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Archive for the tag “hope”

Christmas Uncluttered Day 8

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Today I’m dragging from lack of enthusiasm with our family project. I found myself going to each family member’s room and asking for their items for the “give away” box. Clearly they’re over Christmas Uncluttered. I was even referred to as the “Donation Nazi” (but they all still participated and slowly added their items to the “give away” box).

Once today’s effort was complete, we stood around the overwhelming pile of items while complaints were shot at me about how this project is taking over the kitchen! I proceeded to let everyone know that I would move it to the laundry room before the weekend. Wouldn’t you know, the response was, “How can you do that, the laundry room already looks like this?”

This journey is so eye opening! We want so many things and then when we have them they become distracting, in our way, and causing affliction in our lives. Call me what you wish but I’m certain if we are joyful in our hope of God, patient in affliction from others, and faithful in our prayer life, God will take care of it.

I’m so grateful for Christ’s love and protection.

Merry Christmas!

Paige

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Christmas Uncluttered Day 7

We boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:2(b)-5

Ok, I admit it, this journey of a Christmas Uncluttered is definitely developing perseverance for me. I know our God of hope will pull our family through this journey as he has done many times before. Those who know me can tell you that I’m a ‘getter done’ type of person. If this activity were up to me, I’d shovel the whole house into the driveway and call it a day. BUT I feel that this family activity is better spent as a journey, especially during the season of Christmas.

Our “give away” items have spilled out of the box and onto the floor of our kitchen. We are exploring and discussing outdated items such as flip phones (no offense to those of you who still have one) and trading each other, all while the dog keeps finding his own treasures in the “give away” box and running through the house with them. As I walk through the house picking up stray items, I find myself wanting to fall to the floor and pitch a two-year old fit but I will choose to forego that and instead make a plan B.

Each day I will pray for God to teach me through this journey – perseverance, character, and hope. And along the way, no matter how frustrating, I will boast in the hope of the glory of God!

Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Blessings, Paige

Day 21 Set Your Foot

“I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on.” Joshua 1:3

I remember when I first told my kids about The Circle Maker and circling things and people in prayer. I know they thought that there was something magical about it (since they started asking me to circle all kinds of things in prayer!) but there isn’t anything magical about physically circling something in prayer, only Biblical (i.e., when the Israelites followed God’s orders and circled the city of Jericho until the wall came down). It isn’t a magic trick to get what you want from God. You should want what you get from Him (and if you don’t, you won’t be drawing prayer circles, you’ll be walking in circles).

Circling something in prayer simply means “praying until God answers.” It’s being determined to pray as long as it takes (ALAT – see post Day 17) and remembering that if we stop praying, we could give up just short of a miracle (see post Day 18). “Drawing prayer circles starts with discerning what God wants, what God wills. And until His sovereign will becomes your sanctified wish, your prayer life will be unplugged from its power supply. And getting what you want isn’t the goal; the goal is glorifying God by drawing circles around the promises, miracles, and dreams He wants for you.” says Mark Batterson in Draw the Circle.

Having no idea how God would break down the walls, the Israelites obeyed God’s commands and circled Jericho over and over again. As Batterson states, “They circled the promise thirteen times over seven days! Why? Because even though they didn’t know how God would deliver on the promise, they knew that God would come through somehow, someway! And God didn’t just show up; He showed off His power.”

God is not a genie in a bottle, and your wish is not His command. His command better be your wish. -Mark Batterson

Below is an excerpt from The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson to provide you a sense of the Jericho March –

The first glimpse of Jericho was both awe-inspiring and frightening. While wandering in the wilderness for forty years, the Israelites had never seen anything approximating the skyline of Jericho. The closer they got, the smaller they felt. They finally understood why the generation before them felt like grasshoppers and failed to enter the Promised Land because of fear.

