The Problem With Submission…

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” -James 4:7-8

I have a tough time with one word in this passage.
It has nothing to do with God, faith or salvation…it has everything to do with how this word is used in the world, sometimes maliciously, in order to put people in their place.

What is the word?

“Submit”.

I don’t do well with submission.
Honestly, it makes me feel like a prisoner having to obey the warden. (Images of Shawshank Redemption come to mind)…

Perhaps it is because I have personally witnessed that word being used and abused.
Perhaps it is because I struggle with my own need for freedom.
Regardless of the why, there is still the issue with the how…how do I submit…and the ‘who’ – who am I to submit to?

For some of us it is the trust involved in such an act.
Questions like, “what if my trust is betrayed”, and “can I really trust them”?
Many time it isn’t even about submitting to God, but rather authority figures in our own lives; Bosses, business advisors, managers, family members…etc. Then, when we have been burned by submitting to a faulty human-led system, we transplant this disappointment and disillusionment upon God…as if He too is imperfect and will let us down.

I too have struggled with this notion, meanwhile transplanting my own mortal experience upon an immortal God. But have I short changed God when I’ve done this? Do I still struggle with these trust issues? Can I fully submit to God in spite of my past hurts and the numerous failed dumpster fires of attempted human submission?

Maybe I’m overthinking this…have you ever done that?
I’ve counted all of the variables, outcomes, pros and cons way before ever taking a step. My 1st Grade Teacher’s voice keeps ringing in my ear as she said, “look before you leap.” But maybe in this case, it’s the other way round?! Perhaps I just have to go for it and place my all before God when I do.

In James 4:7-8, perhaps it’s more about coming near to God than it is about submitting to Him…because wouldn’t we naturally do that anyway when we really, really know someone? After all, didn’t God come close to us first when He sent Jesus into this messed up world? He met us more than halfway as He hung on a cross for our sins.

You see, I know all of the theological implications of such an act. I know Jesus intellectually, but are there still times when my heart does not know Him…when I’m not near to God, in fact, I couldn’t be further from Him? Have you ever felt like that? We have all of the head knowledge, but when it really comes down to it, there’s a heart issue that still needs working out.

If you’re anything like me, perhaps you’re still trying to reconcile what submission looks like with God. I’ve been on this journey for quite some time, and I feel that the Holy Spirit has led me this far, I’m going to have trust Him in the things I have yet to figure out. He hasn’t given up on me, and I’m positive He certainly hasn’t given up on you either. Perhaps it’s not so much submission that He’s after, but rather a closer relationship with us. After all, doesn’t submission come from a place of trust? I cannot submit to something I don’t trust, and I cannot trust if I don’t come close enough to God.

The trouble with submission is we aren’t close enough to a God who desires a relationship with us…and I’m still working through this. I don’t have a Mary Poppins answer for you, just a notion and a nudge to deepen your relationship with the Almighty…we just might discover that is what was needed all along.

-Something more to ponder today.

Dear Salvation Army, The Fish-Bowl Effect…

Dear Salvation Army, are we fooling ourselves?
Are we seeing one thing within our ivory towers while the reality looks quite different?

Please don’t take offense.
I mean no disrespect.
I just wonder if there are times that we are disconnected from how things truly are as opposed to how we perceive them to be.

It’s like the notion of missing the mark of evangelism & missions…It is like aiming for the lost with a harpoon when what you needed was a loving hug and a warm cup of coffee. Or perhaps, there is this grandiose idea of what success will look like (we envision a mega church with people all neatly lined up trying to get in) when in reality it is meeting with that single mother and ensuring she has enough to feed her family and she takes the leap of coming to church on a Sunday morning.

Do we miss the mark because our notion of successful mission has been aligned with a faulty or unrealistic sense of who we are serving and what they need? It can become that illustration of insanity, ever endeavoring to do the same thing over and over again, only to realize that it hasn’t worked in thirty years.

Perhaps we need to wake up.
I fear we have become too insulated in our own fishbowls, be it the corps, divisional headquarters, territorial headquarters or beyond. We cannot sit in our offices and expect the people to come to us. Yes, our branding is recognizable, but that doesn’t mean that we become lazy in our planning and in the reaching for the lost, hurting and oppressed. We cannot afford to sit in our fishbowls. We cannot become complacent, overly busy with interior paperwork, when outside in our communities families and individuals need to see the hope that the Holy Spirit is prodding us to give because we serve more than just an Army, we serve the Lord first and foremost.

