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Rewriting Psalm 143 – Great Exercise!

So, I was having a hard time connecting with God recently. I would pray and read my Bible, but I just felt like I was on auto-pilot. I got easily distracted and often forgot what I read (even in the middle of a sentence!) If I started praying, I’d quickly find myself crossing off items on my grocery list in my head, without actually ever finishing the prayer.

Thankfully a friend suggested I make one small change – and I can honestly say it has changed my prayer life dramatically! Instead of just reading the bible, she encouraged me to rewrite each verse in my own words.

When I sat down, took the time to read each word and then rewrite it in my own words, it’s like the Bible came to life in whole new way. I think it’s true that God speaks to us all in different ways – which is why I think this exercise is so helpful for anyone. When you rewrite the verses and then read them back to yourself – it’s like reading a story written JUST FOR YOU.

Check out the example I did below. I hope this exercise helps you to connect with God more fully too. Enjoy!

Today I translated Psalm 143

{you can do any chapter}

Here’s the original scripture:

Lord, hear my prayer,
    listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
    come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment,
    for no one living is righteous before you.
The enemy pursues me,
    he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
    like those long dead.
So my spirit grows faint within me;
    my heart within me is dismayed.
I remember the days of long ago;
    I meditate on all your works
    and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;
    I thirst for you like a parched land.[a]

Answer me quickly, Lord;
    my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
    or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.

11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life;
    in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
    destroy all my foes,
    for I am your servant.

Here’s my translation:

Hey God, it’s me!
    are you listening?
You are faithful and righteous, it’s true.
    please, open your ears to hear me.
I know you are righteous to judge
    and no man on earth is above you.
But the truth is, I know the enemy is prowling around
    he lurks around and threatens me
he wants to lure me into darkness
    into a place that is quiet and dead.
And my spirit within me is growing weak
    my heart literally feels broken
I remember good days from long ago
    And even now I meditate on Your greatness
    and think about the amazing things you have created
I open my arms to you
    I thirst for your truth like dry land

7 Please don’t wait
    alone, I will fail
Don’t be quiet,
    or else I fear I will whither away
As the morning dawns, may I be reminded of your unceasing LOVE
    no matter what, my trust is in YOU
Give me a sign – where should I take my next step?
    I will surrender my life over and over again for you.
Keep me safe from people who want me to fail
    in you, I’m protected
10 Please teach me to do YOUR will
    and remind me there’s no other God but YOU.
Holy spirit within me
    keep me level headed

11 Your name is above all other names Lord. Preserve me.
    In your righteousness, align me with Your will.
12 Show your great love for me and guard me from people who hate me.
    If anyone is against you, don’t let them propsper
    I just want to serve you…

 

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Day 5 Devotional: What is a Pinion?

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~ Psalms‬ ‭91:4‬ ‭ESV‬ 

Well tonight I learned that a pinion is the outer part of a bird’s wing, including the flight feathers. Pretty neat huh?

Jesus is all about  making sure we are fully covered, and also entrusts us with the same task – to protect and completely cover  what we’ve been given.

I forget what verse, but in the Bible we are given the commission to be disciples and go out amongst all nations, covering the ends of the earth to share the story of Jesus – Likewise Jesus himself spreads his wings and spills his blood to cover us, until the end of himself.

I may be drawing parallels that were never intended, but nonetheless,  it feels good to ponder about pinions and the protection of God tonight. Much better than scrolling through my Twitter feed.

 

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Healing in Christ Alone

We look to alcohol to fulfill us with fun. 

We ask for our job to give us meaning. 

We search within for answers unknown. 

We desire the greenest grass beyond our reach. 

It isn’t until…

We surrender our hearts to God. 

We seek His ways above our own. 

We need more of Him than our idols. 

We want his path and forsake our own. 

That we find continual rest, renewal and pure truth. 

I wish I didn’t fight against you every day, my Lord. 

I wish I accepted your plan and laid down my own. 

For the glory of it all. 

I pray for every brother and sister who takes breath in you today that you would renew our minds in Christ Jesus. It’s a new day. Amen. 

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Pray for Ryan: Daily Encouragement

pray for Ryan

So, I have it on my heart to get a movement going where we can offer daily encouragement to our dearest friend Ryan. He was given the news several weeks ago that his stupid AML cancer is trying to retaliate against him for the second time. He is battling like the champ that he is, but I know that it will only help if we band together and lift him up in prayer and positive thoughts.

