Prayer of Jabez

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10 (NIV).

I rediscovered this gem today as I was reading my Bible. It was as if I was reading it for the very first time. I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately, allowing the enemy to beat me up with his lies and diving head long into that spiral of the dreaded…..pity party. Truly, why pity-partyit is called a party I don’t know. When I think of a party I think of a celebration with family, friends, laughter, good food and dessert, yes dessert. There are none of these at a pity party. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit always offers us the opportunity to confess our sin and repent!


Let’s talk about Jabez for a moment. We know very little about Jabez and what we do know is that his name means pain. His mother had named him Jabez saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 1 Chronicles 9b. We also know that he was more honorable than his brothers. (1 Chronicles 9a). We know Jabez cried out to God.

  1. Jabez asked God to bless him and enlarge his territory and God did.
  2. Jabez asked God to keep his hand on him and God did.
  3. Jabez asked God to keep him from harm and free from pain and God did.

Now, I’m a black and white thinker learning more and more about grace in the gray area every day. There is a reason God chose to put this verse in His word. There are no cross-reference Scriptures to 1 Chronicles 4:10, to me it is cut and dry. Jabez asked and God said yes.

Photo courtesy

But, how do we reconcile 1 Chronicles 4:10 to, say, John 16:33?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

Jesus tells us we will have trouble in this world yet Jabez asked to be protected and free from pain and God said yes! What’s more, Jabez asked for a blessing and a bigger territory than he already had and God said yes!

I believe what is key here is what isn’t written about Jabez. This one verse speaks volumes about Jabez’ relationship with God. Jabez was so close with God that he knew he could boldly pray to God and ask for the things on his heart and trust, that in His sovereignty, God would answer according to his will.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Today I prayed Jabez’ prayer asking God to bless me and increase my territory in the ministry that he has called me to be a part of and God did! Sometimes we need a tangible and visible confirmation from God that what we believe he is showing us is what he is showing us. God knows this and I believe he delights in showing us this gift giving, love bucket filling part of his nature.

May God bless you and increase your territory, may he keep his hand upon you and evil from you so that you won’t feel pain. More than that, may you draw closer and closer to Him in a deep and intimate relationship, trusting him more and knowing that in his sovereignty he will answer your prayer according to his perfect will for you life.




He Hears You When You Call

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. Philippians 4:6 The Living Bible.

hands-pack-2-4Just a quick nugget for today. I was praying over some prayer requests this morning and when I came to the last one I was filled with inexplicable joy! My heart was overflowing with praise and thanksgiving, not because of the needs of the requests, rather the praise and thankfulness that wrapped each request. Each request, like a baby wrapped in the warmth and comfort of a blanket, was wrapped in joy, praise and a thankful heart. Thankful hearts that reach out in faith to their Savior knowing He hears every request and will answer according to his will.

But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. John 15:7 The Message.


The Remnant

For a remnant of my people will spread out from Jerusalem a group of survivors from Mount Zion. The passion of the LORD Almighty will make this happen! 2 Kings 19:31.

There it is again, ‘the remnant’. It has been swirling around in my mind for years, popping up here and there from the depths of my being. The remnant.

community-92313-194I first heard of the remnant, some years ago, perhaps fix or six now, maybe longer, from a friend. He felt God asking him to gather a remnant. Since that time the Holy Spirit whispers remnant to me and it resonates with my soul, as if it has always been a part of me, a part of eternity that God has placed in my heart.

One of my best friends and I often talk about the remnant when we’re together, asking what does the remnant look like, who is the remnant? And, a new question I am now asking, “what role as women and believers in Christ do we play in the remnant?”

A remnant is the part of something that is left when the other parts are gone; a small surviving group. During the Old Testament a remnant was usually described as the survivors of Israelites from captivity that God used to continue his people. Paul used remnant in the New Testament to show God’s purpose of bringing believing Jews and Gentiles together to form the Church, the new people of God, who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

FireworksIn one exhaustive concordance I found 65 occurrences of remnants. That is quite a few, in my opinion, for a subject that gets little to no attention. I am beginning to understand and believe that we are all a part of a remnant; a group of believers part of faith families and communities that have one major component. A spark. A spark that remains. A spark that can be fanned into a roaring flame by the power of the Holy Spirit. A spark of faith.