Dear Salvation Army,
I am fearful that we have lost our way, because of mission drift.
I am fearful that leaders from every rank have forgotten what it means to have a heart to God and a hand to man. This is a broad brushstroke, not aimed at offending, but perhaps prodding those who need it. There are many, many saints in our Army. I wish to recognize that as fact, may we ever endeavor to emulate their great faith!

Lastly, we cannot program our army to death.
We cannot course correct without first dispelling the faulty realities that have gotten us to this point.

Questions to Ponder:
What fishbowls do we need to get out of today?
Do we truly know the communities and people that we have been commissioned to minister to?
Have we prayed about our mission and vision for the lost in our areas of influence? (Not all of these places will look the same, or require the same kinds of ministry tools to reach the lost and disciple the faithful).
How can we (I) encourage 1 person today (maybe more, but start with just one)?
Can we pray that God would reveal to us the hindrances and hang ups in our lives right now that prevent us from having a greater impact on the Kingdom in His name?

As I sit here and write this, I admittedly have first considered the fishbowls that I have placed myself in. No, this has nothing to do with appointments or rank, but as a follower of Christ there are walls that I have constructed that have not been ordained by Him. Constructs that insulate my selfish heart and profit nothing for the Kingdom of Heaven. Perhaps you can relate, dear Soldier. I believe that if we do not first dispel these walls and climb out of our fishbowls, so too will our impact for the Kingdom be limited.

Can we identify these fishbowls?
Are we prepared to climb out of them?

Something more for our Army to ponder today.
To God be the glory!

Dear Salvation Army: Is The Holiness Movement Dying? Then Perhaps This is Why…

I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God’s creational intentions.” John Wesley

Dear beloved Army,
This holiness movement used to be so much grander than it is today.
Are we a dying breed?
Is this movement more of a nod to a bygone era?

More and more, we find that Holiness is being preached less and less, and even more praytroubling is that holiness is not being lived out or made into something real and tangible for the world to see.  The notion of being set-apart is both vital and necessary for the purpose of entire sanctification.   Being set-apart means that we wash the feet of those who have only experienced religion with strings attached.  For we are not a religion, we are a movement that preaches about this holy relationship we can have with the Almighty!  We are a movement (or at least we used to be) that lived out holiness and preached it from our pulpits.  If this is missing in our corps and in our witness then perhaps we have lost a step and are no longer a moving, passionate movement…but instead could it be that we are static and floundering about trying to define our identity apart from Holiness?

Have We Forgotten The Power Prayer?  
couttsGeneral Frederick Coutts once said:  “To pray together is to be shielded from evil, not only from the perils which beset the body, but also the dangers that assail the soul
Coupled with this near extinction of the Holiness movement, have we lost sight of the power of prayer?  Has prayer, and prayer meetings become a thing of the past in our corps?  I am sure that some will write me and proclaim that their corps still holds prayer meetings, this is wonderful news to hear, but for every one corps that proclaims this, there are most likely three or four more that will admit to its vacancy.   Have we stopped praying for one another?  Have we relinquished this vital weapon of spiritual warfare?  An Army no longer on its knees in prayer is an army who ill-equipped for the battles ahead.  How can we march out into the streets and boldly proclaim “the world for God” when we have not been earnestly praying for each other in our corps buildings as we individually engage in spiritual battles no one is willing to talk about let alone confront?

holiness.jpgI believe that if that we are to experience a revival again as a movement, it will only come when we begin to take our prayer lives more seriously.  This spiritual discipline is vital to both the corporate worship setting as well as the personal one done in those private moments.  Let me ask you this, how often to you pray for your fellow soldiers and officers? How often do we lift up our concerns before the Almighty and continue to wait on Him?  In our fast paced lifestyles we have grown impatient and we lack attention to prayer.  We need more prayer warriors in our Army and less prayer worriers.  We need authentic, vulnerable moments in our pews as much as we need real, genuine times of solitude in our homes devoted to prayer.

The disciples, post ascension, waited on God…only when they waited and prayed and longed for His presence were they able receive His holy presence and go out and proclaim the resurrected and transformational Christ!

prayerSomewhere along the line did we get ahead of Christ?
Did we leave Him in our upper rooms?  Did we rush out to do good works and forget to bring Him with us?  We can certainly fix the brokenness of physical needs through charity and social work, but we cannot bring the cure to sin-sick habitual living if we ourselves have forgotten about the need for entire sanctification in our corps and in our lives.  The uniform means nothing if we do not first have this yearning to become the very image of Christ in our living and in our breathing.  Apart from Him we can do nothing.

