Forget The Forecast

It’s raining outside at our house at this very moment. Why is that important? Well, when we checked the weather app this morning… like less than an hour ago, it showed that there is zero percentage chance of rain today. In fact, it showed that our weather would be sunny and the temps would get up to 102 degrees today. Yet, when we looked out the window, we saw clouds. And then the rain just started falling about ten minutes ago.

We decided to ask Google if it was raining where we are. The AI device’s voice replied, “No, it is not raining where you are. It is sunny and 84 degrees.” We tried two or three times, even using a zip code closer to our house than where it thinks we live. Same answer every time.

And yet, we stood at the door looking out at rain. Rain… on what is supposed to be a zero percent chance day. Rain… when there is no rain reported. It rained today.

PR31 and I both went to each other simultaneously with the same thought… God can make something out of nothing. God can make something happen when the predictions and forecasts say it isn’t going to happen. God can make something happen even when reports around say it isn’t happening. He doesn’t need prognosticators to agree with Him. He doesn’t need reporters to agree with Him. He can do what He wants to do… when He wants to do it… out of nowhere.

That spoke to me today. I am reminded of the God written about in Romans 4:17 who calls things into existence that do not exist. He can do that in my situation. He doesn’t need a prophet or a preacher to say it’s going to happen. He doesn’t even have to have anyone else notice it’s happening. He can make happen in my life what I need Him to make happen… even if it doesn’t exist yet.

And the good news is… He can do it in your life, too! Don’t give up because others say it isn’t going to happen. Don’t give up because others don’t recognize it’s happening. Keep holding on to Him! Keep having faith! The God who calls things into existence which do not exist just made it rain at my house… and He will make something great happen in your life as well!


Unknown Paths

I have a friend who has worked for a major U.S. corporation for a number of years, and several months ago the company announced that they were moving his entire division to another country. All the jobs would be given to people from that country, and everyone working in that division would be let go before the end of this year. However, there would be three transitional jobs which would last for about a year and a half to help wrap everything up for the move which people working for the company could apply for. So, my friend applied for the three jobs… along with about a hundred other employees.

The company had said they would be meeting with people by the end of this month to let them know if they still had a job, and yesterday was my friend’s meeting. We, and plenty of others, had prayed that God would give him favor and bless him with one of these jobs. Going into that meeting, he had a 3% chance of getting one of those jobs.

But he didn’t get one of those transitional jobs. When he went into the meeting, the three people across the table from him began talking to him about work that he wasn’t exactly familiar with. It sounded like they were talking as if he already had the job. Finally, they said something, and he asked what they meant. They then told him that the company didn’t want to lose him, and so they were transferring him to another division… an up and coming division with great promise. On top of that, his pay would remain the same and he would retain his benefits. And instead of the job being a transitional, year and a half job, this would be a job with their typical four-year contract. Interestingly, my friend only needed to work three and a half more years to lock in healthcare for he and his wife in their retirement years.

In case you think you misread this story, you didn’t. God gave my friend a job he never applied for, lost no pay and kept all the benefits. God took his 3% chance, added 97% plus to it and did something for him that he didn’t even know to ask for.

When I think about that, I think about how Psalm 77:19 reflects on how God parted the Red Sea to give the Israelis a way of escape from the pursuing Egyptians who wanted to take them back into slavery. The water parted and stood up like two walls creating a completely dry path for them to cross through. The Psalm writer calls it, “… a path no one knew was there.”

Maybe you’re facing a situation today that seems impossible. Maybe you only have a 3% chance of success. Maybe no one gives you any hope. Listen, God has ways to answer your prayer that you haven’t even thought to ask Him about. He has paths no one knows are there. He has medical treatments or healing you didn’t know existed. He has people who will cut you a check and put it in the mail who didn’t even know you needed finances. He has the right person waiting to meet you who will be the connection you needed.

The verse of Scripture our boys are memorizing this week says that some things are an impossibility for us as humans, but with God all things are possible. Even getting a job you didn’t apply for.

Don’t give up. Don’t give in to fear and doubt. Instead, today give your situation to God, and trust Him to come through for you… even if He needs to make a path no one knew was there!

Wring It Out!

Kids amaze me with their ability to connect dots between the spiritual and the natural with what seems like such ease.

It happened with our seven year-old a few nights ago. Angela was reading him the story of Gideon from his Bible. For those who don’t know or remember the account, an angel visits Gideon who is hiding to do his work because marauding raiders from the country next door keep crossing the border to attack, pillage and destroy the Israelites crops. The angel tells Gideon that he is a might warrior and that God has selected him to fight and defeat the enemy country’s army to give God’s people peace and prosperity once more.

The problem was that Gideon wasn’t really sure he was up to the task because he didn’t the pedigree or skill set. So, he asks God to show him a sign in order for him to accept this is really God and they are really going to defeat the enemy. Gideon asks for God to make a piece of wool that he leaves out overnight to be soaking wet from dew and the ground all around it completely dry the next morning. God agrees, and the next morning Gideon finds exactly what he asked for. Scripture says the wool was wet enough that he wrung water out of it.