I also believe God is calling women throughout the Body of Christ to rise up in faith and step into their anointing and use the gifts given to them by the Holy Spirit. Some are vision casters, some are door openers, some are both. All are catalyst. All women of Christ can be used by the Holy Spirit to reveal change or action that He will bring about. The question is, are you willing?0534-people

Are you willing to step into your inheritance in Christ, to be used by him as a catalyst and part of a remnant, with a spark of faith? A spark that only he can grow into a consuming fire? Going wherever He takes you and however that looks?

Today I choose to be a part of the remnant I have been placed in for the sake of Jesus Christ and the spreading of his Good News.

So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. Romans 11:5.


Are You All In?

DREAM - VISION“As women, many of us have been given the gift of seeing the big picture; we are vision casters. This is a great gift to possess, however we can get so busy whipping our vision paint around with broad and nonspecific strokes that we forget to fill in all the details. While we have an image of the completed picture in our mind’s eye, the details of how to achieve the end product are a little fuzzy. We have the vision without necessarily the skills and patience to bring it to fruition and it’s sometimes a surprise that is it far more difficult to complete the picture than to conceive it.” Amy E. Spiegel “Letting Go of Perfect”

I read these words and then read them again, staring at them as if doing so would somehow make them change or rearrange themselves on the page. I was struck by the reality that just a few hours before I was having a similar conversation with a sweet friend of mine. I was telling my friend that I had been so focused on the big picture of what God was showing me, that I allowed myself to become blindsided by the actual work it will take to get there. I was digging my heels in until I realized the Holy Spirit was showing me this is the path I need to take to get to where he was leading me…The Big Picture!

It seems that God began showing me big pictures from the very beginning of my relationship with Jesus, many years ago. I use to get so excited by the end result and then quickly become so discouraged because I would realize we would be at square one, the beginning, the place where the hard work, sweat and, yes, sometimes, many tears were. I business_110008020-012914-intbegan saying, “If God were to show me the big picture I would say no choose someone else because I’m not going there.” But, this is a lie, because God hasn’t stopped showing me big pictures. And, lying and my catchall phrase are sin, plain and simple. You know, every night I try to remember to ask God to show me the sin in my life so I can confess and repent. He is always so faithful!

The same night I had been talking with my sweet friend, our Pastor had given a sermon on being all in for Christ. Hmmm, I don’t know about you, but I love when God brings all the pieces together and they fit snugly with one another like a really good puzzle! What I took away from our Pastor’s sermon was this; are you all in because of the benefit to you of the end result, or are you all in for Christ and you will do whatever it takes and wherever He takes you simply because you love Him? Such a great question to ponder!

Nature for Open Door BackgroundI am learning that vision casters have also been given the gift of being door openers. And, if doors that are meant to be opened are left closed then we all miss out on the blessings. So, during this season of revealing, I choose to be transparent, I choose to work hard, I choose to open the doors the Holy Spirit leads me to open and I choose to be all in simply because I love Jesus!

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7




atleta3-col-1113fg-v-528This past Friday evening I attended a women’s event at our church called WOW… Women of Worth. That night I made myself stand at the door and greet each woman who came in. I hugged many familiar faces and introduced myself to many new faces. This may be hard for those of you who know me to believe, for as out going as I am, I need to sometimes be pushed out of my comfort zone and circle of friends to meet new people. We have three vibrant and growing services and even if we all attended each service we would be hard pressed to meet every single woman and make a connection with one another. I attend two services, and while I know many women of our church, there are still many more that I don’t know. That is what this event was all about, crossing over and into all three services and getting to know each other as a whole faith family of women.

I was asked to be a part of the final meeting of the organizing committee. Now, I have to tell you, I never use to be much of an event kind of gal, but I had been feeling the Holy Spirit nudging me in this direction. So, it was no surprise when one of my dear friends, who is also the director of our Women’s ministry, asked me the day before to attend the meeting the following evening. 

When I arrived at the meeting I could tell there was something different from all the other Women’s ministry meetings I had attended in the past. Not that in previous years we all didn’t work hard to accomplish what we felt the Holy Spirit guiding us to do. You see, over the past several years the Holy Spirit has been slowly, gently and graciously awakening us to His presence. Now there is a quickening of Him, so much so, that as I type this my heart is racing in anticipation of what is yet to come!

