Get Your Ax Out of the Water!

not a lumberjack. I’ve never chopped wood with such determination that my ax
flew from my hands. I have watched a wide-toothed comb fly across the bathroom
due to tangles. Similar…yet not so much.
In 2
Kings Chapter 6, we read about the sons of the prophets who Elisha taught. Some
translations say a group of prophets. A guild in some commentaries. Point is
they decided to build a bigger facility for them to live in. So they went out
to cut down cedars.
in particular had borrowed an ax. An iron ax. Look at verse 5:  As one man was cutting down
a tree, the head of his ax fell into the water. He yelled, “Oh, my master! I
borrowed that ax!”
could have sighed, dusted his hands on his pants and copped a squat. “Well, I’m
out. Ya’ll keep working on your own beams. I’m gonna sit back and do nothing.” Or
“I’m just going to wait until Elisha sees I’m sitting on the sidelines and says
something.” Good thing Elisha was there. Verse 3 lets us know that Elisha told
them to go, but they asked him to go along with them. Good lesson right there.
to the man:
cried out! “It’s gone! My ax head has been flung from my hands and has been
buried in the water!”
Elisha did not say, “You should have had a better grip. Stinks for you. Go
find another ax.” He said, “Where did it fall?”
Ax head may represent your dead dreams. A promise. A failed marriage. A broken relationship.
Finances (Fill in the blank). At some point along the way you were working and  it flew from your grasp, landed with a splash and
sunk to the miry bottom. Never to be seen from the murky waters that drowned
Where did it fall? Where were you in
life? Where were you spiritually?
man knew. And he showed the place to Elisha.
Elisha did something similar to what Moses did when he cast the tree branch
into the bitter waters in the desert, making them sweet and drinkable. Elisha
cast a stick, wood, into the water.
the laws of gravity were defied. Iron doesn’t float. Period.
But when Jesus died on a wooden cross,
everything became possible for those who believe. For those who cry out.
that wood went into the water, something miraculous happened. The ax head floated.
But the
man had to reach out and grab it. Elisha didn’t do it for him.
you ready to pick your dream back up if it’s flown from your hands? Have you
cried out to God to help. He cares for you. He cares about things that are big
and small to you. But nothing is too big or small for him. Nothing is too
may have to go back to the place you lost it. And that might be painful, but
the same power than makes iron float can heal whatever wounds you carry.
Disappointments, struggles, exhaustion from working so hard. Whatever it is,
God can change it. He can resurrect what you think has sunk.
There is nothing He cannot bring to the
surface and restore.


Will you reach out and take it when it

Man of Steel vs. Man of the Cross

Lots of buzz
circulating about the newest Superman movie, Man of Steel. I entered the theater with my family on Father’s Day.
Excitement bubbling. Superman is my favorite hero. From Christopher Reeve to
Brandon Routh. I’ve enjoyed them all.
As I took my seat and
the music began to play, I felt a keen sense that God was near. I know He’s always
near, but it was almost tangible. You ever experience His nearness like that?
I cried through the entire movie. I
swear I did.
Not because
it was a fabulous romance. Not because it was an emotional watch, but I
recognized many of Jesus’ attributes during the movie and it moved me. Superman
was modeled after Jesus. But like every good fictional character, he needs
Unlike Jesus Christ.
After I left the
movie, I couldn’t get a particular scene from my head. (NO spoiler alert, keep
A scene that jerked and awakened my insides, and seared into my brain.
Yesterday, during my
morning time, I was reading a story about a farmer who tried to protect his
wheat field from a fire. When he did a final check, he discovered a dead hen.
Burned to a crisp. He kicked it over and out from under her wings, several baby
chicks scattered, untouched. The story was in relation to the verse about Jesus
wanting to cover the people like a hen covers her chicks with her wings.
The scene from Man of Steel replayed in my head as I
thought about the fire

ravaging the hen.

