The Great Exchange

Lent looks so different this year. In fact, everything looks different.

I have some things that are causing me stress but I can’t do anything about most of them except hand them over to God to work out. And I am thankful I can rest in knowing that He sees the picture and He knows the needs. But it is good for me to speak them aloud. And it is always

What are you giving to Him to redeem? For me, half the battle is letting go!!!

Letting go of my guilt and shame…

Letting go of my right to be mad…

Letting go of my instance on being right…

Letting go of how I think things should be…

Enjoy this sweet song from Bruce Carroll

Bruce Carroll — The Great Exchange

Let’s pray for all the small business who are struggling. Pray for the wisdom of the owners and the decisions they are making!

At the Cross

I don’t know where this pandemic finds you, but we are in a time of quiet. I know everyone isn’t in that space. My schedule has changed dramatically. I was supposed to be in Hungary for three weeks, starting April 1st, and my schedule was supposed to be pretty hectic leading up to that time.

So, here I am. Here most of us are. And, as I watch spring unfolding around me, I am thankful that God is always tweaking my perspective. He knows what I need and sometimes He makes us lie down in green pastures.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.
Psalm 23

Below is such an amazing song. I just love it! I hope it becomes a new favorite for you too!

At the Cross

Today, let’s pray for those who have wildly new routines that cause an incredible amount of stress in their lives. I am thinking of those families who have children with differing abilities that take extra care and planning and adjustments. My nephew has autism and he is just now adjusting to this major change in his schedule and life. ~ Liz

Come

My music choices were very diverse when I was 13-16 and still are. I was influenced by my brothers, Top 40, choir music, band music, Casey Kasem, as well as a number of other people. But I am always drawn to guy singers and I love acoustic guitar.

I don’t remember who introduced me to John Michael Talbot but here he is and I would encourage you to explore his music. It is very meditative and simple. It is awesome for times of personal worship.

Come to the Quiet

I don’t know about you and your situation as we deal with all the complications this virus brings. But this time does beckon me to sit at the feet of Jesus and think and pray for a few things.

Let’s pray for the grocery store workers and the truckers and the warehouse people who are working hard to keep store shelves stocked. Here they are, on the front lines of this epidemic. Because we are all so much more dependent on everyone else for our food, they are our lifeline to nutrients. When you see them, say “thank you” or “we appreciate you”. They are putting their lives on the line every day.

Egypt

I don’t know who first introduced me to Keith Green, but I was pretty young, probably about 14 years old or so, when I first heard his music. It was the first time I really realized that God can use your personality and creativity for fun and music — it wasn’t all organs, stained glass windows, and liturgy.

And that was when I realized that God could use me as me. Of course, He has grown and shaped me in and through my life and experiences and He continues to do that for me. But the me who is me — my interests and personality and abilities — are a part of what He can use to reach others with His love, forgiveness, and grace.

In this time of restricted activities, I am thankful the opportunity to pray and fill my mind with good things is permitted! Have you been missing opportunities for Bible Study? There are some amazing options out there! And churches are working on offering sermons and Bible studies. And, believe it or not, we might miss church and gathering together but God’s Word is still the base of what we need. When it comes right down to it, the gathering is nice but The Word is what is essential! Find ways to surround yourself with God’s Word and use this time to dig deeper and discover more about His love and grace — how it applies to you and how it can be shared with others!

There are a lot of great, thoughtful, and meditative songs by Keith so be sure to check his stuff out on YouTube, but, three super fun but deep songs are linked here — LISTEN TO THE WORDS!

So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt

He’ll Take Care of the Rest

No One Believes in Me Anymore (Satan’s Boast)

Has God blessed you through a certain musician on musical group? I would love to know one of your favorite songs performed by your favorite artist!

Today, let’s pray for those who are bringing God’s Word in new ways to those who are desperate for some Good News! Hopefully, you are one of those people! ~ Liz

Jesus

Music soothes my heart and soul and Fernando Ortega always hits the spot. Of course, he is singing about Jesus and that is the main reason this song is amazing. If you need some Jesus in your playlist, I encourage you to look into Fernando.

And, quite honestly, we all need Jesus in our playlist.

How are you doing during these days of social distancing? We are taking it pretty seriously at our house. We are doing our part to minimize the spread of this crazy virus. I hope you are too!

I do think restrictions and downtime allow for more creative expression. Otherwise, people are just busy running to and fro. It has been great to see so much creativity and generosity showing up in my Facebook feed. This is the time when Facebook can really shine. And what a crazy situation that is bringing the whole world together even though we have to be very separate. What a dichotomy!

Today, let’s lift up in prayer those who are in the medical field and facing this virus every day. Pray they are able to thoroughly clean themselves before they enter their home so they don’t spread the virus. Pray the supply of medical supplies matches the needs. Pray for the researchers — that the world of researchers finds the solution.

For the time being, I will move to PrayerPoints every day instead of just once a week. And I will share some amazing songs by amazing artists each day so we can start the day with some perspective!

God’s peace to you today!

Back to Basics

I was just getting into a decent rhythm but it has been shaken up a bit with this incredible health crisis. How about you? However, I am extraordinarily appreciative of the downtime but I still feel a bit scattered.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

I find it very hard to focus on things at the moment. Our two youngest are staying with us which helps provide entertainment and distraction. They are funny people. But I need to come up with a temporary routine as we shelter-in-place in Indiana.

I do love how the world is coming together to share resources — from penguins walking around zoos so people can see the animals to illustrators giving video lessons to read alouds through the libraries. Churches who have not moved to the digital age are stepping out there and learning new things for their members. People are giving what they can in new ways! Let’s embrace and share those good things!

As for me, I am not full of fear but I am full of unknowns. I am waiting it out — all of it! Times are interesting, that is for sure.

Step away from the news. Hunker down in your homes. Cook new things. Try your hand at creating. Check in with the people you love!

And pray without ceasing…..

Afraid or Concerned?

I am not afraid of the coronavirus but I am very concerned about how people are behaving. But then I have to remind myself they are living in fear and that is what makes people behave irrationally.

What can I do?

Right now, there are many things I cannot do. But I am going to focus on the things I can do to help calm the rising tide of fear.

I can pray.

I can listen to others.

I can share with others.

I can encourage others.

I can do what I can to keep myself healthy.

I can wash my hands with soap and water.

I can use this opportunity to share why I am at peace.

I can thank God for this opportunity to regroup and reprioritize.

I can love on my friends and family.

Thank you, Jesus!

Psalm 46

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.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.