When Mamas Cry #JOHNNYSAWYERSTRONG

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When Mamas cry … surely heaven gets out all the buckets, right?

And surely the good Lord knows how long that Mamas gonna’ cry, and how many buckets she’s gonna’ need?

I reckon the angels are pretty busy when Mamas cry.

In my big imagination I can see the stealth, precise movement of angel wings as they swoop in and switch out the buckets … carrying them back to heaven for safe keeping.

These blessed tears of pain manifest a deep dependence on the Holy Spirit: because being in the presence of the Spirit strengthens a Mama’s heart. Heck we are all changed when we’re in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

But oh how God works through the tears of worry that birth a hungry faith.

The bible says there is a time to cry. (Ecclesiastes 3:4)

Mamas don’t pick those times … the heart does all the picking.

Mamas cry at the silly things too. The first day of school, the first time a heart gets broken, and the first time we realize our babies don’t need our help anymore.

But sometimes the biggest tears are those that bring the biggest fears. These are the most precious tears because they beg for a stronger faith and learn how to rest in a sovereign God.

God made us to cry so it’s okay to just boohoo when we’re at our Mama’s wit’s end. A good cry clears out all the cobwebs of anxiousness and lets the soul breath in the prince of peace.

God knew we needed an emotional release in this complex Mama makeup that’s wrapped up in our babies.

Even Jesus cried and He didn’t have no babies. (John 11:33,35)

So it makes sense that He knows the heart of a Mama’s cry and what He needs to do for her.

Oh you rest assured that God don’t waste a Mama’s tears. He’s just storing them up in His glory pools. One day He’ll release them like a broken dam and His glory will burst onto the scene to do its work.

Yes, He works through every tear a Mama cries.

So think about all those precious tears you’ve cried Mamas. Nothing so precious to you will ever be forgotten by your Creator … on no … He sent His son to die for those tears.

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There’s a couple of sweet Mama’s I know that’s been using up heaven’s buckets lately. They are precious friends to me. One’s a grand-mama who’s taught me a lot about Jesus. The other is her daughter. These girls sure do love Jesus.

But right now they are crying because their precious, 7 year old, Johnny Sawyer, received a diagnosis of MLA / Leukemia last week.

There’s some hard days ahead of them but these Mama’s are warriors. But even warriors need some help every now and then.

I got a lot of friends out there in cyber space and it would sure be nice if  ya’ll would pray for my sweet friends. Here is a link that will share more of their story. I promise … you’re gonna’ fall in love with the Dyers.

You can also find Johnny Sawyer’s Facebook page at this link. Go visit, like it … and please share it.

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I don’t take this sacred place that I share my heart with you for granted. I just love these sweet Mama’s so very much and they’re just flat out heartbroken right now … they are desperate for our prayers.

If you are a Mama who knows what its like to have endless tears … will you pray, please?

Thank you sweet friends. I’m so thankful for you … and for a Heavenly Father who cares about every single tear that each and everyone of His children cry. (Psalm 56:8)

love mel

Fervant #A Prayer Strategy #LIFEWAYBOOKREVIEWS

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What does your prayer life look like?

Do you say a quick prayer on your way out in the mornings … or do you often forget? Do you find yourself praying as you turn out the light only to fall asleep and not finish talking to God?

Prayer is a discipline for sure … but did you know that the enemy does whatever necessary to keep you from prayer?

“The enemy will seek to discourage you from doing it. Dissuade you. Disarm you by putting a distaste for prayer in your mouth. He wants to see you passionless, powerless, and prayerless.”                                                                                             Priscilla Shirer

Everyday we are at war.

The enemy has a plan to spiritually bankrupt our lives.

Across the pages of Priscilla Shirer’s book, “Fervent,” there are nuggets of wisdom and strategy. In order to do battle, we have to know how the enemy attacks. We can be sure that everyday he will come against our passion, focus and identity.

He will stop at nothing to attack our families, our confidence and calling. He lies in wait to take our purity, our rest and contentment. He goes after our hearts by wounding and soaking them in anger, hurt and unforgiveness. In addition, he goes after our relationships, causing dissension in our families and the body of Christ.