Superman was coming
to Lois Lane’s rescue (as always) during a huge explosion. He caught her
mid-air and drew her to his chest, wrapping powerful arms around her as fire
blazed through the air.
Lois tucked her head
down and as new intense flames burst, Superman did a sudden turn, shielding her
from the heat. His back took the brunt, and his red cape blew gloriously around
him, encircling her, and he blew through intense fire to freedom.
Lois unscathed.
And that’s when Jesus
whispered to my heart Isaiah 43:2-3: “…When you walk through the fire, you
shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your
God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;…”
Superman didn’t take Lois from the
flame. He took her through it.
Isaiah 61:10 says, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered
me with the robe of righteousness…”
Just like Superman’s crimson cape extended
from himself and covered Lois, saving her, so does the blood of Christ envelope
us, inking out our sin and robing us in right standing with God.
No matter what fiery
circumstance you find yourself in, God will bring you 
through it. Unscathed.
Hang on, draw near.
Revel in His glorious comfort and protection. And know that your Savior has no
weakness. No flaws. He is all-powerful. All holy. 
Almighty. All splendorous.
All Able.




Have you seen Man of Steel? If you’re going through fire, how can I pray for you?
If you don’t want to leave a comment, send me an email. Click on the Connect
page for my email address.

Learn to Fan a Flame of Passion

shouldn’t be afraid of good things.
sometimes I am.
I knew I
was supposed to lead women’s ministry at our church and I tried every single
way to talk God out of His idea. I get ticked over that scripture where God
says, “Come let us reason together.” My reply is always the same.
“I’ll come but we both know I’m going to lose.” To this day, God has
yet to call me a loser, even though I never win in the “reasoning”
So shaking
in my boots, or flip flops–I can’t remember what I wore–I set off to our
pastor’s office to break the news. That’s how I felt about it at the time.
Ready to vomit. Unequipped. Void of any great ideas.
I sat across from him. I told him what I felt God has nudged me in my spirit to
do, and then I broke down and sobbed.
I’ll never
forget his words. With a smile on his face (and he had back pain that day) he
said, “Well, don’t cry about it.” And I laughed…and cried. And  cracked a terrible joke.
In that
moment of obedience, the nerves calmed. And ideas started flittering through my
mind. And something happened. I got excited. And scared. Then excited. God
began equipping me with people–out of the woodwork!
clicked in place. For three years, I led women’s ministry.
But God
led me.
One of the
greatest verses in the Bible is found in 2 Timothy 1:7. You may know it by
heart. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of
love, and of a sound mind.” NKJV
We use it
all the time, don’t we? For any fear or confusion. Some versions say
self-control in place of sound mind.
But we
can’t skip the teeny tiny linking word in this verse. Those little words are
important because it gives us context. And context is vital! Even in the Bible.
So what
verses are linked to 1:7?
Let’s look
at verse 6 in the NKJV. “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God

which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

Paul is
talking to Timothy about the gift God gave him. But we have one of those
important words: therefore. What’s it there for? So we have to link up again.
3-5: “I thank God, whom I serve with a pure
conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I
remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see
you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when
I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in
your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you
also.” NKJV
recognizes Timothy has genuine faith. He’s not riding Mom and Grandma’s coat
tails–because that’s impossible. And with genuine faith comes something
by the Holy Spirit. For us. To equip.
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There
are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are
diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But
the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:”
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NKJV
You have a gift given by God. And it’s to be used to profit
all in the church.
to the way the Message translation reads Ephesians 4:11-13:
 “But that doesn’t mean you should
all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of
us is given his own gift. The text for this is,
climbed the high mountain,
captured the enemy and seized the booty,
handed it all out in gifts to the people.
it not true that the One who climbed up also climbed down, down to the valley
of earth? And the One who climbed down is the One who climbed back up, up to
highest heaven. He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his
gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet,
evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant
work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving
rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to
God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive
like Christ.”
beloved has gone to his garden, To the beds of spices, 
To feed his flock in the gardens, 
And to
gather lilies. Song of Solomon 6:2
says, “to equip the saints…”
had a gift. So do you. So do I.
#1 things holding us back is fear. Our fears may stem from many different
things. Pick one:
past reads like a crime novel. I don’t deserve to serve.
 No way can I do something like this. I’m a
a hypocrite. Half the time I don’t have it all together. And until I do, I
can’t serve.
if I fail? I failed so many people, broke so many promises, what if I fail God
and He’s been good to me so far.
have too much going on to get involved in church…i.e. I’m lazy. I’m scared. I’m
insecure. I’m justifying being vulnerable.
been hurt by the body of Christ (the church people) and I don’t want to go back
there. *Note* People are imperfect. They hurt us. But God never does.
your fear here.
you belong to Jesus and if you are in a church, you have a responsibility to be
doing something there. How do I know this? 1Corinthians 12:12-31.
now I’m going to show you the context this famous verse was written in. This is
the answer to all your fears and misgivings about using your gifts in the body
of Christ.
God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a
sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.
was a worrier. Probably about a lot of things. But certainly about using the
gift/gifts God gave him for the church.
told Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23) “Stop drinking only water, and use a
little wine 