So let me ask you this:  Is the Holiness movement dead?
Is it on life support in our army?
Or is it thriving in your “neck of the woods”?
If it is indeed thriving, please tell us about your experiences!
I would never presume anything about your corps, and I am not saying anything other than what the Lord is convicting me of in my own life right now.
It is my belief that if we are not continually laying our all on the altar in full-surrender to Christ, and if we are not giving ourselves continually to the discipline of prayer – we will in affect have sounded the death-knell of this Holiness movement.

Dear Salvation Army, if we have been asleep to these disciplines, I pray we wake up and shake off the polarizing agendas and the distractions and get on with being Holy…from this act we can then do this holiness through the mission of our movement.

Something more for our Army world to Ponder today!
To God be the glory!

*Disclaimer: These thoughts and opinions are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Salvation Army.  Reader discretion is advised.* 

Let’s Get Uncomfortable About Prayer

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Today is National Prayer day.
So let’s talk about prayer shall we?!

We have these images in our minds when we think about the word “Prayer”…perhaps it looks like this:  handsor maybe maybe this:
gardenThese iconic images of prayer are okay, but are they really what prayer looks like and should be for us today?  Don’t get me wrong, I am not discounting some of us might fold our hands like this when we pray, but by and large our prayer life probably looks more like this:

car.jpg

Driving back and forth from home to work, only to repeat this process.  Perhaps after a really good, challenging Sunday service we might feel compelled to be more intentional about prayer and so we turn off the radio and simply talk to God.  Realistically, the World around us seems to be a constantly busy place and our prayer life can begin to be measured out in how long it takes us to get to work.

Still there are some of us whose prayer life resembles this:
sleep
We work hard all day long and when it comes time for us to go to bed we think about prayer.  So we pray, and we are serious about it, but at the end of the day we are completely spent and so our prayers fall into sounds of deep breathing and even snoring.

I don’t say this as a guilt trip, because I’ve been guilty of this too.  We mean well, it’s just that our bodies and our minds are tired and we drift off to sleep.

Let’s Get Uncomfortable About Prayer:
This will probably be unpopular among many Christians, but we are too soft.  We are not as disciplined as we should be in regards to prayer.  Instead of looking like this in our prayer life:  runing

(We don’t take the intentional time we need.  We aren’t focused.  We lack the discipline to keep going.  We struggle with many distractions such as TV, cell phones, social media, websites, books, video game…etc. )

So we end up looking more like this in regards to the discipline of prayer:
couch
And the only time we pull out our prayers, our conversations to God, is when we are in need of something.  Could it be that THIS is why we feel as if God isn’t listening?  Perhaps because we haven’t really disciplined ourselves enough to have a constant conversation with Him?

It’s like the couch potato suddenly gettingug up from the comfortable sofa and putting on their shoes and attempting to run a marathon without any training.  Sure, some might actually finish, but by and large most would fall flat on their faces in utter exhaustion.

Prayer takes work.  
Real prayer isn’t a bunch of “Thees” and “Thous” thrown into some fancy sentence full of flowery meaningless words.  God doesn’t want our ritualistic prayers.  He doesn’t want us to be something we’re not.  He wants our authenticity.  He longs for us to be completely candid with Him.  He already knows us, there’s nothing hidden from Him…so why do we feel as if we have to put up a wall or limit what we say to Him?

Brother Lawrence, in his little book called “The Practice of the Presence of God” said this; “Do not be discouraged by the resistance you will encounter from your human nature; you must go against your human inclinations. Often, in the beginning, you will think that you are wasting time, but you must go on, be determined and persevere in it until death, despite all the difficulties.
― (The Practice of the Presence of God)

True prayer requires concerted effort.
It might require us to become uncomfortable.
Discipline is required to spend time conversing with the Almighty.
It is not a waste of time.
He does hear us.
He will speak…but the question is are we actually listening?

Do we need prayer?
Absolutely…BUT perhaps prayer isn’t what we have always been taught it is.
Could it be that our prayers should resemble more of a constant invitation for God to hang out with us?  Could it be that instead of kneeling at our bedside,  we continually begin to think and speak to our Creator?  Perhaps we’ve been taught prayer is all about closing our eyes…maybe we should open them instead.  God longs for our fellowship, and a part of that fellowship is our constant communication with Him.  He is nearer than we think or realize.  But perhaps could it be that our hearts are not completely in tune with Him?  Perhaps we are out of sync due to our random, undisciplined prayer lives?

