Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hope for when you hurt...

Welcome to my friends visiting from the Encouragement Cafe! I pray my devotional, "She's Getting What I Want" spoke to your heart today. I know it spoke to mine. If you'd like to read it, click HERE.

The experience I shared in that post happened years ago, but it was a lesson for today.

Just yesterday morning, I shared these words on my Facebook page - 


Today, I woke with a heart that was heavy and a plate that was full. My list seems long and motivation gone. Grief has a way of flooding us while sadness tries to overwhelm us. Questions tend to multiply while answers seem extinct.
Friend, I don't know what your life looks like, but can I encourage you with the words the Lord put on my heart, the verse He brought to mind and song that is running through my head? If you're in a hard place, I pray they encourage you too.
"Don't quit. Do the next right thing. Pray."
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14
From Chris Tomlin's, "Lord, I Need You" - "When I cannot stand, I'll fall on you." 

We, our family, our extended church family and our community are walking through grief. A young man gone too early. Hurting hearts, unanswered questions, pain that can't be described. 

It's a pain that could cause a person to push a way. To distance themselves from God. To think and maybe even scream, "It's not fair!" Because you know, that's how it feels. 

But like Jake's sister said, "My heart is broken, but God's ways and plans are higher and far better than ours even when we don't understand. He's had him from the beginning and He has him now." And his brother, "I know God is here today as He was yesterday."

Friend, their world has been rocked and perhaps your's has too. It happens, eventually it seems to all of us - situations change, relationships break, jobs end, illness comes, death happens. The things we thought weren't fair as a child dim in comparison. 

Life is hard, but God is God. He doesn't change. Hebrews 13:8 tells us God is "the same yesterday, today and tomorrow." He was loving, graceful and forgiving last week, the same is true today and will be forever. He's had a plan since the beginning of time and though our plans change, His remains. 

I've thought, prayed and cried much over the last couple of days. I don't understand and I don't have words, but I have hope. Honestly, there are moments it appears to be a flicker, but the light of Christ is shining. The Holy Spirit is at work reminding me when I don't have words, I need to go to the Word. I'm thankful for that advice. God's Word equips, brings comfort, reminds me I'm not alone and puts things into an eternal perspective. 

When I don't understand, Proverbs 3:5 eventually comes to mind - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart lean not on your own understanding." Death is just one thing in life we don't understand...instead of letting that lead to frustration, I pray it encourages you to trust. Psalm 147:5 says, "Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite."

Friend, in these moments we don't understand, the trials that come and the days that are hard, we have an opportunity. We can cry out to God, He knows our hearts and wants to hear from His people. He sees our pain and can handle our questions. Like Peter, we too can ask God questions. I pray we're willing to obey His response - "You must follow me."

Let's pray...

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your presence and your Spirit. We ask you to intercede and to provide. We thank you for peace that passes all understanding. We ask you for that for all who are hurting and grieving. Lord, help us trust and remember who you are. May we rest in your promises today. In Jesus' precious and powerful name, Amen.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Process of Planting


It's been a long planting season here on the farm. A week ago, I found myself doing a job I'd never done and I thought about this process to a depth I never really had before. As I went back and forth across the field cutting cover crop in front of the digger, many thoughts crossed my mind. There are many parts that make up this process...

Planning...My husband doesn't just plant our fields on the spur of the moment. Last winter, he spent time looking at seed, soil samples and other things to get ready for the work we did this spring.

Preparation...Along with planning, planting requires preparation. There's more than simply buying seeds. We have to work the soil and sometimes plant cover crops.

People...We can't do anything alone. It's true, only my husband operates the planter, but others are involved in the process. Even I have had to step out of my comfort zone, take some risks and learn new skills in my years as a farmer's wife.

Patience & Perseverance...When it comes to farming, timing is key. We have to wait for the soil to be ready and then for the crop to grow. It also requires perseverance, the work is rarely easy and the process can be long and drawn out. Farmers must stay focused when there's seed to put in the ground.

Purpose & Perspective...In the long days of planting, when time is short and pressure is on, it's important to keep things in perspective and remember your purpose.

Power...It takes power to plant seeds. We need horse power to pull equipment, but we need God's power to produce a crop.

Prayer...The biggest part of this process is prayer. It helps us be patient, reminds us who has power and keeps things in perspective. This summer we had a lot of rain, which kept delaying our planting. This could have led to worry, but prayer brought peace and reminded us who was in control.

Friend, I don't know if you've ever driven a tractor across the field or relied on a crop to feed your family, but I do know, if you are a Christian this process is for you. Luke 8:11b says, "The seed is the word of God." 