Enter Austin. Upon hearing this, Austin says, “Oh, like when we wring out the washcloth when I take a bath!” Angela confirmed that he had indeed understood what Gideon had done and went on reading… but I was soon lost in thought.

When Gideon wrung out that wool, it was proof to him that God was speaking to him… God wanted to empower him to do something beyond himself… God was for him… God wanted him on His team… God was going to come through for him… God was going to make sure he was a winner. And I thought about how great it would be if I would just tap into Austin’s simple reminder each time I wring out a washcloth, and let it speak to me that God is for me… God is making me a winner… God wants to do something powerful through me… God wants me on His team… God is going to come through for me! That is a daily reminder that makes a difference.

I love the part in that story when the angel tells Gideon to go in the strength that he has… right after Gideon has told him how small, unimportant and weak he is. What the angel was essentially saying was that God was the one who was going to do the miracle… He just wanted to include Gideon in it. And when Gideon wrung out that wool, he knew God was involved.

Let me encourage you today with the truth that God is involved in your life. He knows what is troubling you, and He wants to make you victorious. He will work the miracle… He’d just like to include you in the process.

And if you’re one of those of us who sometimes struggles to believe for the miraculous, just remember ol’ Gideon the next time you finish bathing… and wring it out!

Keep Trusting

It is amazing to me how the lyrics to a song have the ability to transcend time and speak to my heart more than two decades separated from the first time I heard them.

For those who are regular readers of this blog… or who have at least gone back and read the first several posts in which I began welcoming you into my world… you know that I am a fan of 80’s & early 90’s Christian glam rock and arena rock. And some of the groups I enjoy listening to are unknown to the casual listener. So most of you won’t recognize the band named Fighter. And the title “Look Me In The Eye” probably wouldn’t normally grab your attention.

But the lyrics to that song stood out to me as I mowed a couple acres of yard around our house today. I got to thinking about how so many people are facing long challenges that they aren’t sure they can endure. People who have received a diagnosis that says they will have to face a physical battle for the rest of their lives. People who long to be married but still have not found that special someone with whole to share their life. People who are out of work and can’t seem to land a job they love. People who long to have kids but still struggle with infertility. People to whom God has made promises but they haven’t seen them come to pass… and it’s been months or years or decades.

Waiting is not new for believers. Joseph of Old Testament fame had to wait about 13 years for the God-given dream about his family recognizing his leadership to come true. Joshua and Caleb had to traipse around the wilderness for 40 years to receive the land and victories God promises them. Scholars suggest it took Noah years to build the ark that God promised would save his family and all the animals from destruction in the great flood. Then they had to stay on the boat for over a year from the time the rain first fell till the time when they could step out onto dry ground and start over.

All of us go through times when we wonder how much longer our challenge is going to last. Each one of us wonders if we have enough left in our tank to make it through. And if that’s where you’re at in life right now, then let the lyrics below from a band who recorded them more than 26 years ago resonate with you, let you know you’re normal, and hopefully stir you to hope… because God has made you strong enough… and all you need is a mustard seed sized faith… and not only is God always with us through our challenges, but He always keeps His promises!

“Look Me In The Eye” – Fighter

This thing seems so big today

I’ve run out of prayers to pray

Please go away…Please don’t say

I keep thinkin’ things will change

Tomorrow it will rearrange

And soon be gone, it will all be gone

Won’t someone…

Look me in the eye and tell me

I’m gonna make it

Look me in the eye and promise

And end to the storm

Tell me that my heart is tough

Tell me that I’ve faith enough

Look me in the eye

Trying hard to hear God’s voice

I slowly start to doubt my choice

Talk to me…please talk to me

Day to day no change in sight

Evening fades into the night

Take my hand…please hold my hand

Look me in the eye and tell me

I’m gonna make it

Look me in the eye and promise

And end to the storm

Tell me that my heart is tough

Tell me that I’ve faith enough

Look me in the eye

When you go through the valley of questions

Know that time holds the answers, if you trust in God


I love standing outside on a clear, cool night and looking up into the night sky full of stars. It’s even better to be out there, seeing the first star or two appear, and then watching as the sky populated almost miraculously with so many stars they cannot be counted.

On a night like that, it’s easy to begin to feel a slightly minuscule. The enormity of the universe with all those stars had the ability to put ourselves in perspective. And, if we’re not careful, we can begin to think we are so small that we are overlooked… losable… unknown. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

The prophet Isaiah wrote these words in the 26th verse of the 40th chapter of his self-titled book in Scripture…

“Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of His great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.”

Think about that for a moment. Those stars are known. God… the One who created them… knows each one of their names and calls their names every 24 hours. They are personal to Him, unique enough to have their own name.

And not a single one of them ever goes missing. He always knows their location. They never escape His sight. He cares enough about them to know where they are at every moment… even when you and I don’t see them.

Here’s the thing… you are far more important to God than any of His other creations… like stars. So you can be sure that, since they are known to Him, you are even more so known to Him. Today… every day… He knows your name and calls your name. And you never get out of His sight. He always knows right where to find you.