The Discipline of prayer is more than just a notch in the “Christian” belt of accomplishments (hopefully we don’t think of it like that), it is connect ourselves completely to the Divine.  It is a part of Holiness.  It is a part of the complete surrender the Holy Spirit is desiring from us.  For many of us, a complete surrender is really scary to think about.  Instead of thinking about the things we will give up, think about the life that we will gain and the peace and knowledge that brings.

I’m not there either, but I want to be.
Something more to ponder today.

A Paris Terror Attack Pondering – How We Should Respond

When someone intentionally kills another person we call it “murder”.
When someone intentionally kills multiple people we call it “mass-murder”
When a group claims responsibility for killing over 100 people we call it what it is – “Terrorism”.

attackI mourn, as many do, for the senseless killings that took place in Paris on Friday.
Innocent people were gunned down while they socialized at the end of the work week.
For 30 minutes in the streets of Paris, order was turned into anarchy by a handful of radical terrorists with high powered weapons and explosives.

I have read numerous posts and blogs that have somewhat reflected my anger and outrage, and the truth is MOST people are outraged when senseless violence takes place upon the innocent.  I have also read numerous profanity laced comments and hate filled posts – this behavior is somewhat understandable in fits of rage, but it never helps.
attack2
What is the Christian Thing To Do?  
As Christians, we are called to a higher standard…and it IS a very difficult place for many of us to remain in the midst of injustice, violence and hatred.  As a Salvationist (A member of The Salvation Army) I read the response of General Andre’ Cox today.  In his response he correctly stated this, which I wholeheartedly agree  with:

coxI want to say that my purpose here is not to make political statements. Others are better placed and carry a particular responsibility to do just that…please pray for political and national leaders. All of them, not just President Hollande and his team in France, but leaders in your country and mine.

National leadership is never easy. History shows that. These men and women need the faithful and continual prayers of the Church, regardless of our personal political persuasions. Whenever I meet with political leaders in any country I assure them of my personal prayers, and those of Salvationists in that country. It is important that they know of this.

…I exhort you today to pray, deeply, for the grace of God and the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit, to be felt and experienced, in some manner, by the hundreds of family members personally devastated by the senseless loss of life in these hours. Death comes to all, but how it comes and in what circumstances, can add layers of added grief and pain……I urge you to pray for the Church, the Body of Christ, of which our Salvation Army is a vital partThere will possibly be strong voices within the public sphere calling for vengeful retribution against those who had nothing to do with these atrocities. In some small way the voice of the Church, of you and I, can call for added grace and care in these days. We can bring light into the gloom.”


The Christian response isn’t to call for revenge or violence.  My old self would greatly desire to see revenge take place, but this new creation that all of us share requires more grace, more forgiveness and especially more prayer.  I also recognize that God will be the final judge, not us.  All of creation is His and His alone and from this perspective we are to understand justice and redemption.

Be vigilant in prayer.  prayer
Be aware of hatred and sin in our world, but do not participate in its evil.
We are set apart, and in so doing, we must shine the light of Christ during such dark places and moments such as these!  Cast aside, at all costs, these worthless prejudices which blind us to redemption of all people from all walks of life.

Rest assured that sin cannot remain in the presence of God no matter what  those sins are.
Pray for our world, pray for its leaders, and for the areas of evil and terror that are present within it.
Pray that God will change the hearts of men.
Pray that we seek Him out and live for Him, so that our response to all of humanity is holy and Godly.

Please Pray With Me:
I mourn for the victims in Paris.
I pray for those who have to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
I pray for President Hollande of France, for President Obama of the United States, for other leaders in our world who will undoubtedly take action in rooting out wicked people bent on destruction and hiding behind the guise of religion.
I pray against the persecution of all kinds.
I pray for the Body of Christ to be evident through love, grace and hope in a world sometimes devoid of these life-giving qualities.
Please uphold our countries in your prayers.
Please pray for justice and for healing.
Pray that through such dark times – God’s glory will be evident.

This world is greatly complicated with politics, greed, ulterior motives and hatred, I pray that the Church seeks to reduce this instead of adding to it.  May we be His ambassadors, full of His holiness and love.

Something more of the Church to ponder today.
To God be the glory, honor and power, forever and ever – Amen.

Perspectives Day #2 Featuring Captain Pete Brookshaw – “What is a Salvationist? You’ll be surprised by the answer…”

If you’re part of The Salvation Army, you’re part of a dynamic, exciting movement with a desire to change the world. There I’ve said it. Though one may ask, what actually is Salvationism? What is a Salvationist?