As believers, we have seeds to plant...in our own hearts and in the hearts of others. The process truly is no different. We can plan and prepare. There is work to do before we plant; we must build relationships and ask God to till the hearts' soil. Hosea 10:12 says, "Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you."

While we plant, we must be patient and be willing to persevere. Planting spiritual seeds is a process and it too takes time. We must wait on God and trust His timing. We must also remember that people are involved, only God knows our role and the fruit our seeds will produce. May we never forget He has the power! 1 Corinthians 3:6 instructs us, "I (Paul) planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth."

Friend, today I encourage you to take part in the process of planting! The crop you produce will do more than feed your family, it will impact others for eternity!!

Dear Heavenly Father, Lord, thank you for the process of planting and the lessons you teach on the farm. May we take spiritual planting even more serious than the work we do in the fields. Help us plan and prepare. May we be patient and willing to work. Help us keep it all in perspective and trust in your power. Lord, we know timing is important, so give us wisdom as when to plant. Thank you for the opportunity to work for you, we praise you for the harvest that is yet to come! In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen.

Then he said to his disciples, 
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 
therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest 
to send out laborers into his harvest.” 
Matthew 9:37-38

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Thinking about change...

First of all, a BIG welcome to those of you joining me from Encouragement Cafe! It's a blessing to share a devotional with you!! If you'd like to read, "Who's your judge?" click HERE. Now, I invite you to read what's on my heart...

I'll begin with a question -

How do you feel about change?

I have never been a fan of change and recently have realized I have a fear of change. Can you relate? If so, read on. If not, I encourage you to read on as well...chances are you know someone who is afraid of this reality of life and this might help you understand. :)

God has been working in my life...He always is, but sometimes we realize it better than others. He is bringing change. He's moving me from woman's ministry, where I've been serving and growing for the last 13 years, and taking me back to the basketball court, where I played and coached for many years.

Now, compared to some of the changes you may be facing this may seem pretty small, but I have to say it's been a bigger challenge than I care to admit. Though my life no longer revolves around basketball (this is a good thing!), I do enjoy the game and know there are life lessons to learn. I know God can and does work through sports ministry, it's a new arena and requires stepping out of my comfort zone...it means change.

As I prayed and pondered what to do over the last few months, I found myself wrestling with thoughts, fears and even God. I didn't want to walk away from serving on a women's ministry team; this experience has been a blessing. One that brought joy, growth and accountability. I didn't understand God's timing...just a year ago, He led me to write a Bible study for women why would He lead me to young athletes now?

Time went by and I didn't get all the answers, but God gave me some glimpses into His plan and purpose. He also worked on my heart. I've been reminded life is about so much more than what we do, it's about what God is doing in us. So, if you find yourself in the midst of change now, here are a few things to remember -

Don't fear change, fear God!
"And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day." Deuteronomy 6:24

          Don't fear the change circumstances bring, trust God to use the circumstances He's created.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

      Sometimes God changes the circumstances around so that He can change the heart within us.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

      When God changes the desires of your heart be willing to surrender your plans for the future. 
"Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

The center of God's will is the safest place to be.

"And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23


I don't know what change you are facing, but I'm certain change will forever be part of our earthly lives. Instead of it being something we dread or fear, let's make it something we embrace. May we see it as an opportunity to not only serve God in a new way or different arena, but a place to allow Him to do work in our hearts that hasn't been done before.

Friend, I didn't get to this place overnight, I've wrestled with the change that is taking place for quite awhile and that's OK. God can handle my questions and He's been patient with me in the process. He's been faithful to speak through His Word and guide me with His Spirit. I've had to seek and surrender, but I trust He will supply and transform. I'm grateful to know no matter what change comes, my God, my good heavenly Father will never change - He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

He's walked with me, and you, through change before, He will do it again!

For my mom friends facing change - Do you remember any fear of change before your first child was born? Me too! The same God who walked us through that will be with us when they go to kindergarten, leave for college or find themselves walking down the aisle.

For my working friends - Have you faced work related change in the past? God's been there with you through it all, He's with you in the current change as well.

For my friends in the ministry - Like me are you facing change? Is God leading you away from a ministry team or speaking ministry? Please join me in remembering, ministry isn't about hosting an event or speaking from a stage. It's about sharing Christ, proclaiming the Truth and living our faith...even when our arena changes, ministry remains the same!

