The Power of Water

I recently returned from a much needed week long family vacation in CA and am excited to feel so energized and refreshed! We had a blast visiting family…Disneyland and CA Adventure…and 3 different beaches on 3 separate days!

On one particular day at the beach, the waves were so outrageously big that unfortunately we couldn’t even go in the water. The lifeguard mentioned they were on higher alert because a hurricane near Hawaii was causing these waves to be so big. And trust me…they were gigantic!

My boys…however…were completely content building a sand castle and digging in the sand. As I watched them work hard making their sand castle, a huge wave crashed and the water traveled all the way up to the where the boys were building their sand castle. And in an instant the sand castle disappeared. Completely gone…just like that!

Watching these huge waves crash…wave after wave…and seeing it’s powerful impact on my boys’ sand castle, I began to think about the powerful nature of the ocean and the powerful nature of our God who created it.

We see the powerful impact of water in our world today whether it’s the strength of the ocean washing a human life away…the devastation of a flood wiping a city away…or the tragedy of a tsunami demolishing a coastline.

Water is certainly powerful and even though these unfortunate negative effects of water are present in our world today…God created water and actually uses the symbolism of water in the Bible to demonstrate powerful and significant benefits for us as Christians.

“Water” is mentioned 722 times in both the Old and New Testaments.

That is less than “God” … “Jesus” … “heaven” …or “love” …but many more times than “faith”… “hope”… “prayer”…or even “worship”!

So interesting! Clearly there is significance in understanding the symbolism of water!

Now…in the Bible even though water may symbolize troublesome times in life that can and do come to human beings…especially God’s children (You can check some of those verses out on your own Psalm 32:6, Psalm 69:1-2,14-15, Isaiah 43:2) …Water also does symbolize powerful positive benefits for us as Christians.

There are many parallels made with “natural/ physical” water and with the symbolism of “spiritual” water.

Water is first mentioned and created by our Almighty God in the book of Genesis.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:1-2 NIV

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. Genesis 1:20 AKJV

1.Just as water is symbolic of life in the natural/ physical, it is also symbolic of life…eternal life…spiritually. Water is symbolic of God’s salvation and eternal life which God offers us all through faith in His Son.

This thought in Genesis is again repeated in the New Testament in John 3 when Nicodemus…a ruler of the Jews…is asking questions of Jesus.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5 ESV

Notice here…the water birth (physical) comes before the Spirit birth (spiritual).

We see the reality of this when a woman is in labor and the baby is about to be born. We wait for the ‘waters to break’ which surround the baby until birth. We cannot be spiritually re-born until we have first been naturally born.

Have you been “born again” and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

2.Just as natural water is used for cleansing and washing…water is symbolic of spiritual cleansing that comes with the acceptance of God’s offer of salvation.

Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22NLT

Water also symbolizes cleansing of our hearts and conscience through water baptism.

and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1Peter 3:20-21

Have you been water baptized?

3.Just as water is refreshment to our bodies…so too is water symbolic of spiritual refreshment. Water symbolizes the Holy Spirit and is referred to as “living water”.

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. John 7:37-39 NIV

But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life. John 4:14 NLT

Do you rely on the Holy Spirit to refresh you when you are feeling weary and tired?

4.Just as water is necessary for the purification and nourishment of our bodies…water is symbolic of God’s Word which also purifies and gives us spiritual nourishment.

…to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. Ephesians 5:26 NLT

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. Psalm 42:1 NIV

The Word of God is the pure water for which our souls thirst.

Do you feed and nourish yourself with God’s Word on a daily basis?

Water is powerful!

And just as the power of water is seen in our natural/physical world…so too is the power of water and its spiritual symbolism seen in the Bible.

Water has such great symbolism in the Bible and God uses this symbolism to demonstrate powerful and significant benefits for us as Christians such as salvation/eternal life…cleansing and washing through baptism…refreshment from the Holy Spirit…and purification and nourishment through God’s Word.

Reflection Points:

  1. Have you been “born again” and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
  2. Have you been water baptized?
  3. Do you rely on the Holy Spirit to refresh you when you are feeling weary and tired?
  4. Do you feed and nourish yourself with God’s Word on a daily basis?


Action Points:

1.Jesus wants us to come to Him just as we are. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior…it’s as simple as Romans 10:9.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

2.Water baptism is a public pledge of a good conscience toward God. Please note: Being baptized does not save you. Jesus was water baptized by his cousin John the Baptist and since Jesus is our model we too should get water baptized.

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

3.When we feel weary or tired, we can rely upon the Holy Spirit who will strengthen us.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NLT

3.It is so important that we are feeding and nourishing ourselves with God’s Word on a daily basis. Just as we wouldn’t think about not feeding our body physically each day, we should be disciplined in spending time reading God’s Word and praying on a daily basis.



A Place of Decision

I was recently reminded of a sweet memorable moment when my youngest son Bryce was a baby.

I remember on this one occasion when Bryce crawled towards a little toy car that he desired. When he reached the toy car, he grabbed it with his left hand. He seemed quite content with his newly found toy car…but then after a brief period of time, he noticed a much bigger toy car a short distance away.