You are known. And the next time you forget that, or are tempted to think it’s not true, I want you to walk outside, look up into the night sky… and remember that you are more known than any one of those beautiful stars you see. In that moment, open your heart and mind… listen closely… because He will come alongside you and whisper your name as well.

Weeds and Seeds

The Old Farmer’s Almanac email that PR31 received last week said it’s time to start planting veggies outside where we live. Now some would consider us “Coca-Cola Cowboy” type country folk, but we kind of feel like we’re farmers because live on four acres in a wooded… we are now raising chickens… and we have a garden plot that is about 25′ by 25′.

Now, you may think the almanac is a joke, and that there are more scientific methods, but if the almanac says it, that’s good enough for us. So, this week we got out the tiller, hoes and rakes, and we got dirty.

The ground had laid fallow since last year’s summer garden. Grass and weeds had crept in and hidden our beautiful soil. But the boys and I were determined to fix that. We did the initial tilling and pulling to get the ground turned over. Surprisingly, it was in great shape and didn’t require as much work as we expected. We will go back, pull more turned over grass and weeds out. Then we will till in some fertilizer to prep the ground. Rows will be mounded, pathways left to be able to navigate the future garden. Shortly thereafter, seeds will go in that beautiful black and brown plot. And we will wait.

That garden isn’t a whole lot different from our lives. Left alone for almost any length of time, weeds of stress… fear… doubt… and worry can creep across our hearts and minds, sucking the nutrients of joy and peace right out of us. If that has happened to you, it’s time to pull the weeds. Take some time for introspection… spend some time in God’s Word and talking with Him. See which priorities have gotten out of whack, or which disciplines have been allowed to slack. Put the guards back up. Keep a rake and hoe handy. Get a shovel if necessary. Just pull those weeds. You can’t grow the good stuff with them in the way.

Then plant seeds of faith in your heart and mind. Find some Scriptures that remind you of who God is and of all the good things He has in store for you. Find a great quote that builds you up. Write them down or print them out. Or do like we do and create a piece of home decor with them on it, then place it somewhere prominent so that you see it every day. Don’t just plant a few seeds either. Plant plenty of seeds of faith in the garden of your heart and mind. Nurture them, and soon they will grow.

As the seeds grow and spring up, the weeds may try to come back, but they will be much easier to spot and much easier to keep pulled. Soon, you will see blooming and productive plants, and memories of that weed-covered plot will fade away.

This is God’s spiritual almanac message to you today… It’s time to pull the weeds and plant the seeds!

Fears, Doubts and Concerns

I picked up an old journal this morning. The house was still quiet. The sun was just rising. It was just me… a great cup of coffee… and the Lord.

The great thing about keeping a journal… especially about spiritual things in your life… is that you can speak to your future self. Or maybe I should say that God can speak to you again with truth that transcends time. As I flipped through the pages, I came across so many moments in my life when the Lord spoke to my heart and mind so clearly. He spoke just what I needed at that moment. And the truths that fit some of those situations fit my current circumstances.

Although I feel at great peace in life at the moment, one of those entries in one of those journals seemed to be a great reminder. In fact, it seemed so good that I felt someone else might also need to be reminded today.

It was short… and simple… yet profound and steadying. It was the voice of my Heavenly Father whispering to my soul. And this is what I sensed Him saying…

I simply have two words for you today to answer all your questions and calm all of your fears/concerns– Trust Me.”

Whatever you’re facing today… whatever you’re going through… no matter how tough the situation may look… Trust God. You can count on Him. I wrote that entry in my journal about 15 years ago. It was true then, and it still is today. That’s because God never changes. He is completely trustworthy.

Got questions today? Trust God. He’s big enough to handle your questions, and He has all the answers.

Concerned about something in your life today? Trust God. He can fix any problem, and He has all the power and resources you might need.

Two words… Trust Me.

The Struggle Is Real

I was reminded today that we all seem to want to make everyone else think that we have it all together, that we don’t struggle.

That’s a lie.

We all struggle. We all face challenges. We all wonder… and doubt… and long. Then, because we do, we think we don’t match up to everyone else.

News flash… No one has it all figured out. We’re all doing the best we can.

Yes, even Christians. We may be forgiven, but we are still works in progress as we try to match up to what has been done for us.

So listen, friend, if you’re sitting there wondering if you “missed something in Sunday School” (a phrase I borrowed from a friend recently) because you thought you weren’t supposed to have those thoughts or feelings, I want to welcome you to the club of all humanity. You, my friend, are 100%… certifiably… undeniably… NORMAL!

So relax. And for Pete’s sake, could we please just be real… and authentic… and genuine with each other so that we don’t all going around feeling like failures?

Phew. Thanks. I feel better just getting that off my chest.

P. S.- If someone is vulnerable enough to open up and admit they don’t have it all together, please be kind enough to reciprocate. You might even encourage them while you’re at it. Who knows? They might even encourage you.

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