With all this said, I don't know what these changes will mean for my blog. So friend, please know I'm grateful for the time you've spent reading words God's led me to share and if He puts more on my heart, I pray He'll use them once again. I'll still be living on the farm and learning lessons in our fields and on the basketball court, so perhaps He'll provide time for me to share. Until then, I'd love to hear how you've learned to walk through the changes life brings. What advice to do you have to share? Do you have wisdom from the Word we can cling to? If so, I invite you to leave a comment! Thank you and God bless!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Rejection

The title of this post is not the most inviting, but rejection is a reality. It doesn't just happen on the basketball court, but in life. It's something that affects relationships and our heart. It happens when we're young and even as we grow old. It hurts, but it can serve a purpose. I'd love for you to join me today at The Encouragement Cafe and learn more about this "Unexpected Opportunity!" Click HERE to read my devotional.

I'd love to hear about your experience with rejection and I encourage you to move beyond the pain and hurt. Let's share today about how God has used this trial.

In the midst of rejection, how have you experienced His protection, provision and presence?

Your shared experience just might encourage and comfort someone who's walking where you once stood. Thank you friend!!

Dear Heavenly Father, Lord thank you for being bigger than the rejection I experience. Thank you for the reminder that you work all things together for the good of those who love you. Thank you for your loving protection, endless provision and continual presence. Give me eyes to see you, a heart that seeks you and a mind that rests in your Truth. May my faith be stronger than my feelings. Don't ever let me forget that no matter what happens, you will never reject me. Thank you for your love Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Daily Chores


Growing up as a farm girl, chores weren’t always my favorite thing. There were times I’d forget them and others I’d complain about them. When they interrupted my plans, I really didn’t like them. As a farmer’s wife, I’m sorry to say there have been times I felt the same about these daily tasks.  

Feeding the cattle can’t be neglected even when the big game is on. The cow must be milked even when there’s a wedding to attend. Chores need to be done when you’re healthy and even when you’re sick. When the sun is shining or the snow is falling. It’s a given: chores are a part of life on the farm.

Whether you call yourself a farm girl or not, there are parts of your daily routine that can’t go undone. It’s a part of life: there are things we have to do and that fact is true in a spiritual sense as well.

As disciples of Jesus, salvation is a gift. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our LORD.” Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us we can’t earn our salvation – “for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Friend, these verses are encouraging and bring freedom, but as followers of Christ there are things for us to do. In John 15:4 Jesus says, “Remain in me, as I also 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.” Accepting Christ brings salvation, but remaining in Him produces fruit. Salvation is a one-time experience, but abiding needs to be a daily practice.

As Christians we have daily chores…
PRAYER

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”  (Colossians 4:2)

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:12)

the prayer of the upright pleases him.” (Proverbs 15:8b)

Scripture clearly tells us prayer is important, which is why it has become my first daily chore. I’m a writer, so I tend to journal my prayers, but I encourage you to find the method that works best for you. Praying out loud from your heart, writing prayers, praying prayers others have shared…there’s really no right or wrong way. On days when it’s hard to pray, remember the Spirit intercedes!

READING THE WORD

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8)

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)

Obviously the Word of God is powerful (Hebrews 4:12) and purposeful (2 Timothy 3:16-17), but we won’t receive the benefits of it without reading it, which is why it’s another daily chore we must do. Again, there are different ways to do this, but the important thing is we spend time in Scripture. Remember we don’t have to tackle it all at once. A farmer feeds the cattle a little bit every day, as believers we can do the same. Simply choose a book of the Bible to work through and read a bit each day.  Find a list of verses related to a topic and work through them during your daily quiet time. Take your time and read the Word…it’s about quality, not quantity.

WORSHIP

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.” (Psalm 100:1-2)

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1)

Worship is something we must take seriously and do daily. I’ve found it’s beneficial to begin my day with worship. Some days this looks like being still and listening to a worship song. Others it’s putting Romans 12:1 to prayer and asking God to help me offer my body, my life, my day to Him as worship. And sometimes, it’s adding to my thankful list as I praise God for who He is and all He’s done.

In closing, I want to share a lesson I’ve learned from my husband. He is a farmer, who willingly does his daily chores. Through the years, he’s helped me look at chores differently. They are not something he dreads, but instead work he enjoys. These jobs require work and sacrifice, but he’s never willing to compromise because he knows they serve a purpose. His daily chores are part of his calling and help him provide for his family.