He attempted to crawl forward toward the bigger toy car but was unsuccessful because he was still holding the little toy car. He could not move forward. He couldn’t figure out that he had to let go of the little toy car so he could use both hands and feet to crawl over to the bigger toy car.

Even though he desired the bigger toy car, he would not let go of the little toy car and ended up sitting in this one place for a long time until he eventually became frustrated and began crying. Holding onto this little toy car prevented him from moving forward.

He had to choose to either continue holding onto the little toy car and remain where he was …or choose to let it go and move forward toward the bigger toy car.

Bryce was at a place of decision.

In the Bible, the Israelites were also at a place of decision…but a place of decision with far greater consequences than a baby choosing between a little toy car and a bigger toy car.

Kadesh-barnea…referred to as a “place of decision” …was a significant place where the course of Israel’s history was changed.

The word “kadesh” comes from the Hebrew root qadash which means “holy or sacred” and “barnea” means “desert of wandering.”

Kadesh-barnea (this holy desert of wanderings) was a gateway to the Promised Land for the Israelites. It was from Kadesh-barnea that the 12 spies were sent into the land of Canaan.

19 Then, as the Lord our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and dreadful wilderness that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea. 20 Then I said to you, “You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. 21 See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

22 Then all of you came to me and said, “Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to.”

23 The idea seemed good to me; so I selected twelve of you, one man from each tribe. 24 They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshkol and explored it.

25 Taking with them some of the fruit of the land, they brought it down to us and reported, “It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving us.” Deuteronomy 1:19-25

What is so interesting is that this scouting expedition was not God’s idea! Moses liked the idea and God allowed it…but the idea originated with the Israelites!

If the Israelites had believed and trusted God…the scouting expedition would have been completely unnecessary.  God already told them He would give them the land.  All they had to do was go forward. Going forward would mean no more wandering through the desert.

It should have been an easy decision to make…but the Israelites worried, complained, and murmured because they didn’t trust God. Consequently, they wandered in the desert for approx. 40 years! (One theory is that that during these 38 years they remained in and about Kadesh…hence the name.)

Are you experiencing our own Kadesh-barnea today? Are you at your own “place of decision” like the Israelites?

Maybe at your own Kadesh-barnea you have been in a place of discouragement or defeat…

Maybe at your own Kadesh-barnea you have been in a place of hurt or pain…

Maybe at your own Kadesh-barnea you have been in a place of anxiousness or fear…

Maybe at your own Kadesh-barnea you have been in a place of bitterness, resentment, or unforgiveness…

Maybe at your own Kadesh-barnea you have been in a place of grumbling and complaining…

Maybe at your own Kadesh-barnea you have been in place of dryness and complacency spiritually…

How long have you been in this place? And how long is long enough?

FYI…If you are going through a difficult loss or tragedy…of course it takes time to heal and I do not minimize your suffering. I speak to those who have chosen to stay in their Kadesh-barnea for a very long time…who have chosen to wander around in the desert…thus preventing and holding them back from receiving all that God has for them.

Are you trusting God today? Are you ready to move forward into the blessings and promises of God?

Just like the Israelites…this is a place of decision. We can choose to stay…and continue to wander…or we can choose to move forward.

God wants you to move forward!

Interestingly, God promised to bring the Israelites to the Promised Land way before they ever even reached Kadesh-barnea. Unfortunately, the Israelites didn’t believe God then…and clearly didn’t believe Him at Kadesh-barnea as well.

6 Therefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments:

7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it to you for a heritage: I am the LORD. Exodus 6:6-8

God will bring you out…So that He can bring you in!

Notice that it is God…and His power…that will bring us out. So that God…and His power…can bring us into the blessings, promises, and plans for our life!

But it is in our “place of decision” that we must trust Him.

How can we trust God and begin moving forward?

1. Ponder 

Ponder and reflect upon what is holding you back from moving forward. Comfort, complacency, disobedience, pride, lack of faith to name a few?

2. Pray 

Pray and ask God for His strength to move forward. Share with Him your feelings and ask for His help. Ask for His forgiveness.

3. Pursue 

Pursue God and spend time with Him. Read His word daily for encouragement and wisdom. Your eyes will become open to the many promises and blessings He has in store for you!

4. Prune 

Prune the unhealthy areas of your life that aren’t producing fruit. These areas may just be the reason why you aren’t moving forward. This includes pruning and letting go of people in your life who are not encouraging you in your relationship with Jesus and are actually pulling you further away from Him.

5. Practice 

Practice and do what God’s word says. Be obedient to God’s commands. He will reward you in your faithfulness and obedience to Him.

6. Participate 

Participate in weekly church services, bible studies, and small groups to develop Christian friendships and relationships that will help you and encourage you to keep moving forward.

God wants to bring you out so that He can bring you into the blessings, promises, and plans he has for your life!

If you are at your own Kadesh-barnea today, then make an intentional decision to move forward! Trust God and Rely on Him!

Reflection Points:

  1. Are you experiencing our own Kadesh-barnea today? Are you at your own “place of decision” like the Israelites?
  2. How long have you been in this place? And how long is long enough?
  3. Are you trusting Him today? Are you ready to move forward into the blessings and promises of God?
  4. How can we trust God and begin moving forward?