Many times we don’t recognize the enemy for what he is and does. That very use of deception is part of his strategy; however, we must learn to discern when we are being attacked and battle back.

Its time to do battle on our knees.

Priscilla says … “You and I can come to the Father through the mighty name of Jesus. We can pray like the victorious saints of God we’ve been empowered to be.” 

She says that some days, prayer can start out simply as an obedient appointment, an act of discipline, because its the appointed time that we said we’d be there.

If only we’d keep that appointment like we do a needed doctor’s appointment when sick? What could God do in our lives?

Priscilla says that a good place to start is praying specific scriptures and promises from God’s word. You can never go wrong praying scripture. Often times I will pray Psalms 1 and insert my 3 sons names where the pronouns flow.

“Blessed is Matthew that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But Matthew’s delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth Matthew meditate day and night. And Matthew shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth  for fruit in his season, Matthew’s leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever Matthew doeth shall prosper.”                                                                                           Psalm 1:1-3

That’s the beauty of God’s word … when we don’t know what or how to pray, we can go to scripture.

Praying God’s word simply turbo charges our prayers by reminding God of His promises … and friend, God is the ultimate promise keeper.

Is your prayer life lacking?

Do you have no desire, focus or passion to pray?

Are you hungry for breakthrough and real change? .

There are countless stories and testimonies to fuel you faith and show you just what prayer can do in our lives. Priscilla will walk you through the areas of life the enemy attacks and give you practical application that is easy to follow and incorporate into your daily life.

If you need a strategy against the evil one or wisdom to discern his attacks, this is the book for you. If you long to see God move and restore your passion, peace and contentment … this book is a must have.

Nothing in our lives can change unless we petition the one who can change our circumstances.

“Fervent” is a prayer tool that every Christian needs in their tool box.

Priscilla gives the charge … we are all called to pray. What are you waiting for?

“I Am Just Like Her…..Messy Enough To Need Prayer”

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“I could never put something so personal on Facebook.  Can you imagine what people would say about me?” I asked.

My husband and I were having this conversation years ago, about someone who had posted a prayer request, and  the request revealed a lot of personal things some might see as dirty laundry.

I felt sorry for the sweet girl, marveling in her bravery.

“We are supposed to confess our weaknesses to our brothers and sisters and ask them to pray for us….you know like the bible says in James 5:16?” he said.

“But sometimes I think we can be guilty of judging one another and praying at the same time,” I replied.

“Yea, I know…..I don’t think men struggle with that like women might,” he said nonchalantly.

I am ashamed I could relate to what he meant.

As sister’s in Christ, sometimes we can be pretty hard on each other.

Why are we women so apt to gaze into each others life and clearly see the wrong and reason out the circumstances, chalking it up to sin failure?

Does it make us feel better to see someone else struggle too?

Could it be a coping mechanism the devil has taught us to use in order to compare our sin? Maybe we feel better about our own sin when compared to others.

For years I missed the whole point of the scripture in James.

The reason behind confessing is to hold us to a standard of accountability.

Gosh its tough to admit we even need accountability isn’t it?

It was for me.

We don’t like to admit to ourselves much less another Christian our character flaws or sin. Heck, we have trouble confessing to GOD.

We are supposed to be Christians….not sinning Christians…..at least this is the world’s view of the church.  It would be taboo if we admitted to each other we struggle with judging, gossip, jealousy or hate etc….yet James tells us to.

The plain and simple truth is I am a sinner. If we are breathing….we are all sinners.

The accountability I got from my brutally honest husband was the catalyst to help me face my sin.  The pride and judging issues had nagged me for years.

God started convicting me about looking at the negative in a prayer request.

This sweet soul was hurting…..regardless of the why or how she ended up in the situation resulting in a prayer request….she was in pain.

GOD took me back to a time when my own decisions resulted in a time of pain.

Something inside me clicked.

I related to her anguish.

I am just like her…..messy enough to need prayer.

If we are honest….we all have areas in our life making us messy enough to need prayer.

When I judge another…I am putting myself in GOD’S place of authority.

I imagined GOD asking me point blank…..

“So you think you are HOLY enough to do my job?”

Now I ask him to help me focus on my own messes, and not my sister’s when entrusted to pray.

