The race was prepared to start, the final hurdles were being set in place. The girls and boys began to gather behind the start line. Waiting, I turned my attention and camera lens towards the launching pole vaulters, snapping rapidly as they soared high above me. I quickly turned back to see if the hurdlers had begun...watching as the kids scrambled, then huddled together, joining hands in a large circle at the starting line.
"Wow, what's going on? I've never seen that before a race? Can it be?" I thought to myself.
Yes it was exactly what I thought. A young high school girl stepped out in bold faith, gathering together two rival, competing schools in prayer before they raced.
What amazing courage!
She wasn't worried about perception, she didn't care where she was or how many people would actually join her or ridicule her. She felt she needed to pray and invited others to do the same. She stepped forward, stepped up and proclaimed who she relied on and what she stood for in bold, unwavering faith.
How many of us can honestly say that we would have that kind of courage?
The Lord is calling each of us to let go of our fears. Let go of the worry of perception. Step out, step up and move forward in faith, trusting Him in all things. Doing the things he's put on your heart, moment by moment, day by day. Moving past and beyond any fear that has grabbed hold of you over the years. Allowing His unending love to fill the holes of hurt, pain, disappointment and fears that have pierced your heart. He will repair and restore you, moving you forward into all that He's calling you to do. Pray for His will for your life and ask for the courage to move towards it. Putting a child like trust in your Heavenly Father, allowing Him to guide, protect and show you the way from darkness into light.
Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." John 5:17
"How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?" John 5:44
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." John 13:7
Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" John 11:40
Monday, April 25, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
story & photo by: lisa petrarca
Struggling under the weight of worry, fear and anguish over my son being attacked and kicked in the head...I found myself praying and listening to praise music all the way to work one day last week.
The burden was too heavy and I asked my Father in Heaven to please carry it for me. Continuing to feel the stifling heaviness as I exited the freeway, I pulled up behind a car. Staring at the license plate in front of me.
It hit like a brick between my eyes, as I read, "LET ME!"
I realized that I was holding on too tightly, I wasn't allowing the Lord to work in the situation. I was too focused, too close to the problem, my mind suffocatingly clamped over all that was going on, I wasn't allowing the Lord's peace to come in and take over. I needed to take a deep breath, mentally step back and allow my Heavenly Father to help me handle what I was feeling, with His immeasurable love, comfort and understanding.
As I sat in church a few days later, looking out the window as we sang, I noticed a father with two young children playing at the park. He was flying a kite while the little girl and boy ran around him, smiling, laughing, carefree...looking up at their father with complete and total trust and love.
Our Heavenly Father wants us to do the same with Him. Lay your problems and worry's down at His feet today. Spend some carefree time with Him, He will protect, guide and love you. He will handle all that you've been carrying, He is calling out to you, "LET ME!"
Job 26:1-4 "How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble! What advice you have offered to one without wisdom! And what great insight you have displayed! Who has helped you utter these words? And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
Job 26:7-14 "He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight. He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it. He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness. The pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke...And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?"
Monday, April 11, 2011
The Lord wants us to let go & trust that HE is able to do ALL things:
"I am in control! I created the Heavens & earth, the wind, ocean and sky, my word will not return to Me void. This battle is not yours, but Mine. Surrender it completely over to Me and watch My work fulfilled to its completeness. I am in control! Let go of the firm grasp you have over the situation. Release it into My Strong, Capable Hands.
I am willing, are you?
My work is not yet complete, don't interfere with what I am doing. Step aside and walk behind Me, not in front of Me. I'm clearing a path. A road which is rarely taken, the road of Trust, knowing that I AM GOD. Your help comes from Me as I shine my light upon every situation. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, FOR I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS!"
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7
Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge; for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips, So that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth. That you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?" Proverbs 22:17-21
"Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him." Proverbs 30:5 "A man's steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way?" Proverbs 20:24
"He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:13-14
Monday, April 4, 2011
It was the big day, I took my son to school early, visited with people for a few minutes, then headed home. He wasn't presenting until 10:30, and it was only 8:30, plenty of time to do a Bible study/devotional message and get back before the big presentation started. Time flew by, at 10:00, I noticed my hair had gone flat and frizzy from the early morning beach air. I decided to re-curl it (thinking I still had plenty of time.) We arrived at the school by 10:25, but...the door to my sons presentation room was shut. We were not allowed to go in!
The kids, blocking the closed door, informed us that they were running ahead of schedule and decided to send them in early. I was so angry! My son had been working on this business project for months. I didn't hide the fact that I was upset, (as the tears threatened to pour down my cheeks,) I stood at the door, face pressed close to the tiny glass window, watching my son, in his black suit, standing handsomely in front of the judges, calmly portraying confidence and poise, as he presented the groups closing remarks and answered several questions.
I wanted to bust through that door and dare those kids to try and stop me!
But I didn't, I just stood there, seething with anger and frustration, blaming the kids for allowing it to start early, as they singled out the boy, who was the master mind behind the sabotage to keep me out. His face was red, as he tried to explain what happened and why he let them go early.
LET THE BLAME GAME BEGIN!
Who's fault was it? Did it change the fact that I wasn't there to support my son? Did it change the fact that "I" chose to curl my hair instead of getting there 15 minutes early? G U L P...yes, there it was! As I blamed them and they blamed the boy, ultimately it came down to ME! My issues with being late to EVERYTHING! Yet another conviction in this area. But this one not only hurt me, but my son too.
In what area of your life are you playing the blame game? Is there something that keeps popping up over and over again, causing you to give excuses and get angry? Yes? Then it's time to stop pointing the finger...you're trapped in this deceptive game too. The important thing is to recognize that you're part of the problem (it's not always everyone else.) Once you realize you need help in a certain area, then begin to pray and ask the Lord for His help. Break the 'blame game' cycle and take responsibility for your actions, the Lord will guide you in truth as He helps you change.
Tend your vine, water the areas that need it, get rid of the heavy, dead branches that hold it back from growing.
Jonah 4:10 But the Lord said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight."
Hosea 11:4 "I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them."
Hosea 10:12 "Sow for yourselves righteousness, 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 righteousness on you.