Action Points:

We can trust God and begin to move forward if we ponder, pray, pursue, prune, practice, participate. Review these above.

Hurry Up! …and Wait.

Hurry up! …and wait. Have you ever felt this way?

I am for the most part a very punctual person. I am usually on time…or even early for just about everything…even with my 2 boys and their craziness!

Just the other day…I was rushing to an appointment and I made it right on time. Thank goodness! I checked in and then sat down in the waiting room. And I waited…and waited …and waited. Finally, I was called in by the nurse.

I hurried…rushed…probably sped (not recommended) to this appointment…only to wait in the waiting room. I did my part…getting there on time…but I had to rely on someone else’s timetable to be seen.

Have you had a similar experience? I am sure we have all had many!

Waiting rooms are designed for just that…waiting! So why are we so surprised when we actually have to wait?!

Maybe because for some reason waiting in waiting rooms is not very comfortable. Waiting rooms are a place of inaction…or lack of activity. And that’s why in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other places…the personnel often offer coffee, drinks, and sometimes even food to those who are waiting in order to make them more comfortable. There are magazines to read and even TV’s to watch.

But does that really make us comfortable? Even with these amenities, who would choose to spend their time…just waiting?

Even the Psalmist expressed his uncomfortable feelings when he wrote Psalm 130:6…

My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning… NIV (Not very exciting and notice he repeated himself too!)

In this modern day and age…no one likes to wait…for anything! And what makes it harder and more frustrating is when your waiting is dependent upon someone else and their timetable…especially God.

Are you waiting on God for something in your life today?

Our lives in this world are God’s waiting room.

I absolutely love this excerpt I recently came across from Max Lucado’s book “You’ll Get Through This” called God’s Waiting Room. He says…

Take a moment and look around you. Do you realize where we sit? This planet is God’s waiting room. T

The young couple in the corner? Waiting to get pregnant. The fellow with the briefcase? He has resumes all over the country, waiting on work. The elderly woman with the cane? A widow. Been waiting a year for one tearless day. Waiting. Waiting on God to give, help, heal. Waiting on God to come. We indwell the land betwixt prayer offered and prayer answered. The land of waiting.

Are you in God’s waiting room? If so, here is what you need to know: while you wait, God works.

“My Father is always at his work,” Jesus said (John 5:17 NIV). God never twiddles his thumbs. He never stops. He takes no vacations. He rested on the seventh day of creation but got back to work on the eighth and hasn’t stopped since.

Just because you are idle, don’t assume God is. “Be still, and know that I am God” reads the sign on God’s waiting room wall. You can be glad because God is good. You can be still because he is active. You can rest because he is busy.

Remember God’s word through Moses to the Israelites? “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD … The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (Ex. 14:13–14). The Israelites saw the Red Sea ahead of them and heard the Egyptian soldiers thundering after them. Death on both sides.

Stand still? Are you kidding? But what the former slaves couldn’t see was the hand of God at the bottom of the water, creating a path, and his breath from heaven, separating the waters. God was working for them.

God worked for Mary, the mother of Jesus. The angel told her that she would become pregnant. The announcement stirred a torrent of questions in her heart. How would she become pregnant? What would people think? What would Joseph say? Yet God was working for her.

He sent a message to Joseph, her fiance. God prompted Caesar to declare a census. God led the family to Bethlehem. “God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him” (Rom. 8:28 CEV).

To wait, biblically speaking, is not to assume the worst, worry, fret, make demands, or take control. Nor is waiting inactivity. Waiting is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief. To wait is to “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; … not fret” (Psalm 37:7).

So perfectly said!

A key point from this passage is that unlike the waiting in waiting rooms…Waiting is not inactivity in God’s waiting room. And realizing that God is busy doing His part working on our behalf…we need to do our part resting in Him and waiting patiently for Him.

Waiting is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief.

How many of you know that focusing on God is intentional and does take some effort? Actually a lot of effort! Right?!

And because it takes effort…we have a tendency to skip what it takes to focus on God…and just wait…causing us to focus on our situation which is much easier.

How can and should we wait in God’s waiting room?

1.Waiting in God’s waiting room means reminding ourselves and trusting that God is in control no matter what.

A king’s heart is a water stream that the LORD controls; he directs it wherever he pleases. Proverbs 21:1 ISV

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV

2. Waiting in God’s waiting room means we don’t take matters in our own hands when God doesn’t move fast enough! Remember He is not idle. And remember that God’s delays are not necessarily His denials.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. Isaiah 55:8 NLT

3. Waiting in God’s waiting room means praying without ceasing or giving up even when we don’t think He hears us. He hears you!

Be unceasing in prayer [pray perseveringly] …1 Thessalonians 5:17 AMP

I love the Lord, because he has heard [and now hears] my voice and my supplications. Psalm 116:1 AMP

4. Waiting in God’s waiting room means praising and thanking Him through the waiting period. It is amazing how our gratitude will so quickly change our attitude. Thanking and praising Him allows us to focus on His greatness and power.

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

5. Waiting in God’s waiting room means studying God’s Word and His promises.

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. Joshua 1:8 NLT

Waiting in waiting rooms can certainly be hard…but waiting in God’s waiting room…is no doubt…harder especially when you have been waiting a long time.