Ladies, I truly believe God is calling us to stand together united and of one mind in Christ, not only in our faith family but throughout the body of Christ around the world! The Holy Spirit is up to something and it is something BIG!

But, there is some work to be done. It is hard work but the end result will be so marvelous we will all wonder why we waited so long to allow this incredible shift. I believe we are in a season of transparency. We are being called to come together and trust one another with our story. Each of us has a story, and unfortunately, many times it is the story of our past that drives our current attitude and behaviors. God is calling us to share with and be gentle with one another, to come alongside each other and walk through the muck of life together. It is time to shed the facade of everything is fine and to realize that we may be in different seasons of our lives but we all have challenges and struggles.

Ladies, it is time to be HEALED! Do you want to experience spiritual healing? I know I do. Over the past several months my family has struggled through some situations that only my closest friends know of and prayed about. This is only possible because I trust them. Why do I trust them, because we have taken the time to get to know each other and build that trust. We don’t have a false bravado with one another. We come alongside one another and share our concerns, our hurts and our victories. We cry and celebrate with each other and I quite often tell them this life walk would be so much harder without my faith and their friendship and love.

Ladies, I want to know your story and share mine with you! Let’s commit ourselves to each other. To laugh, cry and pray with one another. Let’s share in the victory that is our, Christ Jesus!


Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10




Sticks And Stones…..

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35.

nature-large-boulders-1013tm-pic-1565Something has been burdening my heart lately. I peruse a few different social media sites. On one in particular, I have seen a couple posts by a professing Christian attacking and name calling fellow believers. The childhood saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”, is simply not true. While I am not the victim of this name calling it is a direct attack on the brethren I call family…..every believer in Christ. And, it hurts God’s heart.

How are we to prove to the world that we are indeed Christ’s disciples if we are not loving one another despite our human frailties, our differences in opinion and theology or without knowing each other’s story? Each of us has a story and many times it is the story of our past that drives our current behavior until we let the Savior in to heal us.

When believers call out other believers, in anger, disgust or resentment, over something that they read, hear or has been said to them directly, their witness as ambassadors of Christ is no different than the one being “called out”.  Can you see the subtlety of Satan here? If he can keep many focused on calling each other out publicly with name calling and unkind words, then his job is done for him. Why would anyone want what we have if there is anything but love going on in the house of God?

Beloved, let us be gentle with one another, praying for each other, especially when we want to attack without knowing another’s story. We all have a story.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2.


The Old Becomes New Again

Testament and penYears ago, when I first became a believer in Christ, I spent a lot of time reading only the New Testament of my Bible, it was much more reader friendly for my new found identity in Christ. The Old Testament, with the exception of the Psalms and Proverbs, quite frankly, scared me, with all the wrath, killing and vengeance.

As I began to grow in my relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit began to show me that my aversion to the Old Testament was because I did’t understand the reason behind the life lessons of the Old Testament stories. I began to realize the value of reading my Bible in its entirety, using various yearly reading plans. These days it never ceases to amaze me when something I have read many times over stands out at me and I think to myself, “I don’t remember reading this before!” Or, I vaguely remember reading a certain verse or passage and suddenly it becomes crystal clear what the Holy Spirit is whispering to me to apply to my life or my relationship with Him.

Today was no exception! A bit of a back story to what popped out at me today; there was a lady from the area of Shunem and she and her husband made a room on the roof of their house for the prophet Elisha. Whenever Elisha was in the area he would stay with them. During one visit Elisha told the lady of Shunem that about the same time the following year she would have a child, and she did. A few years later the child died and the lady from Shunem called Elisha to come and help her. Elisha came and prayed to God and the child came back to life. This is an amazing miracle, but it isn’t what stood out at me.

Some time and events later, Elisha told the lady of Shunem to take her family and move somewhere else because God was going to cause a famine on Israel for seven years. After the seven years the lady of Shumen and her family moved back to Israel because the famine was over. She was on her way to see the king to ask him to give back her home and her land. At the same time the king was talking to a man named Gehazi, who was Elisha’s servant. Listen in to the conversation the king and Gehazi had.

Paper scroll on texture  made in 3d softwareAs she came in, the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God. The king had just said, “Tell me some stories about the great things Elisha has done.”And Gehazi was telling the king about the time Elisha had brought a boy back to life. At that very moment, the mother of the boy walked in to make her appeal to the king about her house and land.

