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  • Reviving an Abandoned Dream


    "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

    I sat on the couch during small group, dabbed the tears dripping down my face, and hoped the others wouldn't notice my emotional response to the message.

    While watching a DVD teaching about God-given dreams, a tender, hidden spot in my heart was coming to life. It was uncomfortable. Scary, in fact. I wanted to move toward it and away at the same time.

    The teaching wasn't on nighttime dreams, but rather those dreams that often start in childhood when anything seemed possible. And we were unhindered by the realities of genetics or abilities. We were sure to be ballerinas or fashion models, ignoring the fact that we couldn't do the splits, or that our height/weight ratio might be less than desirable for the runway.

    Personally, I imagined the day my favorite band would invite me on stage. Hairbrush in hand, I practiced my moves and vocal range preparing for my big break.

    That day at small group, the dream fueling my simmering emotions wasn't the desire to sing. For years another dream had been stirring in my heart, a dream that had been dampened by doubts and the logistics of adulthood. My dream was to write.

    Pain and excitement mixed as I allowed the dream to come to life, much like a foot that's fallen asleep when the blood flow returns. Doubt whispered around every thought. Was this dream from God or me? Did I have anything worth saying?

    My heart felt vulnerable every time I pondered the idea. If I told someone my dream, would they give voice to the litany of taunts in my head? I wondered. And yet the more I prayed, the more convinced I became that God was asking me to write for Him. When I finally accepted that truth, my attitude changed. Writing wasn't just an interesting idea, it was an assignment.

    I wish I could say I immediately started writing. But I didn't.

    Tucking the dream in my heart, I procrastinated. For months. Which turned into years. Thinking about my dream was much easier than acting on it, because it was going to take a lot of work and sacrifice. And there was always a handy excuse.

    Until one Sunday, my pastor opened prayer time with these words: "God has asked some of you to do something and you haven't done it yet."

    The Holy Spirit was playing the drums on my heart as I shifted from foot to foot. There was no question; God was calling my name. A flood of people headed to the front alongside me to address their own abandoned assignments.

    My pastor's challenge was what I needed to shift from a passive to an active approach in my writing. To move from disobedience to obedience. To step into an unfamiliar world believing that if God had called me to it, He wouldn't abandon me.

    God often gives directions through dreams. Yet, those can be the hardest to embrace because they seem too big for us to accomplish on our own. And sometimes they seem downright selfish. So we let them drift away.

    But dreams are also how God increases our faith. When we step into active obedience of an audacious assignment, we see God move and do things only He can do. Our key verse shows that God has the power to accomplish any dream He gives us: "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20, NLT).

    It was 10 years ago when I embraced my dream as an assignment, and God has shown His power time and time again. There are still doubts and barriers to overcome, but my faith has grown each time God proves Himself faithful.

    Did God put a dream in your heart years ago? Maybe your dream was to adopt a child or go on a mission trip. Maybe it was to open your home to neighbors or lead teens at church. At the time your dream seemed too big or came with too many barriers. Now it's a hazy memory.

    May I offer the same challenge my pastor gave years ago? God has asked some of you to do something and you haven't done it yet. Will today be your day to accept your assignment?

    Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me a dream to serve You and others through my gifts and talents. Help me see this dream as an assignment from You, and I ask for Your power to help me take the next step. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond: What dream has God put in your heart that you know is an assignment?

    What next step can you take to obey God's calling on your life?

    Power Verse: Mark 9:23, "'"If you can"?' said Jesus. 'Everything is possible for one who believes.'" (NIV)

    © 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Freely Give


    Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8

    What is your motivation for giving? Is it to freely give or to give expecting something in return? This is an ongoing tension for the generous giver. We give our time, our expertise, our money, our friendship, our commitment; we give our very life, with what expectation in mind? Disappointment follows gifts with strings attached, but gifts given freely lead to fulfillment. Can we be hilariously generous and still trust Christ?

    You may ask, “What about my stewardship in giving gifts responsibly?” Wise givers give prayerfully and responsibly, but not to the exclusion of the Spirit’s leading. If the Lord is leading you to invest time and money in a person, ministry, or church, then obey and trust Him with the outcome. Everything we have is His; so He is ultimately responsible for the fruit of generosity. He blesses His work, done His way.

    Because Christ’s gifts are not conditional, our gifts are not conditional. For example, at your conversion God freely gave you His Spirit for comfort, conviction, and direction. The Bible says, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:12).