Let me start with this: I’ve heard plenty of definitions of the mission of The Salvation Army. Maybe you have too. Some inspire you to make a difference and others feel like dry words merely articulated on a page. It goes without saying, when the mission is clear, The Salvation Army has clarity and focus. And clarity and focus is what we need.

So what then is the mission of The Salvation Army? And further more, what is Salvationism?  


In the Australia Southern Territory of The Salvation Army, we say that God raised up the Army for the purpose of:

  • Transforming Lives
  • Caring for People
  • Making Disciples
  • Reforming Society

In other parts of the Army, the words spoken by General John Gowans are used: The Mission of The Salvation Army is to Save Souls, Grow Saints and Serve Suffering Humanity.


If you haven’t heard, the International Mission Statement of The Salvation Army is:


The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian
Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission
is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.


Some narrow down the mission of The Salvation Army to one sentence: Win the world for Jesus.


It’s bold, gutsy, arduous and worth embracing. The Salvation Army does not sit around waiting for bums on seats. We won’t sit and wait for the world to embrace God, like all of a sudden people will start flocking to our communities of faith, believing we have some answers to their brokenness. The Salvation Army is a pragmatic movement seeking to change the world, for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

Salvationist is one working to that end. 


I mean, a Salvationist is clumsily defined in most dictionaries as, ‘A member of The Salvation Army.’ Though, that’s like defining a great hamburger as ‘A bun with a meat pattie and some ingredients inside.’ It fails to encapsulate the essence of Salvationism.

A Salvationist has agreed to live a certain way (holiness) and has agreed to live out and actively pursue the fulfilment of the mission of The Salvation Army. Soldier’s sign a Soldier’s Covenant, because they understand the significance of what Salvationism means and the power of aligning oneself to such a covenant.

I think the signing of that Soldier’s Covenant and subsequently living out that covenant is relevant and spiritually powerful.


The Salvation Army should be unapologetic in calling people to Salvationism. In an age where we are post-denominational and we are a ‘go with the flow’ kind of people, it is still of value to stand by principles that create clarity and purpose for one’s life and to then commit to it.

We are a salvation people.

I am reminded by a lady in our Corps named Di. She is being enrolled as a soldier very shortly. Though the story goes back to coming for welfare support at the corps. Then she joined our community lunch and starting helping. Then she immersed herself into our Thrift Shop ministry. At some point she chose to forgive her mother. Then she starting dancing and laughing up the front of the church on a Sunday morning. Then we did Soldiership classes. She wants to change the world. She wants to express that desire through Salvation Army Soldiership.

Pause for moment. 

Let me make some quick comments on what it means to be a Salvationist. A Salvationist is a:

  • Passionate prayer warrior
  • Committed social justice advocate
  • Zealous evangelist
  • Generous giver
  • Faith-filled risk-taker
  • Holy-inspired follower of Jesus
  • Covenanted child of the King
  • Unapologetically driven to support the work of the Kingdom of God through The Salvation Army
  • Loyal and active participator in a local Corps

You may add your own thoughts on what it means to be a Salvationist.

Let me finish with this definition of Salvationism.

William Booth sums up Salvationism in one sentence:

‘Salvationism means simply the overcoming and banishing from the earth of wickedness.’  

To read more, go to www.petebrookshaw.com

Dear Salvation Army,THIS ______Changes Everything!!

“The divine breath evokes divine harmonies.” General Frederick Coutts

Dear Army,
-Are there not days when you feel tired, worn and spent?
-Are there not moments when circumstances and reality hit you square between the eyes and you can’t help but wonder about your own breaking point?
-Are there not moments when you leave home long before the sun rises and finally enter your home once again well after the sun has gone to bed?

This is fight is not a fight that we will win on our own.
What fight you ask?  The fight against sin.  The fight against injustice.  The fight against poverty.  The fight we as Christ-followers engage in every day.   We will never be strong enough on our own, yet pridefully we attempt such feats only to find discouragement and loss.  We can not defeat the enemy, who is the father of lies and the bondages of sin…on our own.  We are not the source of strength.  We were not created to be islands unto ourselves, self-sustaining and without need of help.

Our weapons of war are provided to us.
God the Father sent His Spirit to guide and to provide.
He alone has the power to equip us in these battles we fight.
The battles are far from over.
They are turbulent and many casualties within our ranks have occurred.
Yet, because of His great love and His love for those who are lost, we carry on.

So what changes everything?
What is the tipping point within the war?
What is our secret weapon you ask?