A six-foot-wide lower wall and fifty-foot-high upper wall encircled the ancient metropolis. The mud-brick walls were so thick and tall that the twelve-acre city appeared to be an impregnable fortress. It seemed like God had promised something impossible, and His battle plan seemed nonsensical: ‘Your entire army is to march around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day you are to march around the city seven times.’

Every soldier in the army had to have wondered why. Why not use a battering ram? Why not scale the walls? Why not cut off the water supply or shoot flaming arrows over the walls? Instead, God told the Israelite army to silently circle the city. And He promised, after they circled thirteen times over seven days, the wall would fall.

The first time around, the soldiers must have felt a little foolish. But with each circle, their stride grew longer and stronger. With each circle, a holy confidence was building pressure inside their souls. By the seventh day, their faith was ready to pop. They arose before dawn and started circling at six o’clock in the morning. At three miles per hour, each mile-and-a-half march around the city took a half hour. By nine o-clock, they began their final lap. In keeping with God’s command, they hadn’t said a word in six days. They just silently circled a promise. Then the priests sounded their horns, and a simultaneous shout followed. Six hundred thousand Israelites raised a holy roar that registered on the Richter scale, and the wall came tumbling down.

After seven days of circling Jericho, God delivered on a four-hundred-year-old promise. He proved, once again, that His promises don’t have expiration dates. And Jericho stands, and falls, as a testament to this simple truth: If you keep circling the promise, God will ultimately deliver on it.

I pray that you will keep circling your Jericho and that God knocks down the wall, giving you every square inch of the promise, miracle, or dream He wants for you!

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 20 Go. Set. Ready.

Can you believe that we are already on day 20 of the 40-Day Prayer Challenge? I have been so blessed by so many of you who are emailing, calling, texting and telling me how God has been working in your life over the last few weeks. Our God is amazing! Please keep your answered prayers coming (and feel free to comment below so that our community of pray-ers will see how God can and will work through the power of prayer)!

“He (Abraham) did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8

We will never be ready – to get married, to have kids, to go back to school, or to start a business. We will never be ready financially, emotionally or spiritually, nor will we ever have enough faith, cash or courage. But, as Mark Batterson says in Draw the Circle, “God doesn’t call the qualified, God qualifies the called. If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life.”

Abraham had great faith. God asked him to go to a place where he would receive his inheritance. He obeyed by taking the first step, even though he did not know where he was going. Sometimes we have to take the first step in order for God to reveal the second step, just like the Israelites, standing at the edge of the Jordan River, waiting for God to part the water (see Post Day 7). Take the first step and God will honor it. “Be obedient with the amount of revelation God has given you.” says Batterson.

Remember the old saying, Ready. Set. Go.? When it comes to faith, Go. Set. Ready. seems more fitting. We sometimes spend our entire lives waiting to do what God has called us to do and we never end up doing it because we think we’re not ready. Why do we do this when God has already said “Go?” This is definitely not to encourage you to make thoughtless or prayerless decisions. We must know that God is calling us to get married, start a family, go back to school, or change careers but we can’t be so afraid of doing wrong that we’re not doing right.

“Who can calculate opportunity costs when we ignore the promptings of the Spirit, thereby missing divine appointments? Faith is not faith until it is acted on.” Mark Batterson states.

If you are looking for excuses, you will always find one. -Mark Batterson

What are you waiting for?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 21 Set Your Foot

“I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on.” Joshua 1:3

I remember when I first told my kids about The Circle Maker and circling things and people in prayer. I know they thought that there was something magical about it (since they started asking me to circle all kinds of things in prayer!) but there isn’t anything magical about physically circling something in prayer, only Biblical (i.e., when the Israelites followed God’s orders and circled the city of Jericho until the wall came down). It isn’t a magic trick to get what you want from God. You should want what you get from Him (and if you don’t, you won’t be drawing prayer circles, you’ll be walking in circles).