But we must remind ourselves that God is busy working on our behalf. He is never idle…He is never on vacation…He never twiddles His thumbs…He never stops working. He is doing His part in the waiting room…busy working on our behalf!

So how about you?

Are you doing your part in God’s waiting room?

Reflection Points:

  1. Are you waiting on God for something in your life today?
  2. Is it hard for you to wait in God’s waiting room?
  3. How should we wait in God’s waiting room?

Action Points:

  1. Waiting is not inactivity in God’s waiting room. Waiting is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief. Focusing on God is intentional and takes work.
  2. Be encouraged that we can wait in God’s waiting room by intentionally focusing on God through the practical ways stated above. Review them.





Been Interrupted Lately?

Interruptions! We all have them…Right?

I was actually interrupted trying to write this blog a couple weeks ago and am now just getting back to it!

Whether it’s daily interruptions like your child interrupting you while you are speaking on the phone…the school nurse calling and interrupting you in the middle of a work meeting to pick up your sick kid from school…or your puppy interrupting your sleep because he needs to go potty outside in the middle of the night. Ugh!

Whether it’s life interruptions like an unexpected job loss…an unforeseen medical diagnosis…or an unpredicted loss of a loved one.

Daily interruptions can be hard…and life interruptions can be harder!

What immediately pops into your mind when you hear the word “interruption”?

Inconvenient…frustration…irritation…annoyance…disappointment…even anger…hurt…or pain.

I am not sure when “interruptions” took on such negative terms as these…but that’s how we react and respond to interruptions.

The dictionary defines an “interruption” as “something that causes an activity to stop, break off or cease; the act of breaking the uniformity or continuity of; the state of changing or stopping the sameness or smoothness of something.”

And that’s exactly what interruptions do! They stop something. They stop us in the midst of that “something” we are doing…with no consideration of time and/or importance of that “something.”

Even though interruptions can be brief and temporary and your day may return right back to the normal…Interruptions can sometimes be permanent and life changing to the point that life is never the same again.

Have you been interrupted lately?

Are you facing any daily or life interruptions today?

Did you know that Jesus was interrupted? All the time as a matter of fact!

The question isn’t about how Jesus was interrupted…but what happened when Jesus was interrupted? What happened in Jesus’ interruptions?

There is great significance in each instance that Jesus was interrupted in the Bible. Let’s take a quick look!

While on His way to heal Jairus’ young daughter, Jesus was interrupted by a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. (Clearly an incurable disease) What happened in this interruption? She touched the hem of His garment and she was miraculously healed! (Luke 8:40-48)

While He was sleeping in the boat, Jesus was interrupted and woken up by His disciples who were afraid of a dangerous storm. (No one likes being awoken from sleep…even Jesus I’m sure!) What happened in this interruption? The disciples witnessed the power and authority of Almighty Jesus calming the winds and the storm right before their eyes! (Matthew 8:23-27)

While He was out of town, Jesus was interrupted by Mary and Martha who sent word for Him to come and heal their sick brother Lazarus. (Who actually went from sick to dead when Jesus finally arrived.) What happened in this interruption? Lazarus was raised from the dead and made alive in front of the disciples and a large crowd of people who witnessed Jesus’ power over death! (John 11:1-44)

While He was teaching in a home, Jesus was interrupted by four men who lowered their paralyzed friend from the rooftop of the house. (Talk about an interruption!) What happened in this interruption? The paralyzed man was healed and his sins were forgiven! (Mark 2:1-5)

While He was enjoying a dinner party, Jesus was interrupted by a “sinful” woman who began to pour expensive oil on Him and wiped it off with her hair. (She was actually a prostitute.) What happened in this interruption? The woman was given love and grace and her sins were forgiven! (Luke 7:36-50)

While He was passing through the city of Jericho, Jesus was interrupted by a Zacchaeus…a tax collector…who was up in a tree on the side of the road. (Anything to get a glimpse of Jesus!) What happened in this interruption? Jesus went to His house for dinner and Zacchaeus and his entire family were saved! (Luke 19:1-9)

While on His way to Galilee, Jesus was interrupted when passing through Samaria and meeting a Samaritan woman at the well. (She was drawing water at the unexpected time of 12noon.) What happened in this interruption? This woman who had a “bad” reputation received Jesus’ “living water” and because of her testimony many in the town became believers!

Oh and the list can go on of more examples of Jesus’ interruptions in the Bible!

So what actually happened in these interruptions?

When Jesus was interrupted…people were given love and grace…forgiven…healed…delivered… saved…and witnessed miracles!

Jesus’ interruptions were opportunities…not inconveniences, frustrations, irritations, or annoyances.

Interruptions can be powerful and can impact you and others in a negative way…or positive way. How do you choose to respond to interruptions?

What can you learn in your daily interruptions? What do you think Jesus is trying to teach you in your life interruptions?

I know it isn’t easy…because life interruptions can hit us hard and knock us down for a period of time…but we cannot stay down. With God’s strength, we can get back up!

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT

Interruptions are opportunities. Your life interruptions go beyond your interruption…and beyond you.

How can we turn our interruptions into opportunities?