So here’s my idea – and please let me know if you have any other ideas! Please comment below with your words of encouragement. Whether it’s a prayer. A memory with Ryan. A wish for him. A vision you have. Words of wisdom. Desires for healing. Whatever it is that will provide some positivity and love, please please share your thoughts. The idea is that we will have enough prayers and comments that Ryan can read one a day (or how many he wants a day) for as long as we can keep this thing going…

Thank you for your love. Let’s take on this battle with our brother. Let’s fight with him. Mourn with him. Rejoice with him.

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Not Another Pretty Post

stand firm in Christ

Sometimes truth is clothed in thorns

Your heart gets overtaken, tattered and torn

Sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan

What you thought you had, no longer stands

When everything around you is ripped away

What is it that will make you stay?

Is it integrity or heart or internal drive?

Is it your own source of power that will make you thrive?

Not for me, not for this woman

It’s Jesus that’s alive, it’s Him who lives within

I can’t stand on my own two feet

They wobble, they shake, they fall, I am beat

Lord lift me up – give me clarity

Open my eyes that are blind, help me see

I never had it all figured out

I know that now, and I want to shout!

You and Your plans will always stand

It’s You who makes me steadfast, by Your right hand

I will lean on You in this pain

I will trust that only in Christ there is gain

There’s no profit in my own motives and desires

Only the Lord knows how my future transpires

I trust in you. I trust in you my God.

I lay my head down and my hands applaud

I’ll clap, I’ll sing, I’ll rejoice in You

For in the end, and the beginning, You were always true

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Happy Valentine’s Day: Thank You, Times a Million

Hi all,

I just wanted to thank you all again from the bottom of my heart. Ryan and I have been so extremely blessed by each and every one of our family members, wonderful friends, brothers and sisters at Park Church, and even some people who we’ve never met. I’ve had unexpected calls and texts from friends, like Gavin who called me and prayed for me over the phone, and Kyle Bateson (my pastor from Living Stones) to let me know him and his wife Amanda are praying for us. I’ve become closer friends with all of Ryan’s friends (who are now my friends!) Alyson and Dani took me to dinner one night just to talk. Kayleen has been pouring into me with prayer, uplifting words, and continual encouragement. Danielle Edison surprised Ryan and I with a card and goodies. My mom has been checking in every day and sent us an awesome care package. My brother (and can I brag for a moment – brilliant physician) Jason, has been an advocate for Ryan’s health and has given us expert tips, advice, and help with the medical aspect. Also his emotional support and words of encouragement have been a great shield when storms have arisen.

Josh Harmony, our Godly friend (and no big deal, professional skateboarder) stopped by the hospital to sing hymns, worship songs, and pray with Ryan.

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The “Bald Eagles” as I call them, banned together and shaved their heads as a movement to support Ryan.

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Can’t forget our pastor Jeff who joined in too. He usually doesn’t look this creepy in real life. Well actually, I take that back. 😉

jeff

Brent Meyers – you and your wifey are amazing at uplifting our spirits, literally! 🙂 #bromance

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Brent also put together this event for Ryan! Go check it out:

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Tons of friends and family have been donating blood and platelets for Ryan (and eating icecream to avoid passing out.) Thank you so much!

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And we’ve been blessed beyond belief by visitors galore! Ryan’s friend Melody drove 8 hours from Northern California just to be here for us!

And look at these hotties:

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Thank you Adriana and Greg for bringing Ryan delicious meals so he could skip hospital food. Thank you for your support. Thank you for being such wonderful friends and encouraging us with the word of Christ. Thank you for all you do and continue to do for us. Thank you for your prayers. (Oh sheesh I could go on forever.)

Scarlett and Aaron, Channell and Byron, Ashley and Austin, Erica and Michael, my brother Keithy, April and Nando, Cindy, Shelly, Kolli, Aria, Megan, Sarah…(oh my gosh, did I mention I could go on forever???) Please forgive me if you don’t see your name here, but please know that it’s etched into my heart. Each and every one of you – thank you, times a million.

P.S. If you have any pictures with Ryan or any that show your support, please send them to me: or just use the hashtag #ryankicksleukemiasbutt on FB and Instagram! I’m planning on doing another blog post soon.

xOxO

God bless,

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