Friend, if you and I move past seeing these disciplines as a duty to perform and instead remember they are daily chores for the Christian our perspective will change and motivation will increase. We’ll embrace the work that makes our faith grow and do the “chores” that strengthen our relationship with our Creator!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for calling me your own. Help me know you better and serve you more. Like the farmer, may I embrace my daily chores and be a disciple who prays, reads the Word and worships you. Equip me to do this in every season. Give me a desire to feed on your Word, pray from the heart and worship you rightly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

What will you hear?

As a mom of 5 kids, I have plenty of experience with the "Mom, look at this!"stage most children go through. When kids do something or make something, they want a response. They long for encouraging words and praise from those they respect.

Friend, as adults you and I no longer voice these words, but there will be a day when someone takes a look at all we did and offers His response. On judgement day, we want have to ask for Jesus' attention, but will be asked to give an account and my hope is I hear the words the master spoke in Matthew 25:21 and 23 - "Well done good and faithful servant."

These words may be familiar to you, but I want to encourage you to look at them in context a bit more. I recently led a study on the parable of the talents and though it's a passage I've read numerous times, this was my first time really digging into it and I'm thankful I did. I was blessed with new insight, convicted by the truth and encouraged by the promise; I hope you are too!

As we begin I encourage you to capture some initial thoughts - What has God entrusted to you? If you're familiar with the story, what's the purpose of the parable? Now open your Bible to Matthew 25 and read verses 14-30. Any initial thoughts?

First of all a little background, Jesus is speaking to His disciples and sharing various parables about preparing for His return. Matthew, the author of this gospel, is writing to those waiting for Christ's return; clearly his audience hasn't changed today!

Now we're going to break things down a little bit and focus on verses 14 and 15. Who does the man leaving on a journey represent? (For help with this question see John 14:1-3 and Mark 13:34-37.) What did he do before leaving? Does anything strike you about how he did this?

I hope you've captured your thoughts before reading mine...the master entrusted the servants with talents according to their ability. Before you join some in feeling sorry for the servant who only received one let me share this - one talent is approximately $500,000, so they all received something of value. Plus the master knew each servant and gave them what they could handle. If you ever find yourself comparing gifts, opportunities or resources I pray this story comes back to mind. God, our master, our creator knows what He's equipped us to do and handle and has entrusted us with "talents" to fulfill our calling. We have an individual responsibility to handle them rightly; nobody else can do it for me, or you!

Let's move on to the action and read verses 16-18. What did the 3 servants do?

It's clear to see the first 2 went at once and generated a return while the 3rd one dug a hole and buried his talent. In my research I found an interesting rabbinical law that said one who buried money couldn't be held accountable for it. Initially that sounded a bit crazy to me, but as the Holy Spirit worked and my heart softened I began to wonder - Do I bury talents in hopes I won't be accountable? Not a fun question to think about, but definitely one we should consider.

In verses 19-23 we read the first response. What does the master say? Yes, he says the words we all hope to hear, but let's look at this a bit closer. Each servant was ready to give an account and they both produced an increase amount. The servants growth was different, but the master's response was the same. Friend, you've probably heard this before, but I'm going to say it again - God doesn't measure success the same way as the world. His attention isn't on money made or people saved, the master focuses on faithfulness. When it comes to our talents, gifts, resources, time and treasure we don't have to compare our gain to anyone else, but we must be faithful with what we've been entrusted! This may involve taking a risk, stepping out of our comfort zone and walking in holy confidence, but always remember we can trust the One who's entrusted us!

Finally, we read a different response in verses 24-30. What's different about servant number 3? What kept him from investing his talent? How did the master respond?

I find it interesting that servant number 3 is the one trying to explain himself. He claims to know what kind of master he is serving, but truly he doesn't know him. Fear has left him paralyzed and I have to say sometimes it does the same to me. What fear causes you to bury your talent instead of invest it? The master wasn't upset that he'd wasted the talent, but he'd neglected it. Clearly we sin when we do the wrong thing, but we also upset our Lord when we don't do the right thing.

If fear is a struggle for you, I encourage you to read Deuteronomy 10:12-13 and Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 for a closer look.

As we wrap this little lesson up I have a few more questions -
What do we learn about God and Jesus?

What talent are you investing? How? Are you burying any? What? Why?

Friend, God is God. He is creator, master, Lord. To Him and Him alone will we one day answer. He's created us for a purpose. He has good works for each of us to do and better yet He's equipped us accordingly. We don't want to waste His resources or bury His talents. We don't need to hoard them either, because as 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

One day God will reward the faithful and punish the unfaithful. Those who know and trust Him will receive His praise! So today, let's get busy for God!

If you want to dig a bit deeper, I encourage you to look at the following passages and think about the questions I pose. May the Holy Spirit help you discern the living and active Word of God as you search the scriptures and seek the Lord.

