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Tag Archives: Lynn Cowell

  • When My Mind Says "You Failed"

    Posted on February 23, 2015 by Family Christian

    Lynn Cowell FEBRUARY 23, 2015

    When My Mind Says "You Failed"
    LYNN COWELL

    "My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises." Psalm 57:7 (NLT)

    Fail. It’s a word I’ve heard my kids use when something goes wrong. Just plain "fail."

    It’s a word I know as well. Failure is what I felt when I’d done all I knew to do to make a large project successful. Yet, according to my measurement, I had fallen very short. All I could think was, You failed.

    I found my mind swirling, trying to process what happened. Confused, I wondered, God, why didn’t You help me? The project was for Him, after all. You would think He would have stepped up and helped me, at least in the way I was looking for help.

    What did I do wrong?

    Maybe I’m just not cut out for this?

    My confidence was gone.

    Can you recall a time when you thought you were doing what God wanted you to do, yet it didn’t turn out how you anticipated? Was your confidence shaken, not just in yourself, but in God?

    Friend, you are not alone. It’s so easy to lose our confidence when things aren’t going well.

    In today’s key verse, David speaks of confidence: "My heart is confident in you, O God."

    Reading these words, we might assume David wrote them when his life was going well, possibly moments away from marrying the king’s daughter and living happily ever after.

    His reality, in fact, was far from happy. As David penned these words, he was literally running from a mad man (King Saul) who not only wanted to kill him, but also had the power to do so. {You can read 1 Samuel, chapters 19-22, for more of this story.}

    When David wrote these words found in Psalm 57:7, "My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises" – words filled with faith and hope – he was hiding in a cave. Not alone, but with 400 guys who were also running from trouble, in debt or just plain discontented with life as they knew it.

    Here, in this awful situation, David reaffirmed his security hadn’t changed even if his circumstances did. His confidence was still built on God.

    According to my study Bible, the word "confident" in the original Hebrew means: "set in place, make secure, to be made ready, be attached."

    I love this last definition: "be attached." My mind pictures a new bride, attached to someone who cares deeply about her, with her face glowing. Her relationship brings her confidence.

    David’s relationship brought him confidence as well. Despite his horrific circumstances, David experienced security and contentment because he knew God was with him even in those circumstances.

    God can make us brave whether our lives are coming together or falling apart. We can have a heart and mind that is set in place, secure and attached, even when our circumstances seem to say, "You failed."

    I want to be like David. Confidence attached to God. Unshaken by any situation or circumstances. Unable to hold back His praises.

    Dear Jesus, the way You define failure and the way we define failure is so very different. Help me see when my circumstances are a set-up, an opportunity to build my confidence in You. Always and only in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Hebrews 10:35, "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded." (NIV)

    Philippians 4:12, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (NIV)

    Ephesians 3:12, "In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES:
    Do you know a young woman who needs to learn to build her confidence on God instead of cues from culture? If so, Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants, by Lynn Cowell, empowers young women to move beyond negative thoughts, capricious emotions and others’ opinions to gain unshakeable confidence.

    Visit Lynn’s blog today for 10 Verses For Building Unshakeable Confidence. She is also giving away a Confidence Combo — a set of resources to help you build your confidence on God.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Think of the last time something in your life didn’t go as planned and you felt like you’d failed. How did you respond? Were you able to press into God or did you struggle in self-defeat?

    Write out Hebrews 10:35 and place it where you experience the greatest struggle with your confidence: the scale, your desk, your calendar. Read this verse out loud, allowing God’s Word to fill your heart with His confidence in this area of your life.

    © 2015 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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

  • Redefine Beautiful

    Posted on January 19, 2015 by Family Christian

    Lynn Cowell JANUARY 19, 2015 

    Redefine Beautiful
    LYNN COWELL

    "Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’" Acts 3:6 (NIV, 1984)

    Every girl wanted them. And she "needed" them as well!

    They were the boots that winter. Another season it was a specific backpack or jacket. Every year my daughter was in school, there was something she just had to have.

    If Christmas or a birthday was near, she often got the item she wanted. But sometimes, by the time this special day came around, the crowd was wearing something new and my daughter had moved on to a different "need."

    All too often, I knew the motive: my girl wanted to fit in. She wanted to be like the other girls in her school. And while I didn’t want to encourage her desire for material things, my mama’s heart understood. She didn’t want to be different … at least not in this way.

    My daughter was convinced the object of her desire at that moment would meet her needs or fix her problem.

    I was thinking about my daughter when I read the story of Peter, John and the crippled man.