1.Surrender our agenda…our plans…to God’s will.  

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3 NIV

You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. Proverbs 19:21 NLT

2. Place the needs of others above our wants.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3 NASB

3. See our life’s purpose as ministry.

But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Exodus 9:16 NIV

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT

4.Make ourselves available to God.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 NIV 

The greatest and most important interruption in my life was the day I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

And I can say that this interruption is far from being an inconvenience… frustration… irritation…annoyance… or disappointment!

Many years ago while I was headed down a road of sin and destruction…Jesus interrupted my life. This interruption…this stopping point in my life…this break in my continual life of sin caused me to change my direction and walk down a different road…a road toward Jesus.

I chose to accept and embrace this interruption and give Him first place in my life. And I cannot begin to explain how this interruption has blessed me greatly and created many opportunities for me to serve and minister to others!

If you are a Christian today, then Jesus has interrupted your life. How impactful has this interruption been for you…and beyond you?

Whether we experience daily interruptions or life interruptions or Jesus interruptions…let’s accept and embrace our interruptions and allow God to turn them into opportunities today that affect us… and beyond us!

Reflection Points:

  1. What immediately pops into your mind when you hear the word “interruption”?
  2. How is the word “interruption” defined?
  3. Are you facing any daily or life interruptions today? Did you know that Jesus was interrupted?
  4. What happened in Jesus’ interruptions?
  5. How do you choose to respond to interruptions? What can you learn in your daily interruptions? What do you think Jesus is trying to teach you in your life interruptions?
  6. How can you turn your interruptions into opportunities?

Action Points:

  1. The word “interruptions” has taken on such negative terms as inconvenient…frustration …irritation…annoyance…disappointment…even anger…hurt…or pain.
  2. Jesus was interrupted all the time and there is great significance in each instance that Jesus was interrupted in the Bible. Review the above examples.
  3. When Jesus was interrupted…people were given love and grace…forgiven…healed…delivered… saved…and witnessed miracles! Jesus’ interruptions were opportunities…not inconveniences, frustrations, irritations, or annoyances.
  4. Interruptions can be powerful and can impact you and others in a negative way…or positive way. Interruptions are opportunities. Your life interruptions go beyond your interruption…and beyond you.
  5. Review the above steps on how you can turn your interruptions into opportunities.

Behind the Scenes

When I first saw this flower, I immediately thought about how such a beautiful flower could emerge from such a small narrow crack!


Because many of us know that a flower will bloom when a seed is planted in the right type of soil…is given the right amount of water…and is exposed to the right amount of sunlight. The “right” conditions are so important for optimal growth.

Some of you avid gardeners out there know this…but I learned this the hard way with my boys a few years ago.

My boys were excited to grow a flower and decided to plant some seeds. We had the soil and sunlight right…but the boys didn’t keep up with the water as they should have and we didn’t see anything emerge from the soil. Unfortunately, we didn’t give the seeds the right conditions to grow. My boys were definitely disappointed but…if anything…certainly a good lesson in learning responsibility!

In examining this flower…we can clearly see that these conditions are also not “right” or optimal for growth.

Think about it for a minute…the soil is buried under heavy concrete cement (and most possibly not nutrient-rich) …the water (a rarity here in AZ) would have to trickle through the jagged cement pieces within the crack…and the sunlight could barely reach the trace amount of exposed soil hidden deep inside the crack.

So how could such a beautiful flower emerge from such a small narrow crack? How possibly could this flower have emerged and bloomed?! Well…Only God.

Only God can create such a beautiful flower from what our eyes could only see unfavorable and from what our minds could only deem impossible.

We see limitations…We see less than optimal surroundings…We see no way.

But what we don’t see…is God… “behind the scenes.”

God is working “behind the scenes.”

He has no limitations…He is the master of “optimal” …and He is the way!

The story of Esther in the Bible is truly amazing and such a great example of God working “behind the scenes.” I highly recommend reading Esther’s story if you have never read it. (Esther 1-10)

What is so fascinating about this book is that Esther is one of the books in the Bible… but it never mentions God at all. God is nowhere named in the book nor are there pronouns or oblique references to Him.

Yet God is working “behind the scenes” and even though His name is not in there…. He is actually on every page! Check out these details and see for yourself.

  • The courage of Vashti to disobey the king and not parade before the lustful, leering eyes of drunken officials.
  • The storm that wrecked Xerxes’ 1200 ships so that Greece could defeat the Persians. Otherwise, Europe would be Asian and not influenced by the laws and democracies of Greece and Rome.
  • The choosing of Esther to be the next Queen of Persia.
  • The care and protection of Mordecai for his orphaned cousin, Esther.
  • The overhearing of the assassination plot and the reporting of it by Mordecai.
  • The recording of the foiling of this assassination plot and the credit given to Mordecai.
  • The “sleepless in Susa” night of the king.
  • The choosing of just the right scroll…the opening to just the right lines about Mordecai’s saving the king.
  • The king’s extending the scepter to receive Esther.
  • Haman’s arriving at just the right time on the morning he went to get permission to hang Mordecai. If he had been ten minutes earlier, Haman would have succeeded and history would be totally different.
  • The wisdom to know how to counteract the original edict that could not be revoked.