    So, even when we grieve the Spirit with our disobedience, He still remains. The gift of the Holy Spirit does not come and go from our life; He is here to stay. His resolve to reside in our soul is reassurance that we are not alone. In the same way, when people you trust are in turmoil, stay with them through the rough ride until things smooth out. Anyone can give in the good times; so be there to give when they need you the most.

    Faithfulness freely gives, not to gain, but to do good deeds. The Lord’s freedom to extend goodness to you compels you to freely give back goodness. Grace is a gift to be received gratefully and given liberally. Give freely, and observe how much more is freely given to you. Your heavenly Father gave you His Son because He loves and forgives you freely.

    “He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:5–7).

    Prayer: What are the Lord’s expectations for His gifts to me? Am I freed up to give freely?

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 29:9; Proverbs 11:24; Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 2:12

    Taken from the March 1st reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 1”

    Post/Tweet today: Disappointment may follow gifts with strings attached, but gifts given freely lead to fulfillment. #freelygive

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Full of Grace


    Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. John 1:16

    The ups and downs of life tend to drain us. Physical challenges deplete our energy. Conflict can consume our emotions. Financial stress sucks the life out of our sense of security. The loss of a loved one leaves a hole in our heart. An empty nest is quiet; so quiet that it's loud with loneliness. Like a well-traveled car risks running out of gas, so we can run ourselves into spiritual, physical, and emotional emptiness. But God has provided the fullness of Christ to fill us up!

    Imagine our heart like the soil of a well-watered potted plant. A smart gardener regularly and precisely waters the dirt until it is moistened--but not flooded. In a similar way God applies His grace to our thirsty hearts, ones even bordering on dehydration. He gives us grace upon grace--not too much to drown us with spiritual pride, and not too little for us to labor in our own power. The grace of our Lord is a regular stream of strength for us to appropriate by faith.

    “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness” (Colossians 2:9-10).

    How do you receive the grace of God? You take hold of it by faith. You reach out to receive His ongoing gift of grace initially at salvation and continually as a maturing follower of Jesus. Imagine your faith as an unused rubber balloon with small capacity; once it expands by multiple breaths of air, its capacity grows. Similarly, the Holy Spirit desires to breathe in grace upon grace into your expanded faith. Your grace filled life protects you from the pain of burnout.

    The more your grace capacity enlarges, the more you are able to live graciously and serve others. A grace filled life does not want; since its needs are met it is able to meet the needs of others. It's a lifetime of continually taking hold of and receiving the Lord’s grace by faith. To bear fruit for Jesus is worth the test of perseverance. Why are some you know so free to give of themselves for God? Most likely they are fresh from experiencing the fullness of His grace in Jesus Christ. Your Lord is the fullness of grace, so you can be full by faith. Empty self and fill up with your Savior.

    “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6-7).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my capacity for Your grace by growing my faith in Christ.

    Related Readings: Romans 3:24; Colossians 1:19; Ephesians 1:23; 1 Timothy 6:19

    Post/Tweet today: A grace filled life does not want, since its needs are met it is able to meet the needs of others. #fullofgrace

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Free Wallpaper for Your Mobile, Tablet or Computer - March

    For those living in the frozen north, March could not come soon enough. Hopefully it will begin to thaw out with this month of (slightly) warmer temperatures. For those in the south, well, you have been enjoying what the northerners have been praying for.

    March is an interesting month. There's the Ides of March (3/15 - which most people don't know what it is), the National Pi Day (3.14 of course), St. Patrick's Day (3/17) and what I like, Make Your Own Holiday Day (3/26).

    But March is also something a bit more substantial than just the above. For it is the beginning of the Lenten Season (40 days before Easter - read a great devotional on the Lenten season here). Many embrace this day (3/5) as a point to ponder deeper the radical love of our selfless Savior. Many embrace Ash Wednesday. Many don't participate at all.

    Regardless, whatever the Lord brings us through during the month of March, may our prayers be that we all draw closer to Him.

    As our tradition, look below for some free wallpaper to decorate your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. These are completely free to download. Just right click on the size that you need and you will be all set. To find out which size you need, click here.

    Both images are taking from our Coupon Calendars that we sell online and in our stores. Click here to find the Growth in Faith Calendar and the He Refreshes My Soul Calendar.

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  • Was It A Morning Like This?


    This past Sunday morning I woke up, and went to start the coffee pot. It's part of the ritual that either my wife or myself do. It's what the beginning of a typical Sunday morning is all about. It is (sort-of) the calm before the storm of getting everyone in our home ready for church.