Circling something in prayer simply means “praying until God answers.” It’s being determined to pray as long as it takes (ALAT – see post Day 17) and remembering that if we stop praying, we could give up just short of a miracle (see post Day 18). “Drawing prayer circles starts with discerning what God wants, what God wills. And until His sovereign will becomes your sanctified wish, your prayer life will be unplugged from its power supply. And getting what you want isn’t the goal; the goal is glorifying God by drawing circles around the promises, miracles, and dreams He wants for you.” says Mark Batterson in Draw the Circle.

Having no idea how God would break down the walls, the Israelites obeyed God’s commands and circled Jericho over and over again. As Batterson states, “They circled the promise thirteen times over seven days! Why? Because even though they didn’t know how God would deliver on the promise, they knew that God would come through somehow, someway! And God didn’t just show up; He showed off His power.”

God is not a genie in a bottle, and your wish is not His command. His command better be your wish. -Mark Batterson

Below is an excerpt from The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson to provide you a sense of the Jericho March –

The first glimpse of Jericho was both awe-inspiring and frightening. While wandering in the wilderness for forty years, the Israelites had never seen anything approximating the skyline of Jericho. The closer they got, the smaller they felt. They finally understood why the generation before them felt like grasshoppers and failed to enter the Promised Land because of fear.

A six-foot-wide lower wall and fifty-foot-high upper wall encircled the ancient metropolis. The mud-brick walls were so thick and tall that the twelve-acre city appeared to be an impregnable fortress. It seemed like God had promised something impossible, and His battle plan seemed nonsensical: ‘Your entire army is to march around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day you are to march around the city seven times.’

Every soldier in the army had to have wondered why. Why not use a battering ram? Why not scale the walls? Why not cut off the water supply or shoot flaming arrows over the walls? Instead, God told the Israelite army to silently circle the city. And He promised, after they circled thirteen times over seven days, the wall would fall.

The first time around, the soldiers must have felt a little foolish. But with each circle, their stride grew longer and stronger. With each circle, a holy confidence was building pressure inside their souls. By the seventh day, their faith was ready to pop. They arose before dawn and started circling at six o’clock in the morning. At three miles per hour, each mile-and-a-half march around the city took a half hour. By nine o-clock, they began their final lap. In keeping with God’s command, they hadn’t said a word in six days. They just silently circled a promise. Then the priests sounded their horns, and a simultaneous shout followed. Six hundred thousand Israelites raised a holy roar that registered on the Richter scale, and the wall came tumbling down.

After seven days of circling Jericho, God delivered on a four-hundred-year-old promise. He proved, once again, that His promises don’t have expiration dates. And Jericho stands, and falls, as a testament to this simple truth: If you keep circling the promise, God will ultimately deliver on it.

I pray that you will keep circling your Jericho and that God knocks down the wall, giving you every square inch of the promise, miracle, or dream He wants for you!

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 20 Go. Set. Ready.

Can you believe that we are already on day 20 of the 40-Day Prayer Challenge? I have been so blessed by so many of you who are emailing, calling, texting and telling me how God has been working in your life over the last few weeks. Our God is amazing! Please keep your answered prayers coming (and feel free to comment below so that our community of pray-ers will see how God can and will work through the power of prayer)!

“He (Abraham) did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8

We will never be ready – to get married, to have kids, to go back to school, or to start a business. We will never be ready financially, emotionally or spiritually, nor will we ever have enough faith, cash or courage. But, as Mark Batterson says in Draw the Circle, “God doesn’t call the qualified, God qualifies the called. If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life.”

Abraham had great faith. God asked him to go to a place where he would receive his inheritance. He obeyed by taking the first step, even though he did not know where he was going. Sometimes we have to take the first step in order for God to reveal the second step, just like the Israelites, standing at the edge of the Jordan River, waiting for God to part the water (see Post Day 7). Take the first step and God will honor it. “Be obedient with the amount of revelation God has given you.” says Batterson.