God was working “behind the scenes” on behalf of Esther and the Jews and His presence is seen so clearly on every page.

Just as God was working “behind the scenes” to bring forth deliverance for the Jews in the story of Esther…just as He was working “behind the scenes” to bring forth this beautiful flower from a crack…He is also working “behind the scenes” to bring forth His plan and purposes for your life and your current situation.

Do you believe and trust that God is working “behind the scenes” for you?

Our human eyes can only see…our husband’s job loss… our child’s waywardness…our shrinking bank account…our family member’s declining health…our friend’s failing marriage… …answers we simply don’t have.

But God is not limited by what we see…because He sees and knows our very present situation and is working “behind the scenes” on our behalf.

We can be confident that God is working in the circumstances surrounding us. We cannot always see and understand what He is doing…but that doesn’t mean that He is idle. He is working out His plans and His purposes in our lives (and in the world) and nothing…NOTHING…is going to stop Him from completing them.

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Philippians 1:6 AMP

God working “behind the scenes” is based on our believing…not our seeing.

For we live by faith not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV

The phrase “behind the scenes” means “done, maintained, or held out of public view or in secret.”

So when God is working “behind the scenes” …He is “doing” for us out of our view…out of our sight. And that’s why we must believe and trust Him…no matter how bad things may look or be.

In Esther’s story, Mordecai and Esther were so committed to saving God’s people that they actually risked their lives. God works “behind the scenes” for His committed people.

If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this? Esther 4:14 NLT

Who knows but what in your life you have come to such a time as this?

If we claim to be Christians, then we must also show our commitment and do our part…especially when we can’t see or don’t know what God is doing ‘behind the scenes” …and especially when we can’t see anything happening or changing in our situation!

Pray…Prepare…Practice…and Praise

Keep praying! Bring your requests to Him and pray without ceasing. (1Thess 5:17)

Keep preparing! Study God’s Word and do not depart from it. (Joshua 1:8)

Keep practicing! Please Him with obedience. He will bless you. (John 14:15)

Keep praising! Show gratitude in the midst of it all. He inhabits your praises. (Psalm 22:3)

You may not see it…feel it…know it…or experience it right at this moment…but God is working “behind the scenes” in your life. He is working on your behalf and He will work all things together for your good! (Romans 8:28)

Look at the beautiful flower growing and blooming from the crack…You would never think it could be done based on these less than optimal conditions. But God is working “behind the scenes” …He doesn’t need the “right” conditions or He can just create the “right” conditions…regardless…He is the master of miracles.

He can make the impossible…possible!

Whatever you are facing today…believe and trust that He is working “behind the scenes” for you. He sees…He knows…and He is in control.

Reflection Points:

  1. Do you believe and trust that God is working “behind the scenes” for you? If not, what is getting in the way of you trusting Him? Limitations? Unfavorable conditions? Doubts?
  2. Are you praying…preparing…practicing…and praising Him?

Action Points:

When we stay committed to God and pray without ceasing…prepare by studying God’s Word…practice through our obedience…and praise Him in the midst of our situation, our trust in Him will grow especially when we can’t see anything happening or changing our situation. We can be confident that God is working “behind the scenes” on our behalf. We will see and know that God has no limitations and all things are possible through Him.

Breastplate of Righteousness

Lately my family and I have been enjoying watching Major League Baseball games on TV. No chance of this ever happening with my boys a few years ago but now that they play baseball, they have shown interest in watching the game on TV. With my husband a baseball coach and having been a baseball fan for many years myself, there’s definitely no complaints here!

The one position that always amazes me is the catcher with all his protective gear. He voluntarily places himself in the path of a 95mph fast ball headed right towards his chest and catches it without flinching!

This most certainly is not the case with my boys when they play this position on their little league teams…the catching part I mean…well and of course the 95mph fast ball part too!

I remember the first time I watched my 5-year old little guy Bryce put on these large pieces of catcher’s equipment. Not only was it entertaining but so stinkin’ cute!

He could barely walk…let alone see a baseball coming towards him! Since kids at his age tend to miss so many balls thrown to them behind the plate, they sure get hit a bunch…pitch after pitch…in the chest. Thank goodness for all their protective gear especially the chest plate!

And interestingly, leave it to us women to get into the act of making catching a safer profession! Legend has it that the wife of Detroit Wolverines catcher Charles Bennett devised a chest pad to protect her husband during games. He wore the creation outside his jersey in 1883. Prior to her creation, catchers did not wear chest protectors outside their uniforms.

She clearly saw the potential for injury or may have already seen her husband injured which prompted her to create this protective chest pad. She wanted to protect her husband from getting seriously injured. I can’t blame her. After all, the chest plate protects the most vital organ in our body…the heart.

As women, we may see the need to protect our husband as did Charles Bennett’s wife… and see the need to protect our children with a chest plate in baseball…but what about you?

Now I am not saying you need a chest plate…well unless you play baseball or softball or another sport requiring it. But what are you doing to protect your own heart?

The Bible instructs us to guard our hearts. Why? Because the heart is the inner being of man (and woman). Our emotions and desires dwell in our heart. Our actions flow out of our heart. We do what is in our heart.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 NIV

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…Proverbs 23:7 KJV

So how can we protect (guard) our hearts?