Mark 12:41-44 - Again, what's the Lord's focus? Why is comparison so dangerous?

Matthew 5:13-16 - How do I hide the light? What talents can I use to shine light?

Luke 19:11-27 - Will I faithfully use what God has entrusted?

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 - Do I give in faith? When I invest talents is my focus on earthly wealth or spiritual rewards?

Luke 12:35-48 - What does being ready for Jesus return look like?

1 Corinthians 15:58 - How can I use God's resources to do His work?

Friend, if you are still reading please hear this - "Thank you!" I know time is limited, so I greatly appreciate you spending some with me. If you work through this study, I'd love to hear your take-aways. It's always a joy to see what God is saying to you and blessing to learn from your insights! Let's pray...

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being a master we can know and trust. May we grow closer each and every day. Give us eyes to see the talents you've entrusted to us. Fill us with your Holy Spirit so we can know how to use our talents wisely. May we invest them for your glory and kingdom growth. And Father, with humble hearts we ask you to show us if we are burying talents. Thank you for the grace you offer and promises you provide. Help us be faithful. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

An Emergency


 “Mom, hurry!! It’s a mergency!!” The words I heard as I opened the door and was greeted by my then 5 year old son.

After being told to avoid the mud, J.D. and his 3 year old sister, Joy, had left the house to visit their dad in the shop. Not much time passed and J.D. returned in a bit of panic. He was missing a boot and covered in mud when he proceeded to tell me, “Come quick! Joy’s stuck in the mud!!”

We rounded the side of the house and found our stationary princess. It truly was an "emergency" which was handled rather quickly. Nothing that dad’s strong arms and the water house couldn’t take care of.

Much has happened in the 10 years that have passed, but we continue to laugh at the story and smile at the pictures. Today though I thought of this story for a different reason…

God’s been showing me there are some things in my heart and on my mind that He needs to deal with. Realizing this is good and important, but it’s not enough. I need to do something about it; I must join God in the process. I need to surrender and search the Scriptures. I must trust and obey. And friend, these things take time and effort; transformation doesn’t happen overnight.

I started realizing some of this almost 10 days ago, but have yet to really commit to digging in and doing the work. It’s not a life and death situation and it won’t make or break a relationship, but yet it’s important, which got me thinking.

My children’s "emergency" from years ago had to be dealt with, my friend battling cancer needs medical attention and my daughter’s friend with a broken arm made a quick trip to the hospital. When it comes to our physical and health needs, we are pretty quick to seek help. We follow that up by obeying the Dr.’s orders, but what happens when it’s a spiritual emergency or a condition of our spiritual heart?

Like me, do you ever find yourself aware of something that needs to change, a sin that needs to stop or lies that need to be replaced with Truth? If we are walking with the Lord and He's doing His sanctifying work, it will happen. Clearly God will do His part, but friend, will you and I do our's?

Thankfully, not every spiritual heart check leads to an emergency, but I believe I need to do a better job responding so it doesn't do just that. As a wife and mom, I constantly have needs to meet and regardless of your roles or titles life has demands for you too. As women we care for others, but there comes a time we must remember we need to take care of ourselves as well.

In life's emergencies, we're quick to push pause and set things aside, what if we did the same for spiritual ones? When we are sick and our bodies demand rest, we eventually take time off. Shouldn't we do the same when our hearts are broken and our souls need rest?

Friend, our lives all look different, our spiritual health is unique and our heart conditions vary, but our God is the same. He wants us healthy. His Son made a way for us to be free and He promises us rest. Take some time today to let the One who created your heart, examine it. Then make yourself available and allow Him the time to heal it. Let the One who knows your thoughts, renew your mind. Ask Him to replace the lies you believe with the Truth of His Word.

In life, emergencies are no fun, in a spiritual sense they aren't either. Today I pray we make the choice my children didn't years ago...let's obey our heavenly Father and listen to His direction.

1 Corinthians 619-20 says, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." These words alone should encourage us to take care of our body, mind and heart. 

"Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." (1 Peter 5:7-9) Avoiding spiritual emergencies isn't easy when Satan is constantly on the attack, but through prayer and reading the Word it is possible. 

Friend, if we want to care for others, we must care for ourselves. We can do just that by living out the command in Romans 12:1-2 - "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

There really aren't many "emergencies" like the one my children faced in the pictures above; more often than not we recall them with tears instead of laughs. You and I can work to avoid a spiritual emergency if we take the time to go to God and let Him take care of us. Will you do that today?