Remember the old saying, Ready. Set. Go.? When it comes to faith, Go. Set. Ready. seems more fitting. We sometimes spend our entire lives waiting to do what God has called us to do and we never end up doing it because we think we’re not ready. Why do we do this when God has already said “Go?” This is definitely not to encourage you to make thoughtless or prayerless decisions. We must know that God is calling us to get married, start a family, go back to school, or change careers but we can’t be so afraid of doing wrong that we’re not doing right.

“Who can calculate opportunity costs when we ignore the promptings of the Spirit, thereby missing divine appointments? Faith is not faith until it is acted on.” Mark Batterson states.

If you are looking for excuses, you will always find one. -Mark Batterson

What are you waiting for?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 19 Memorial Offerings

“Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.” Acts 10:4

There are no guarantees that God will answer your prayers how you want or when you want but know that God will answer because He always answers! And never underestimate God’s ability to answer anytime, anyplace, anyhow as He has infinite answers to our finite prayers. He can answer them multiple times and He can even answer them forever – because our prayers never die!

“Like parents who collect their children’s elementary artwork and display it prominently on a refrigerator door, the heavenly Father loves our prayers. Each one is a keepsake. Each one functions like a memorial that jogs the memory of the Almighty.

“If our prayers are that precious to God, shouldn’t they be more significant to us? Aren’t they worth collecting like snapshots in a family photo album? Shouldn’t they be treated with respect and dignity, like the monuments that grace the nation’s capital?

“Every prayer we utter is like the marble stones used in the building of the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial. When we pray, we are building a monument to God, a memorial to Him. And those prayers are not perishable. They aren’t wood, hay, or straw. They are a foundation (1 Corinthians 3:10-12) of gold, silver, and costly stones. They will not be forgotten. They will not go unanswered.” says Mark Batterson in his book, Draw the Circle.

We never know when, where or how God will answer our prayers or when, where or how we might be the answer to someone else’s prayer. But we do know that when we live by faith, our memorial offerings are for God’s glory.

Our prayers don’t die when we do, God answers them forever. -Mark Batterson

Prayerfully, Paige

Day18 Keep Circling

“On the seventh day, march around the city seven times.” Joshua 6:4

I can only imagine what the Israelites were thinking when God told them to circle the city for seven days. I’m sure they questioned His battle plan at Jericho as it didn’t make any sense. Circling that wall in silence each day for six days and then seven times on the seventh day had to feel like forever. But they obeyed God and kept circling.

This is one of my favorite devotions of Draw the Circle! Mark Batterson reminds us, “Sometimes God will push us to our absolute limits – the limits of our faith, of our patience, of our gifts. That is how God stretches our faith and builds our character. Remember when God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac? When God intervened and provided a ram in the thicket? God’s intervention didn’t take place until Abraham had put Isaac on the altar, tied him down, and raised the knife. God pushed Abraham to the precipice of logic. He tested Abraham to see if Abraham trusted Him. Abraham passed the test and got a testimony!

“What if the Israelites had stopped circling Jericho on day six? They would have forfeited their first victory in the Promised Land. But there was much more at stake than that. They would have forfeited the Promised Land altogether. But they didn’t stop. They kept circling. And if you keep circling, the walls will come down. If you pray through, the breakthrough is inevitable!”

Don’t put a period where God puts a comma because it’s not over until He says it’s over. If your prayers are ordained by God, then the battle belongs to Him and it’s His victory to win, not yours.

As you may have experienced (I know I have), God’s timing is perfect. He’s never early or late but right on time, all of the time! We have a God who directs our steps, prepares good works in advance, causes all things to work together for good, and fights our battles for us. Don’t lose heart, hope, faith or patience! Keep asking, seeking and knocking (Matthew 7:7). Keep circling.

Praise God for a yes and trust Him with a no. And if the answer is not yet, keep circling (even when you feel like quitting and think your efforts won’t make a difference)! There are no other options.

If you don’t get out of the boat, you’ll never walk on water. -Mark Batterson

Is there a battle you’ve given up on or a wall you’ve stopped circling?

Prayerfully, Paige

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