    Acts 3:1-10 tells the story of a man crippled since birth who was carried to the temple gate called Beautiful every day. There he would sit and beg from those going into the temple courts. One day, he saw Peter and John, disciples of Jesus, about to enter and asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him and said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

    Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk" (Acts 3:6b). Peter then took him by the hand to help him up. The man jumped to his feet and began to walk. He followed them into the temple jumping and praising God. All the people who knew the crippled man were amazed.

    Every day, there are those we love who are heading to the gate called Beautiful to beg. A man-made "gate," beautiful is culture’s standard of what it takes to be approved. Asking those who have what it takes, we beg for what we feel we need. For the teen girl it may mean acceptance by the popular group or the boy. As women, it may be our need for significance and value.

    But, like the crippled man, we don’t realize we’re asking for the wrong thing from the wrong people. He didn’t know there was a better solution.

    Peter and John didn’t give the crippled man what he thought he needed. They gave him what he truly needed — to be made whole.

    We too have places in us that need healing. Society has forced its standard of beauty, telling us we must look this way, weigh this much and measure this size. But just like the crippled man in Acts 3, we can be made whole. In the name of Jesus, we can redefine beautiful by His standard and receive the acceptance, approval and affirmation we need.

    "All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you." (Song of Solomon 4:7, NIV, 1984)

    Father, I have been crippled by society’s definition of beautiful. I desire to be made whole. Heal my crippled spirit. Restore my broken heart. Make straight in my life where my vision of myself is crooked. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Psalm 45:11, "The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." (NIV,1984)

    Zephaniah 3:17, "The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV,1984)

    RELATED RESOURCES:
    Do you know a young woman who needs to redefine beautiful? Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants would be a good resource to give her.

    Today, Lynn Cowell is sharing 3 Ways to Help Your Girl Redefine Beautiful as well as giving away a "Redefining Library," including copies of Magnetic, His Revolutionary Love and Devotions for a Revolutionary Year. Stop by her blog to learn more and enter to win.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What do you do when you feel pressure to conform to society’s standard of beautiful?

    Write one of the verses in Truth for Today on a sticky note. Put this verse near your closet or on your scale as a gentle reminder of how beautiful Jesus says you are.

    © 2015 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

  • Battle in the Night

    Posted on December 5, 2012 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn

    "By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me - a prayer to the God of my life." Psalm 42:8 (NIV)

    How could this have happened? What could I have done to stop it? One of my kids had made a decision that sent my emotions into a tailspin.

    Another sleepless night was upon me; my mind wouldn't shut off. I had done so well during the day, trying to focus my heart and mind on God's promise to make all things work together for good. But as day faded into night, the struggle to trust became more than I could take.

    Many nights as I lie in bed, my mind pulls me into a spiral, tempting me to focus on my troubles. It's then and there that the battle is the most intense. A war is waged between my faith and my fears.

    What if my loved one never knows Jesus?
    Will my kids make the right choices with their peers?
    What can I do for my friend who struggles with cancer?

    Even though my body is still, the battles rage in my heart and mind.

    Do you ever struggle in the quiet of the night? Maybe you have thoughts like: Nobody else has troubles. Other people are just enjoying their lives. Why is mine so hard? The battles we face are real, and rob us of sleep and joy.

    We can take a cue from King David's words in Psalm 42:8. During the day he allowed the Lord's love to direct him. Knowing he was loved gave him the strength to make the hard choices that were the best choices.

    At night he put away all the words and hard thinking and just praised God.

    Might we give David's ways a try and do the same? When the lights are turned out, we can choose a song of praise, arming ourselves with truth and worship for the only One who can carry and fix our troubles. When our minds try to take a turn and go around that problem one more time, let's make the choice to stop and sing (even if only in our heads).

    I gave this a try the other night while stewing over my worries. It reminded me of a sign my mom has in her home. "Give me all your troubles before you go to bed. I'm going to be up anyway." — God.

    Right now, let's pick a song we'll sing at night when trouble comes knocking and worry wants to run rampant in our heart and mind. Make your prayer a song to God and choose a song of praise to sing to Him all day long - from sunrise to late in the evening. Watch your heart go from fear to faith as you trust in the Lord.

    Dear Lord, I feel stronger in the day than in the night. Bring to mind a song of praise I can sing that will lift my heart and cause me to trust in You, morning and night. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write Psalm 42:8 on an index card. Put it next to your bed to remind you to look to Him as you go to sleep.

    When the lights are turned off, we can choose a song of praise, arming ourselves with truth and worship for the only One who can carry and fix our troubles. When our mind tries to take a turn and go around that problem one more time, we can choose to stop and sing our song of praise.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 94:18-19, "When I said, 'My foot is slipping,' your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." (NIV)

    Exodus 15:2, "The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him." (NIV 1984)

    © 2012 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

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