Since I have been praying this simple request over the last few years….there has been sort of a revolution in my heart.

GOD is making me more compassionate…..something I struggle with.

I’m finding my prayer life is more enjoyable….easier and sweeter.

I am experiencing real freedom through GOD’s grace and mercy.

And it feels good.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”  James 5:16

To be righteous means to be right with GOD.

I want to be right with GOD….everyday.

I long for my prayers to accomplish much in my own life as well as those who ask me to pray.

How about you?

GOD make us accountable, trustworthy, prayer warriors….and make our bonds of sisterhood stronger than any snare Satan can set.

A Blessing Named Jon #LightItUpBlue

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autisimHe’s handsome. He’s super smart. He’s delightful to be around and an incredible artist. He is an award winning student in numerous disciplines. His honesty is refreshingly childlike yet inherently mature…. a divine combination that could only come from his creator.

He’s gentle yet assertive. His sense of humor rivals any late night TV comic. Basically I could say he is a typical teenage boy; however, Jon is far from the typical teenager, he excels in everything.

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I distinctly remember the blue October sky, the day Jon was born. A tired but beautiful mommy held this bouncing baby boy while I gazed at big, soulful, curious eyes. He was definitely a looker though he was only a few hours old.

Jon’s story is one of faith, perseverance, two incredible parents and a big God.

The murky unknowns during the early days were no cake walk for my dear friend, Kelli. She and Mike were in unfamiliar territory.

I can’t begin to relate to the incredible journey they have been on for the last 16 years; however, I am not surprised at the victories God has given Jon.

It’s pretty astounding the research and knowledge a driven momma can discover. My friend is ahead of her time in keeping up with cutting edge resources. Kelli became an expert pretty darn quick.

They are relentless in the cause, resilient to the battles, and faithful to their charge. God has blessed their faithfulness many times over…..for they have been devoted to God’s unknown purpose.

They still have days of walking in obscurity. They still have moments of overwhelming fear. They still trust God while some would turn against him.

They still love and serve a God who is sovereign.

You’ve heard it before, a momma’s love knows no limits….this momma AND daddy carry their cause to the throne of God persistently. The truth is….nobody prays for their kids like a burdened mom and dad does.  Jon has been covered in prayer, abundantly well.

And so on this “LIGHT IT UP BLUE” day, this is a post about a blessing named Jon…..an incredible blessing that is fearfully and wonderfully made according to his creator, but it’s also about two faithful parents who are very special.

In fact, they are so special that God looked down on them one day and said…..

“I shall give them a blessing named Jon.”

And so He did.

wards

“Choose to Endure! Overcoming Discouragement and disappointments in the game of Life”

Is there a recurring problem in your life continually discouraging you?  Is it a relationship? A job?  An inconsolable grief?  Your marriage?  A financial concern? A child? Is it sin you can’t seem to overcome? Are you drowning in the consequences of sin?

Discouragement is a key emotion Satan pulls from his bag of tricks.  I know the feeling of discouragement oh so well.  I grabbed the dangling, tainted carrot as recently as yesterday and found myself flat on my back.

Satan uses discouragement to isolate us from GOD.

A recurring discouragement for me of late is health issues.  I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish this weekend and nothing has been done.   I had errands I needed to accomplish but I didn’t feel like getting out….I even turned down a shopping trip with my sister….all because physically I didn’t have the stamina to go the distance. I thought I can at least work on a couple of writing projects….but my eyes were so blurry it hurt to even wear my glasses.  Nothing has been completed as per my expectations; therefore, it didn’t take long for me to get down in the dumps over my health.

So life happens…..it doesn’t go as we plan……and then………disappointment settles in our heart.

This isn’t where we thought we would be at this point in our lives right?

Why did this have to happen and change the course of my life?

The “what ifs and if onlys” bring no comfort as many of us can’t go back and change things…..we are stuck with a new path to navigate.

This perpetual state of discouragement is exactly where Satan wants us to live.

When he keeps us discouraged….he keeps us defeated…..hopeless….almost lonely in our state of misery.  We think no one could possibly understand how we feel….how we hurt….what we face everyday?