    I sat down on the couch with my Bible in hand and decided to have a bit of a quiet time. I can honestly say that I love having my quiet time. Time in the Word is time with God. It's the unexplainable phenomenon of the God of this universe, speaking with me.

    I began to read from Matthew chapter 5:

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

    These verses are of course the famous "Sermon on the Mount." Jesus didn't name it that, He was just speaking. We named it that to help us identify better with what He was saying and when He said it.

    Regardless, I keep thinking about His words. I keep thinking about the moment that He said them the first time. How did people respond to them? Was He contemplating His future a few years from now? I thought that really, this sermon is about Him. For on the cross, He was the one poor, for He emptied himself of His glory of Heaven. He mourned. It grieved Him when He looked at the depravity of mankind. He was meek, for He had no home to call His own. He surely knew hunger and what it was like to be physically thirsty.

    He showed mercy. He was pure. He showed peace. AND He was persecuted. He was insulted and falsely accused. Jesus knows the words He is saying, because He came to a broken world.

    As my family went through the day, I felt like God's Word was the stool that kept me propped up. It was the Word of sanity that I needed to face the day. He knew me then and He knows me now. There is great comfort in that.

    What are you facing today? Whatever it is, hold it up side by side with Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. When we hold our lives up to the lens of Scripture we get a new perspective. For it helps us see better.

    What is your morning ritual? What Scriptures has God used to speak to you lately?

  • Scurrying or Seated?


    "She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations." Luke 10:39-40 (NASB)

    I glanced at the clock on the wall. How was it 11:45 already? Where had the time gone? It was nearly noon and I wasn't even halfway through my to-do list for the morning.

    My day had started hours earlier when I had bounded out of bed with a goal of knocking off a bevy of tasks around the house, on the computer and in my little hometown. Scrawled out on a baby-blue legal pad, my plan included things to cook, calls to make and errands to run.

    I'd started whittling down my list as soon as my family left for school and work. Now at mid-day, I still had four or five items left undone and no way to accomplish them before my 1 p.m. dentist appointment to get a crown on my tooth.

    My spirit sank. What's my problem? I wondered. Did I underestimate how long each task would take? Or did I overestimate my ability to execute them quickly? Or, perhaps, it was a little bit of both.

    I also hadn't factored in the interruptions. A text from my daughter needing help on a tax form. An email from a friend wanting a recipe for company coming over later that day. A neighbor whose computer was on the blink and needed to borrow ours to make an order online. More distractions and delays.

    A little nervous about my dentist appointment, I called my friend Mary to ask for prayer. As we visited, I shared the details of my frustrating morning, and asked how her day was going. She replied that she hadn't completed what she'd hoped to either, concluding, "But I had a good long time alone with God this morning praying and reading my Bible which is what I needed most, so it's okay."

    My heart sank as I realized my problem: I hadn't taken time for the most important detail of the day. Spending time with God wasn't even on my radar. Maybe if I had spent time with the Lord I wouldn't have felt so much frustration at my lack of productivity.

    Our key verse today tells of another woman who put chores ahead of spending time with Jesus. The story in Luke 10 tells of two sisters and how they spent their time when Jesus came to visit. Martha was busy scurrying to get to the end of her "to-do list," but Mary chose a different path. She settled herself at Jesus' feet, soaking in His words and His presence.

    Later on we read that when Martha complained to the Lord that Mary wasn't helping her, He replied, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:41-42, NASB).

    There's no doubt Martha's sister Mary also had things to do. So did my friend Mary. But in the case of each Mary, they chose to do the best thing first: position themselves where they could clearly hear from the Lord.

    Perhaps today we can set aside our to-do lists until we've mimicked the Marys. Let's vow to meet with God before we attempt to meet the challenges of the day. Yes, maybe that's the key. Let's stop scurrying and be seated instead.

    There is always plenty of room at His feet.

    Dear Lord, help me to take time today to meet with You before I try to tackle the tasks of the day. Give me the perspective that You are more important than my never-ending list of tasks. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond: Can you remember a time when you didn't get to the end of your to-do list? Now, think back. Did you have a time alone with God that day? How, if so, how did it make a difference?

    Power Verse: Psalm 27:8, "You have said, 'Seek my face.' My heart says to you, 'Your face, LORD, do I seek.'" (ESV)

    © 2014 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • God With Us


    And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. John 1:14, Amplified Bible

    Just as the Lord dwelt with His people in the tabernacle of worship, so He also came to earth and tabernacled with us in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. He gave us the gift of His presence. It is soothing to our souls and brings security to our hearts when Jesus is present. In the same way the presence of a parent calms a fearful child, so Christ encouraged those around Him with the grace of His healing and truth of His teaching. God is with us for us to be with Him.

