brain aneurysm, and walked her husband through the depths of alcoholism on the hard journey to sobriety. Dawn has every excuse in the world not to be joyful. But in this excerpt from her new book Laughing Through the Ugly Cry: And Finding Unstoppable Joy, Dawn shows us why she has made it, as she says, a goal to “scream from the mountaintops why we should be joyful, and why it’s a choice.” A DEEP BREATH AND a huge, slow eye roll. That was my immediate reaction. A family member had just said to me, “You get to.” This was her attempt at reminding me of the holiest of pos...

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