Some days it feels like we are just going through the motions….existing in a place where life may go on around us but we’re still stumbling around on the original path where it seems we lost it all.

Life is just plain hard isn’t it?

In all my physical misery yesterday…..I couldn’t focus.  I didn’t feel like doing anything….so nothing got accomplished and I ended up with a bigger to do list…..I ended up discouraged….thinking my health is slipping away from me.

Stealing our focus from GOD is what the Devil works so hard to do in our lives.

He will throw everything in our path until he hits us with the one thing ….that’s going to change it all.

How do we look up…when everything changes?  When we lose the job?  When we lose our health?  When we lose the loved one? When we lose it all?

How do we look up?

How do we keep going?

The bible tells us JESUS was a man of many sorrows….HE experienced our hurts….our fleshly feelings….our disappointments.

In my silly moment of doubt I asked…..how could HE have felt it all?  How could HE understand the utter feeling of deep despair where we feel we are loosing something precious or we’ve already lost it?

I’m ashamed of myself for asking questions like these…but I am so human…and GOD knows this of course.  So once again HE lavished HIS infinite mercy upon the silly child I am…. even with endless questions I have just like a three-year old…HE spoke very clear to me this morning.

When JESUS was hanging on the cross for our sin…HE cried out to GOD….HIS FATHER….

“My GOD, my GOD….why hast thou forsaken me?”   Mark 15:34

I can’t imagine the feeling of being abandoned while dying….can you?

Yet JESUS experienced the ultimate loss.

JESUS was separated from HIS father’s presence…as HE died…hanging by flesh torn hands….in unimaginable agony.

GOD turned HIS back on HIS only son.

JESUS was alone….utterly and completely alone……with all the sins of the world….yours and mine….ravaging HIS body with every drop of redeeming blood….. hitting the ground.

GOD smacked me on the head this morning….you silly child…..JESUS knows exactly how you feel…when your hurting….when you have lost your health….a child…..a job….a home…..a marriage.

HE knows all too well the feeling of loss.

You see the Devil wants us to doubt JESUS….so he sends us the life hurts that diminish our faith and throws us into a spiral of defeat….disappointment…..discouragement.

Satan wants to separate us from JESUS….just like the sins JESUS bore for you and me separated HIM from HIS father.

I now have no doubt……our SAVIOUR truly felt the loss of everything….and I feel comfort from this truth.

It’s in the times we are hurting the most ….we have got to cry out to JESUS….help me JESUS….HELP ME!  I don’t know what to pray or how to pray ……I don’t know what to say…..I don’t know how to go on….I don’t know how to live in this new place I find myself in? HELP ME JESUS, HELP ME PLEASE!!!

I have been so broken before, I didn’t have a clue what to pray or ask GOD to do in my life.

The bible says the HOLY SPIRIT will intercede on our behalf.

“In the same way, the SPIRIT helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the SPIRIT himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings.”  Romans 8:26

“Inexpressible groanings”……WOW!!  Words that can’t express the pain of HIS heart….that’s how much HE cares.

Friend you may feel distant from GOD because HE allowed a great loss to come into your life.  Don’t let Satan fool you…make you think GOD doesn’t care…or even worse….GOD is mean.

Cry out to GOD and ask HIM to help you put your eyes back on HIM when you stumble into discouragement.

Don’t let Satan keep you defeated…..don’t let him steal your purpose in life…..don’t let him make you bitter and feel distant from GOD. 

Chose to endure your trials…..your grief…..your disappointments….chose to lean on JESUS.

We will never understand in this life why we are dealt the cards we have to play with…..but we have to keep our eyes on the game (GOD’S purpose for our life)….and the game maker (our GOD) ….and in the end….. we will win!

“Behold we count those blessed who endured.  You have heard of the endurance of job and have seen the outcome of the LORD’S dealings, that the LORD is full of compassion and is merciful.” James 5:11

“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the LORD has promised to those who love HIM.”  James 1:12

Hang on friend….hang on….

“Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5

Cling to the hope of our future with JESUS…. and the promise that he is always with us….even in our sorrows!

Hang on friend…..JOY IS COMING so CHOOSE TO ENDURE!!!!

choose to endure