In the Bible, Ephesians 6:10-18 specifically describes a “spiritual” chest plate…the breastplate of righteousness…as one of numerous pieces of protective armor that we as Christians are to put on.

This passage uses the imagery of each piece of armor that Roman soldiers put on to represent each piece of armor we…as Christians…are to put on too.

From the belt of truth to the breastplate of righteousness…from fitting our feet with the gospel of peace to the shield of faith…from the helmet of salvation to the sword of the Spirit…we are to put on these pieces of spiritual protective gear…the armor of God… in order to stand firm and fight against the devil’s schemes. (For more on who the devil is and his schemes, check out my previous blog called Your Daily Armor.)

Just as the chest plate protects the baseball catcher’s heart…so too is the purpose of the breastplate worn by the Roman soldier.

The breastplate of the Roman soldier is actually more elaborate covering the front and back of his chest.

The soldier’s breastplate was made of either bronze or brass, usually brass and started from his neck and went all the way down to his knees. It was composed of two different pieces of metal… one went down the front while the other down the back with the two pieces being held together with brass rings on top of the shoulders.

This breastplate is the heaviest piece of the Roman soldier’s armor weighing 40lbs or more. FYI… In the story of David and Goliath, Goliath’s breastplate actually weighed approximately 125lbs!

In order for the soldier to be able to carry this heavy breastplate, the breastplate had loops or buckles that attached it to the soldier’s thick belt. Thus, the weight of the breastplate was held up by the belt.

NOTE: Keep this picture of the breastplate being held up by the belt in your mind as a very important and interesting point will be made later.

And so just as the breastplate “physically” protects the Roman soldier’s heart…the breastplate of righteousness “spiritually” protects our hearts.

Why is it called a breastplate of righteousness and what does righteousness have to do with protecting our hearts?

Righteousness means being or doing what is right in God’s eyes. God’s commandments are righteousness. (Psalm 119:172)

When Paul compares the armor of God with the armor of a Roman soldier, each piece represents a part of God’s strength that He extends to us when we become His children. The breastplate of righteousness refers to the righteousness purchased for us by Jesus at the cross. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, a “breastplate of righteousness” is issued to each of us. It is specially designed by God to protect our heart from the devil’s evil schemes and deception. Because if the devil has access to our hearts…he will have access to our emotions, desires, and actions.

We are instructed to “put on” this armor…which implies that we do not automatically wear it all the time. Putting on the armor of God requires a decision on our part.

In order to put on the breastplate of righteousness, we must first have the belt of truth firmly in place. Why?

OK…so remember how the Roman soldier’s breastplate of righteousness is held up and in place by his thick belt?

Well so too with the belt of truth in our spiritual armor! The breastplate of righteousness is held up by the belt of truth!

The truth is that when Jesus died on the cross, he made a way for all people to be free from the power of sin.

Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 NIV

Without the belt of truth, our righteousness will be based upon our own attempts and deeds to impress God. This leads to legalism or self-condemnation (Romans 8:1). Our righteousness would never measure up and is even referred to as “filthy rags!”

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6 NIV

We must choose instead to acknowledge that…apart from Christ…we can do nothing (John 15:10). We must see ourselves as “in Christ” and that… regardless of our failures…His righteousness has been credited to our account.
It is God’s righteousness…and not our own…which must serve as our breastplate against the devil and his schemes. And so when the breastplate of righteousness is held up by the belt of truth, we won’t feel burdened by righteousness.

So how do we “put on” this breastplate of righteousness?

By seeking God and His righteousness above everything else. (Matthew 6:33)

By making Him and His ways our dwelling place. (Psalm 91:1)

By delighting in His commands and desiring for His ways to become our ways. (Psalm 37:4; 119:24, 111; Isaiah 61:10)

By obeying and allowing God to work in us when He reveals an area of change to us.

Without the breastplate…a Roman soldier would be asking for death as any attack can instantly become fatal. Without the breastplate of righteousness, we leave ourselves open to death as well.

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. Proverbs 11:4 NASB

Whenever we say “no” to God and “yes” to sin, we open a little crack in the armor where Satan’s arrows can get through. (Ephesians 6:16) As we wear Christ’s breastplate of righteousness, we begin to develop a purity of heart that translates into actions.

Wearing this breastplate creates a lifestyle of putting into practice what we believe in our hearts.

As our lives become conformed to the image of Christ, our choices become more righteous. And consequently, these Godly choices also protect us from further temptation and deception.

It would be silly for a catcher or a Roman soldier to say they don’t need to wear their protective gear…so why would we as Christians think that we don’t need to put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect our hearts…especially when it has been given to us freely?!

Are you using your breastplate of righteousness? It’s never too late to put it on.

Reflection Points:

  1. How are you protecting your heart?
  2. Why is it important for us to protect our hearts?
  3. What does the Bible say about protecting and guarding our hearts?
  4. Did you know that when you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, that you were given a breastplate of righteousness to protect your heart?
  5. How do we “put on” this breastplate of righteousness?

Action Points:

Refer above to the list of ways we can “put on” this breastplate of righteousness.