    Furthermore, the tabernacle was where the Lord revealed the fullness of His glory. Jesus was and is the totality of God’s glory. He came to earth as our Savior to show us the character of Almighty God. He displayed love to society’s outcasts. He extended mercy and hope to the downtrodden. He rebuked the greedy rich and praised the generous poor. He comforted the dying, healed the sick, and raised the dead back to life. God is with us to reveal Himself to us.

    “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him” (Colossians 2:9-10, NKJV).

    Moreover, the tabernacle was a place of sacrifice. Jesus came to earth as the final sacrifice for our sins. The perfect Lamb of God, without spot or blemish, wiped clean our blemished soul by His precious blood. What an unparalleled sacrifice from the One without sin on behalf of sinners. Thus, we follow our Lord’s example by offering ourselves as a living and spiritual sacrifice by praising and servicing Him. God is with us to convict our sin, and He is our strength not to sin.

    Lastly, the tabernacle was the place to meet with God. After the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we’ve become privileged to continually dwell with Christ, today in real-time. Indeed, His presence is not confined to buildings made by human hands, but His Spirit lives within us by faith. Do you meet with your Maker in prayer so you are better prepared to meet your Maker in death? Just a little talk with Jesus goes a long way towards walking in His will. God is with us to draw our hearts to Him in loving obedience.

    “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:2).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thanks for living among us, so we can learn how to live for You.

    Related Readings: Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:7-8; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 1:1

    Post/Tweet today: We meet with our Maker in prayer, so we are better prepared to meet our Maker in death. #Godwithus

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Blog Summary for February 2014

    Here are the most popular blog posts as read by you. Thank you for following us!

    Diving Deep with Casting Crowns

    Like a tree planted by the water (Jeremiah 17:7-8) we should be digging into God's word to know Him and know who He has made us to be. We should be reaching out to the world and showing others who He is through our lives and our stories - knowing Him and making Him known.

    I caught up with Mark, Melody and Juan from Casting Crowns at a summer festival this year. I wanted them to feel me in on their new album and what has been going on in their life as a band.

    Read the full interview here.

    A Q&A with Capital Kings

    There’s no denying much of today’s music has the power to move the masses physically. Inventive beats and hooky choruses are the currency of the day. Now enter Capital Kings, a talented duo that blends pop, electronic dance music, and rap into an intoxicating musical mix that makes audiences want to move, and yet there’s a thought-provoking, life-affirming undercurrent. Capital Kings combine style with substance and introduce flash with a foundation.

    Read the full q&a here.

    Pulling No Punches - an interview with Lecrae

    From “latch-key kid” to key player in the Man Up movement, Lecrae’s life is an example of God’s transformative power – and he’s not quiet about it. In his signature straight-shoot approach, new album Gravity calls Christians to open their eyes to the weight of need in their world and share the love of Jesus as never before.

    I had gotten into trouble my senior summer. Financial trouble, trouble with other people, trouble with women – I was just running myself into a dead end. So I’m thinking, “I’m seventeen, let me do the mature, adult thing, and go to church.” Grandma was a Christian so the roots of the foundation I had established of the Christian God were through my grandmother. And that was where I needed to go. By grace, there was a young lady that I went to high school with that invited me to a Bible study. I went, and I had never seen Christians who dressed like me or talked like me, so I thought they were Martians from another planet! When I saw them, I said, “Oh you guys are human!” They loved me genuinely and that’s really what started it.

    To read the full interview, click here.

    Question and Answers with Nick Vujicic

    Being unstoppable is about believing and achieving. It’s about having faith in yourself, your talents and your purpose and, most of all, in God’s great love and His divine plan for your life.

    Millions around the world recognize the smiling face and inspirational message of Nick Vujicic. Despite being born without arms or legs, Nick’s challenges have not kept him from enjoying great adventures, a fulfilling and meaningful career, and loving relationships. Nick has overcome trials and hardships by focusing on the promises that he was created for a unique and specific purpose, that his life has value and is a gift to others, and that no matter the despair and hard times in life, God is always present. Nick credits his success in life to the power that is unleashed when faith takes action.

    Read the full q&a here.

    Francesca Battistelli - A Girl. A Voice. A Mission.

