WHERE WERE YOU?



What do you do when you feel like life is spinning out of control? 

Where were you when 9-11 happened back in 2001? Or when COVID-19 hit in 2020? Or when you heard about rioting in the streets? Where were you when these things happened?

I mean to ask not only about your physical location but also about your emotional state. Where were you emotionally when these things happened? Where you feeling uplifted and the news brought you down? Or were you already down, and the news brought you even lower.

What was your reaction when you first heard the devastating news that President Kennedy was assassinated or when the Challenger exploded? Depending on your age, you may have only read of these dark moments in a history book.

Both of my teenage daughters, Madi (17) and Sarah (13), were born after 9-11. Although they have missed out on generations of tragedy, their generation has already come face to face with unprecedented levels of brokenness. Social media has made each awful moment hard to miss. As a parent, I find it challenging to moderate my girls’ level of exposure to news that can trigger intense feelings of disappointment.

Whether you were at the end of your coffee, your day, your week, or even your rope, we all felt the weight when the bad news came. There is a heaviness that hit us in those moments. Things felt out of control, and we all struggled to answer the question, “what do I do now?”

Brokenness is not always a bad thing. Remember, broken crayons still color. God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick. Have you ever heard the phrase, “the grass is greener on the other side?” I have come to learn that the grass is greener where you water it. This truth is especially true in our spiritual lives. Prayer is the H20 of a healthy relationship with God. 

Before you react, reach out to God.

Hershel Hobbs shares this about Prayer:

An automobile has a battery, which is simply stored-up energy, that enables the machine to function. The motor, lights, radio, and so on draw energy out of the battery. However, an automobile also has a generator that replaces the energy drawn from the battery. If the generator does not function properly, the battery will soon be dead. Then when you need power to start the automobile, you will find that you have none.

Nothing is wrong with the rest of the mechanical equipment. It simply has no power by which to function. An automobile has a cable connecting the battery to the car’s mechanisms. If that cable is removed, the battery still has some power to spare. However, the power is not transmitted to the working parts of the automobile, so the car itself is powerless.

Christians are like that. We expend spiritual energy in life and ministry. For us to remain spiritually strong, that energy needs to be replenished. If not, in a crisis moment, we will discover the power is gone. On the one hand, Jesus said that Prayer is the generator that keeps our spiritual power constant. On the other hand, Prayer is the cable that connects us to the omnipotence of God.

Before you react, reach out to God.

When asked, “What is more important: praying or reading the Bible?” C.G. Spurgeon asked, ‘”What is more important: breathing in or breathing out?

Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I don’t believe that Paul expected his readers to be in Prayer every minute of the day. However, he did want them to take Prayer seriously and to continue praying whenever possible.

The adverb translated “without ceasing” in those verses is also used to describe a hacking cough. Paul wanted his people to be people of Prayer. He was devoted to Prayer as a fundamental activity in his life.

In several of his other letters, Paul instructs his readers to devote themselves to Prayer. “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all Prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” – Ephesians 6:18 

Jesus also went out of His way to encourage Prayer among His beleivers. “And He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” – Luke 18:1

Before you react, reach out to God.

Many leading voices have also emphasized the importance of Prayer.  

  • “Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of Prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado
  • “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” – Martin Luther
  • “True Prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.” – Charles Spurgeon
  • “To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees.” – Billy Graham
  • “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work. Prayer is the greater work.” – Oswald Chambers

So let me encourage you. When life is rough, pray. When life is great, pray. What’s at stake here is our ability to keep going. If we don’t get this, we will go throughout our day without the power we need. There is never a bad time to pray, but this is a bad time not to pray. 

Before you react, reach out to God!


THE POWER OF 4



I hate reading, but I do read a lot.

Recently, this caught my attention, and I want you to know about it. 

The Center for Bible Engagement conducted an impressive study exploring the impact of Bible engagement on 400,000 Christians in North America. This study, Understanding the Bible Engagement Challenge: Scientific Evidence for the Power of 4, concluded that the quality of the lives of Christians who “DO NOT engage in the Bible most days of the week” is statistically the same as non-Christians.  

This study revealed THE POWER OF 4.

When you spend only 1-3 times a week reading the Bible, it has next to no impact on you.

As soon as people in the study passed the number three threshold and went into their fourth engagement with the Bible each week, they saw a significantly positive difference in how they felt and how well they dealt with hard times.

  • Feeling lonely dropped 30% 
  • Anger issues dropped 32%
  • Alcoholism dropped 57%
  • Relational issues (especially in marriage) dropped 40%
  • Pornography and other sexual sins dropped 62%
  • Feeling spiritually stagnant dropped 60%

This explains why so many people are hurting.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

  • Are you lonely? 
  • Are you dealing with unresolved anger? 
  • Are you struggling with an addiction? 
  • Are you in a relationship that is struggling?
  • Are you fighting a battle with pornography?
  • Are you feeling distant from God?

Are you ready to upgrade your life?

James 4:8 gives us our next step.

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8 ESV

God speaks primarily through His Word. But remember, when you spent only 1-3 times a week engaging with the Bible, it has next to no impact on you. We all need to experience the POWER OF 4!

If we don’t get this, we run the risk of missing out on God’s many benefits, and our bad habits continue and increase. Get in the Word, and let it get in you. Are you ready to upgrade your life?

Let me invite you to experience THE POWER OF 4.