“Look, my lord the king!” Gehazi exclaimed. “Here is the woman now, and this is her son—the very one Elisha brought back to life!”

 “Is this true?” the king asked her. And she told him the story. So he directed one of his officials to see that everything she had lost was restored to her, including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence. 2 Kings 8:4-6.

ONLY God could orchestrate the lady of Shunem going to see the king at the same time the king asked Gehazi to tell him some stories of the great things Elisha had done and Gehazi picks her story to tell. The lady of Shunem wanted only her home and land back but the king also restored to her the value of any crops that had been harvested in her seven year absence! That was God too!!

I know this story, I have read it many times but I never saw God’s lovingkindness in this story until today.

??????????????????Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21.


A Vision For The Global Poor

20140507_125142This is a picture of me and my friends Patrick and Bárbara. We met recently, for the first time, while I was on a short trip to Washington D.C. They graciously drove three plus hours to come and share a cup of coffee and fellowship with me and my daughter, oh, and a trip to IKEA! The three of us met through social networking; kindred spirits in Christ. As soon as we saw each other it was as if we had known one another our entire lives. We fell into an immediate and comfortable conversation.

Ten years ago God gave them a vision for reaching the global poor, they became church planters and Living Bread ministries was born. Their approach is holistic and radical; different from traditional views. They have taken humanitarian aid and combined it with church planting. They go into poor communities aboard and seek out the community leaders asking where the greatest need is, i.e., perhaps a particular community is in need of a food ministry while another is in need of a clothing ministry. They provide the financial means for these specific needs at the same time developing a leadership team to plant a local church. They work closely with the leadership team of the newly planted church discipling them to become fully operational on their own as well as learning how to plant churches in the same way their local church came to fruition. Thus, enabling Living Bread ministries to move on to other globally poor area’s reaching many more for the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Currently, they are working in Brazil and are expanding into Thailand and I am excited to see the other countries around the world that God is leading them. To learn more about what Patrick and Bárbara are doing through Living Bread ministries click here to be redirected to their webpage.

You can also read an interview blog post that I did on them a few months ago here.




Coming Home

She could hear the waves gently lapping against the shore. It was low tide. The sun was shining brightly creating sparkling glints of light off the surface of the water. She could see schools of small, vibrantly colored fish; red, green, orange, yellow even purple, swimming lazily just at the break of the waves, sunning themselves in their own tropical paradise.

All around her progress had happened. The rich, dense, red soil that was once home to sugar cane fields as far as the eye could see, gave way to stores, strip malls and condo’s. The long two lane road that offered one way in and one way out of town, had expanded years ago with the development. But this was Ewa, her Ewa, the Ewa she knew as a child and the neighborhood where her house stood was seemingly untouched by progress and time.

As she stood gazing at it, she was shocked by the sense of deep longing within her over being home. The house, made of cinder block, looked the same yet somehow weathered by the passing of almost 40 years. The backyard, once lush with deep, green grass and beautiful fragrant flowers and bushes growing over the chain link fence, was now dry and barren, a skeleton of its former beauty. She would change that. She would restore this garden to its past glory.

She had come to write and this time she would. Many years before, when she was a young twenty something, living on the mainland and newly divorced, she took a vacation, by herself, to the island of Kauai with the intention of writing. She longed to write a romance novel but that never happened. Her week long vacation had ended, she returned to the mainland with the desire to write tucked away in her heart. She pondered a verse, that lately had been consuming her thoughts; “God works all things together for the good of those who love him…”

Life happened. Some time after she returned to the mainland she met and married the man of her dreams, the man of her prayers, actually! They were blessed with three AWESOME kids, who now had families of their own and had blessed them with a bevy of grandchildren!

She loved being a Nannie, playing and cuddling with her nine grandchildren, whom she enjoyed reading Bible stories too and would spoil them with dessert before lunch or cookies for breakfast, and give nary a thought of the right or wrong of it as she handed her precious babies back to their parents, her children. Life had certainly come full circle.

Still, the thought of writing would tug deeply at her heart. Throughout the years she would pray, “Papa take me back to my childhood home, if it be your will.” And, here she was, standing in the backyard, her backyard, with visions of yesteryear and of what would be. “God works all things together for the good of those who love him…”

She was home.

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