    "The more you walk in relationship with the Lord, the more you learn to trust him. I'm learning not to focus so much on the issues I think are so big right now—our bus has broken down, or someone said something that frustrated me. I'm learning to slowly let things roll off my back, to say, 'Hey, God knew about this before it happened and He's got a way out or a plan better than mine.' I've learned to stop freaking out and just trust that God knows what he's doing. He's not going to leave me in a bad place because He never has before."

    Such it is with Francesca Battistelli. Honest. Simple. Beautiful. Intentional.

    We have all been exposed to her music. Starting with "I'm Letting Go," or "Free to Be Me." "This is the Stuff" or "Strangely Dim." It doesn't matter. For every time that "Franny" opens her mouth to sing, she is opening her heart.

    Read our full interview here.

    Saying "I Love You"

    Many people say that Valentines Day is a made up holiday, put in place by the greeting card companies of the world. Well, truth be told, I don't care. It is a day to help us remember to say "I love you" to those around us. Taking the time each day to show love is certainly important, but it's also fun to get caught up in a holiday such as this day.

    So how do you say "I love you" to someone you love? Perhaps it's packing two cookies in the kid's school lunch. Maybe it's a surprise delivery of flowers for your spouse at work. Maybe it's even a call to your mother-in-law. How do you say "I love you?"

    Read the full blog post here.

    The Storm Inside - Sheila Walsh

    The chaos of life can be overwhelming, and women seem to get a heavier dose. Each day comes with its own pressures, heartaches and disappointments that slowly erode the joy, peace and closeness to God every woman needs. Chaos always feels like the enemy as it rages around us and inside us.

    In The Storm Inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are, bestselling author and Women of Faith speaker Sheila Walsh invites you into ten life-changing, hope-filled transformations where hurt and heartache are divinely redeemed into joy and faith. With

    Read the full blog post here.

    Mandisa - Finding Freedom by Overcoming

    Coming off her most successful album ever, Mandisa returned to the studio to record her new album, Overcomer. Her previous album, What If We Were Real, has sold over 270,000 albums and featured the breakout radio hits “Good Morning,” “Waiting For Tomorrow,” and the #1 hit, “Stronger.” The American Idol alum and three-time Grammy nominee continues to be a voice of encouragement and truth to women facing life’s challenges. Mandisa also continues to have unprecedented media exposure for a Christian artist including two recent appearances on Good Morning America.

    I sat down with Mandisa at a local coffee shop to talk about new music, coffee vs. tea, family and what it means to be an over-comer. What follows is a real conversation. Mandisa, some would say is a true artist. She is that for sure, but she is so much more. She is a warrior in a huge battle. She is a fighter - fighting for the truth of the Gospel. That can be summed up with one statement from her, "There is joy unspeakable!"

    Read the full interview here.

    Skillet. The Rock Band That Doesn't Quit

    Skillet recently made headlines when their last album, Awake, became one of just three rock albums to be certified platinum in 2012, forming an improbable triumvirate with the Black Keys’ El Camino and Mumford & Sons’ Babel. The news that Skillet had sold more than a million albums in the U.S. came as a shock to all but the band’s wildly diverse horde of fans, male and female, young and old—known as Panheads—whose still-swelling ranks now officially number in the seven-digit range. This remarkable achievement was announced just as Skillet was putting the finishing touches on their eagerly awaited follow-up album, Rise (Atlantic/Word).

    As soon as the master was turned in to the studio to finish post production on the new album, I sat down with John Cooper (lead singer) to talk through what was behind Rise. As you will see, while reading this, John is a passionate man. He is passionate about his music. His wife. His family. About Christ.

    Read the full interview here.

    Matt Maher. On Being Christian.

    Matt Maher's newest album, All The People Said Amen," fuses the popularity of his vibrant live show with several new studio cuts, offering fans an assortment of writing and performance styles.

    “This project,” offers Maher, “is a real collage of who I am musically. You’ll hear intimate worship songs, anthemic praise tunes often sung and shouted aloud together in unison, and celebratory songs that inspire the whole church.”

    I chatted with Matt on cold winter day.  What follows is a conversation on who Matt is, what he hopes to accomplish and how he just wants to sing about Jesus.

    Read the full interview here.

    So which blog post was your favorite? Is there an author or an artist that you would like us to interview? Leave a comment below and let us know.

  • I'm Scared to Pray Boldly


    "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16b (NIV)

    I have to admit I'm sometimes scared to pray boldly.

