Tag Archives: counsel

In-Between Ministry and Miracles: The Purpose of the Wilderness

In-Between Ministry and Miracles: The Purpose of the Wilderness

I took a deep breath and carried out my plan. I had prayed about it for a week, wondering if it was the right thing. I read the Bible, poured out my heart to God, and then quieted myself to listen for a response. What I heard as confirmation came from several trusted sources speaking in unity.

It was very difficult and painful, but it was very important. I didn’t treat it lightly. I was incredibly afraid to act on anything without God speaking into it. It’s not that I thought a lightning bolt would strike me down in a moment of acting solo and impetuously. I simply knew that not consulting God did not yield good fruit. I had to remain in the Vine as my source.

John 15:1-9, ESV, Jesus speaking

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.

Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”

Before I made a big move, I went to my own personal wilderness to pray. I’ve learned the hard way over time that I tend to be rash and make hasty decisions. I needed situations, trials, and heartaches to discipline me in self-control, patience, and seeking counsel. Oh, and chipping away at that whole pride thing. There’s that.

This wasn’t something that came to me on my own. I found it while teaching our Junior High Sunday School class about Jesus’s miracles.

We discovered that Read the rest of this entry »


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Squeezing Lemons: When Help Isn’t Helpful for Everyone

Squeezing LemonsThe other morning my tween daughter came downstairs to report her difficult time getting to sleep the night before. She had recently sold her daybed to make her bedroom more of a study/hangout pad. Knowing my husband was in the middle of creating what is currently transitioning from a fictitious to real full-size loft bed for my oldest son, she figured that eventually his woodworking gift would benefit her as well, so she settled into decorating the top bunk of my younger son’s room to be more chickie-like, assuming the room-share situation would be tolerable in the short term.

As it turned out, she was wrong.

My youngest son (who struggles to turn his mind off at night) had recently started listening to a relaxation CD. (I had listened to it first to make sure it wasn’t sending him subliminal messages to eat cookies in the middle of the night, find inner peace in his belly button, or pretend he could fly like a superhero. Thankfully, it had passed my test.)

What I wasn’t thinking about on my dry run with the CD was what such a “tense-it-up-now-relax-it” storyline would do to someone without anxiety.

Yeah, I didn’t think about that at all.

As I set out breakfast, my angst-ridden daughter vented about her experience with the CD, up-bunk the night before from my son who was getting his calm on—

—and it wasn’t pretty.

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