Soaring on Wings Like Eagles

There are seasons in life when I feel tired…weary…and flat out exhausted. Working a full-time job (in ministry) …balancing my role as a wife and mother (of 2 energetic boys) …and not to mention adding 2 mischievous puppies in the mix (Lord have mercy!) …I can admit I am in a season of weariness.

Not the season I would like to be in when school is just about to let out for my kids. And so while most children are jumping with jubilation (expected of course) this mommy is trying to get a grasp on this quickly approaching summer break!

Have you ever had a season where you feel tired…weary…and flat out exhausted? Maybe you are in one now…like me.

Whether the weariness is from facing challenging circumstances…carrying heavy burdens…pushing through a painful loss or adversity…or just the busyness of life’s changing seasons…we all may find ourselves looking for some sort of boost…energy…and strength.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 NIV

Yeah…sign me up for that! How about you?!

I have always loved this scripture because it has given me encouragement in times of weariness in my life…and it truly speaks to me right now in my current weary season.

What is so surprising is how many times I have read this verse over and over and over again and never really gave much thought about the symbolism of “soaring on wings like eagles.”

Have you?

Eagles are absolutely fascinating creatures and it’s no wonder why God uses this analogy of renewed strength and eagles in Isaiah 40:31. In fact, there are 33 references to eagles in the Bible.

Eagles are born with big, heavy wings. And part of the survival mechanism they are born with is that they have to learn to fly without actually flapping their wings. Why?

Because eagles can literally die if they expend too much energy flapping their wings during flight. So they have to learn to soar without flapping their wings in order to conserve energy. FYI…Flapping requires 20 times more energy than soaring!

The word soar means “to sail or hover in the air often at a great height; to glide”

So as a result, what eagles have to learn to do  very early on…in order to be able to soar without flapping their wings…is to wait for what are called wind thermals to come up on them.

A wind thermal is a big gust of wind that will rise up from the atmosphere.

As the eagle circles over the middle of a rising thermal, it will spread its wings and soar…allowing the warm air to lift it to heights up to 3 miles above the surface of the earth. Wow! That’s amazing!

By using the powerful strength of the thermal, soaring is accomplished with very little wing-flapping…thus enabling the eagle to conserve energy.

Long-distance migration flights are accomplished by climbing high in a thermal…then gliding downward to catch the next thermal…where the process is repeated.

And interestingly…eagles learn to wait for the thermals to come up on them. Sometimes they will remain perched for days before they can catch a good, strong thermal. Then they can launch onto and combine a mixture of flying and soaring to get them to where they want to go without using much energy. And thus they cover long distances relatively effortlessly.

But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. Isaiah 40:31 AMP

I absolutely love the Amplified version of Isaiah 40:31.

You see…just as the eagle learns to wait for the thermal, we too must learn to wait (expect, look, hope) for the Lord.

Because just as it is the thermal that gives the eagle the strength to soar high above…it is the Lord who gives us the strength to soar through and above our challenges, burdens, losses, and changing seasons!

For the faithful there is no failure, and faith knows no weariness. Ellicott’s Commentary

Additionally, the eagle…unlike any other bird…has two sets of eyelids, one of which works like sunglasses.

So when a predator bird is in hot pursuit, the eagle can fly directly into the sun. As soon as the eagle flies into the sun…using its special sunglass eyelids…the enemy bird is blinded by the sun and loses the eagle in the blinding light of the sun! What a tremendous way for the eagle to overcome!

…they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]

And we too can overcome and keep soaring like the eagle when we fly directly to the Son and draw close [mount up] to the light of Jesus!

…the image is derived from the fact that the eagle rises on the most vigorous wing of any bird, and ascends apparently further toward the sun. The figure, therefore, denotes strength and vigor of purpose; strong and manly piety; an elevation above the world; communion with God, and a nearness to his throne – as the eagle ascends toward the sun. Barnes commentary

And so it is when we hope and wait for the Lord…that we will have renewed strength.

[We] will soar on wings like eagles; [We] will run and not grow weary, [We] will walk and not be faint.

Thank you Jesus!

Reflection Points:

  1. Have you ever had a season where you feel tired…weary…and flat out exhausted? Are you in one now?
  2. What is the cause of your weariness? Challenging circumstances…heavy burdens…a painful loss or adversity…or just the busyness of life’s changing seasons?
  3. Where do you seek encouragement and strength? Do you look to God and His Word?
  4. Are you encouraged by the Lord’s symbolism between the eagle and renewed strength? Does this give you a deeper understanding of Isaiah 40:31?

Action Points:

  1. We all have seasons when we may feel tired and weary. Even though it is important to seek encouragement and strength from our family and friends, it is most important that we seek God first and encouragement from His Word. (Matthew 6:33)
  2. God’s word is full of thousands of promises for you and for me! Isaiah 40:31 is only one of many scriptures we can turn to in our times of weariness. And when we dig deeper in God’s Word we can have a greater understanding of analogies and symbolism used by God…like the eagle.
  3. Just as the eagle learns to wait for the thermal, we too must learn to wait (expect, look, hope) for the Lord. Because just as it is the thermal that gives the eagle the strength to soar high above…it is the Lord who gives us the strength to soar through and above our challenges, burdens, losses, and changing seasons.