    It's not at all that I don't believe God can do anything. I absolutely do. I'm a wild-about-Jesus girl. Wild in my willingness. Wild in my obedience. Wild in my adventures with God.

    After all, I think Jesus would rather rein in a wild stallion than kick a dead mule any day of the week.

    So, my hesitation isn't rooted in any kind of doubt about God. It's more rooted in doubts about myself and my ability to absolutely discern the will of God. The reality is sometimes God chooses not to do things. And if His will is no, while I am boldly praying for a yes, it makes me feel out of step with God.

    Can you relate?

    I so desperately want to stay in the will of God that I find myself praying with clauses sometimes, like: God please heal my friend, but if it's Your will to take her, I will trust You.

    I wonder why I don't just boldly pray: God, please heal my friend. And then stand confidently knowing my prayers were not in vain no matter what the outcome.

    The reality is, my prayers don't change God. But I am convinced prayer changes me. Praying boldly boots me out of that stale place of religious habit into authentic connection with God Himself.

    Prayer opens my spiritual eyes to see things I can't see on my own. And I'm convinced prayer matters. Prayers are powerful and effective if prayed from the position of a righteous heart (James 5:16).

    So, prayer does make a difference — a life-changing, mind-blowing, earth-rattling difference. We don't need to know how. We don't need to know when. We just need to kneel confidently and know the tremors of a simple Jesus girl's prayers extend far wide and far high and far deep.

    Letting that absolute truth slosh over into my soul snuffs out the flickers of hesitation. It bends my stiff knees. And it ignites a fresh, bold and even more wild fire within. Not bold as in bossy and demanding. But bold as in I love my Jesus with all my heart, so why would I offer anything less than an ignited prayer life?

    Jesus speaks specifically about igniting our prayer lives in Matthew 6, verses 6-8, "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (NIV).

    So let's ask. And ask again. Not so that we can cause God to move, rather so that we can position our souls to be able to see our sweet Jesus move in any which way He pleases.

    Dear Lord, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to bring all of my worries and cares to You. Thank You for providing me with exactly what I need. I trust that You have my best interest in mind today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond: How have you been praying lately? In boldness or in timidity? Why?

    Write down three bold prayers you would like to pray today. Pray them again tomorrow. And again the next day. Pray them for the next month even. And know with full assurance that the tremors of your prayers will extend far wide and far high and far deep. Pray and wait for God to respond.

    Power Verse: Psalm 145:18, "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Life Giving Light


    In Him [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness,and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5

    Light gives life. It makes things grow. Plants and flowers bend toward the sun to gain needed nourishment. Photosynthesis is the process of converting light energy into chemical energy that can be released later for the organism’s growth. A green house becomes a brown house if moved into the darkness of a cave. It needs light for its budding vegetation to thrive. Yes, darkness cannot extinguish light and Jesus is ever present by faith to shine into a soul’s dark night.

    In a manner similar to photosynthesis, the light of the Lord’s love shines on a lost soul and converts it by grace through faith, providing spiritual nourishment. Just as vitamin D is absorbed by the body when exposed to the sun of God, so the spiritual vitamin F (faith), is soaked up by the soul when exposed to the Son of God. We are wise when we pray in the Spirit for the eyes of our heart to be enlightened, as we meditate on Scripture. Biblical truths are an eternal flame of faith.

    “They grope in darkness with no light” (Job 12:25).

    Just as John the Baptist was not the light, but was sent to reveal the light, so we are like proud Olympic torch bearers for the Almighty. We who have the light of God living in our life, shine beacons of light to those groping in darkness. Even shining a single ray of light may give another courage needed to take the next step of faith. A smile, a kind word or a Bible verse can shed light. A gentle spirit, a humble heart or self control can all reveal Christ’s life.

    Does the light of your heart glow by grace, does it flicker with doubt or is it turned off by fear and unbelief? Regardless, stay engaged with the Lord as your source of power, so you burn brightly for Him. Your consistent time with Christ and His followers charges your soul and sets you ablaze for Him. Faith on fire burns away the dross of doubt, so you glow for God. Avoid those whose spiritual apathy quenches your flame, instead seek out the true light found in Christ.

    “For with You is the fountain of life;in Your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, may the light of Your love burn brightly in my life.

    Related Readings: Job 29:3; Psalm 18:28; John 8:12, 12:46; Acts 3:15; Revelation 1:18

    Post/Tweet today: Faith on fire burns away the dross of doubt, so we glow for God. #lifegivinglight

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

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…to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
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