SAPrayOur power comes from the One who sends us out into the fray.
Our power comes from a band of soldiers bound together in holy prayer, without personal benefit, but for the purpose of upholding one another within the very hands of God.  Our power resides in His Holy Presence sustaining us in the darkest of moments and in the most dire of circumstances.  He is but a whisper away and will come to our aid even before we ask Him.

The real key to this Divine power is our faith and allegiance.
Do we sincerely believe He can still perform miracles in our world?
Do we sincerely believe that God will answer, or even hear our prayers?
Do we humble incline our hearts and ears to listen to His answers that He whispers to us?
Are we prepare to move when He sends us?
Are we ready to act and to speak when we prompts us to?

The true power of prayer resides within His provision as well as our receiving and believing.
The receptacle has to accept that which is given in order for the light to shine.
So how is your heart today?
Do you firmly believe God has orders for you?
Are you ready to humble accept those orders?
What of your brother or sister along side you in this war?
Will you make it a matter of discipline to bring them daily before the throne of God in prayer?
Can you commit to encouraging and lifting up one another?
Forget about Church politics, policies and procedures, the jostling for political powers that occur within any Church…and pray.

It is quite astounding that we often times treat prayer as some sort of last resort in our spiritual arsenal, when it is our front-line.   The disciplined solider MUST intentionally seek out the front-line weapon that is prayer.   It ought not remain a knee-jerk response to times of crisis; because if we gird (arm) ourselves and bath ourselves as well as our fellow comrades in this Holy power, we will be equipped and baptized in His Holy Presence.

Prayer changes everything…if we will proactively employ its power before the daily battles begin.

kneelingQuestions to ponder today: 
How can I employ the power of prayer before I engage the world each day?
Am I lifting up my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (in and out of uniform)?
Have I, in the past, only resorted to prayer when everything else had failed?
How can I change my prayer life so that I can better engage the world around me?

Oh that my utterances in prayer be for You alone dear Lord.
That my heart and its intentions are bowed low before Your throne.
Gird this way, the path that you have set before me.
Baptize me again in Your Holy presence
Fill me a new today.
-Amen

Something more for our Army to ponder today!

“Finding Refuge”

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  “Selah” -Psalm 46:1-3

How are you today?
Do you feel beat up, crushed, broken and worn out?
How is your spirit?
Are you running on empty today?

There is much in the world that never seems to turn out right.
There is so much pain and suffering in our world!
Sometimes I feel as if this world is hopeless and that evil has won.
Sometimes I turn on the tv and hear news stories or genocides, terror, natural disasters, political tensions and it all just seems to inundate our lives.  Is this all that we are?  With all of our progressive science and medicines and technologies we still see death, famine, disease and death.

Some would say that this is just life, they way it has always been.
I’m not happy with that simplistic answer.   It seems too apathetic to me, too jaded.
Innocent die every day in every corner of the world, and we could compartmentalize this and say, “well at least it’s OVER THERE, and not here…”  Really?  Are we not all human?  Are we not all connected to the very fabric of what makes us live on this earth?  I don’t presume to have the answers to the sickness of our world, but I do know that there is refuge.  I do know that there is hope.  I do know that we can must rise above this existence!

Finding the Strength to overcome? 
It comes from God – “God is our refuge AND strength...” (Psalm 46:1)
Is God something evident in our lives today?
Are we relying on His strength?
Is He accessible to you?
Do you call out to Him in your desire to find refuge from your problems, sickness and fears?

He is our ever-present help in times of trouble! (Psalm 46:1)
When we recognize Him for who He is, we can find the strength and courage to overcome.
When we seek out His refuge in our lives, it makes all the difference in the world.
In fact the writer of this particular Psalm states that even if the earth gives way and everything crumbles before us we don’t have to fear.  Why?  Because God is near.  God will be our strength.  God will be our refuges. The creator of the very earth that is crumbling before our feet is there to offer His help to us.

I don’t know what is going on in your life today, but I do know that there is a mighty God who wants to be included in it!  He wants to be your guide, your refuge, and your strength!  If you’re seeking refuge the deluge of life today, look no further…because God is there!

Prayer:
Dear Lord, please help me in my day to day, moment by moment.  Help me with the problems that I am facing today.  You know my situations and I am seeking refuge in your loving arms!  Grant me peace, allow me to feel your strength and guidance just now.  In your Holy name I pray these things.  -Amen.

Something more to ponder today, He can and will be your refuge in your times of trouble…do you trust Him?
God bless!

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