because of your stomach and your frequent

you know that drinking some (not lush amounts) of red wine can control
bacteria, heal ulcers and even prevent them. Here is just one link that shares this information. *This is not my personal
invitation for you to go out and slosh down wine or beer. It’s a point I’m
making about Timothy.
worried himself sick. Literally. Fear jacked up his stomach.
My point is: God didn’t give you spiritual gifts to keep
under a flame, hidden in the ashes for whatever excuse you can come up with not
to use them.
NIV translations says, “ into flame the gift of God, which is in
the flame. Stir it up.
Time rekindle it. That word, stir up in the Greek  is anazōpyreō  and it means to kindle up, inflame one’s mind, strength, zeal
to, inflame means:
to become hot with passion;
to set or be set on fire
But how do we do this?
Alicia Keys, That Girl is On Fire or simply turn to the book of Revelation*
1:14 is talking about Jesus Christ: “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow,
and His eyes like a flame of
What are
His eyes like?
A flame of
You want
to excited about the gifts God has placed in you? You want to overcome the fear
and shyness that holds you back? You need to stir up some passion and fire? You
need your fire fanned?
Look into
the eyes of fire. Let Him stoke the embers to a blazing inferno. The Lord guides you with
His eye. Full of passion. Fire. Ready to consume your fear. Your timidity. And
to kindle/rekindle the zeal you’ve been lacking. 
*For more on looking into His eyes read this POST! I wrote on focusing on His eyes while we dance to complicated moves.
Don’t you
be afraid! Now get out there and profit the church in a way only you can!


If you are serving in your church, what do you do? I’d
love to hear!

The #1 Reason to Wake Up Early

Have you
ever had a craving (non-pregnant) and gotten out of bed– you may or may not
have even suffered to put on an undergarment (ladies) simply to go after that
delicious Peanut Butter Sonic shake…or Zaxby’s Banana shake…or whatever?
I may or
may not have done that i.e. created a mouth watering description so my husband
craved one and went instead.
But you
know what I love more than any of those sweet treats.
with Jesus. When the house is still. It’s just the gurgling coffee pot, my
bedhead, and the lover of my soul. Alone. And I’m passionate about passing that
love off on you. On my Wednesday night class. On my children. I want to see
Christians everywhere longing for the treasure of God through His word.
Today’s post may be a little longer than usual, but I pray it not only
blesses you, but moves you with excitement to fill up on the sweetness of Jesus
preparation for my class on reading and studying the Word of God, my lesson I
normally teach took a drastic turn. And I’m thankful it did.
If you
have your Bible in your hand, take a look at Exodus chapter 16. If not, you can

read it later. I hope you will!

Israelites had been led out of Egypt, which represents bondage many times in
scripture. They were slaves. Miserable. And they cried out to God. Who heard
them! I love that God not only hears the cries of His people, but He acts. He
rose up a deliverer. You know him by the name, Moses.
When they
left Egypt, they journeyed into the wilderness with a few stops. They’d seen
the Red Sea parted, bitter waters turned sweet by tossing a branch in. But when
they entered the Wilderness of Sin (pronounced Seen and has nothing to do with
actual sin–in fact the word in Hebrew means thorns and clay) they grumbled and
that we had died by the hand of the LORD in Egypt when we sat by pots of meat
and when we ate bread to the full!” Exodus 16:3
to Numbers 11:5, they had pots of stew, onions, leeks, garlic and bread. The
people of God were freaked out. Fear sometimes does that–freaks us out and
makes us forget the former miracles of God.
But God does not lead us into new places of promise to watch us wither
and die. He has every intention of filling us to the full.
Bread to
the full. I can picture God, “Oh, you want bread? You have never seen the
kind of bread I’m about to give you. Watch. And. See.”
7 of Exodus 16 says, “And in the morning you shall see glory of the
was about to supply them with bread from heaven. Something they’d never seen
before. That’s why it’s called Manna. It means, “What is it?”
16 accompanied with Numbers 11 tells us a few things about this Manna.
  • It
    was small and round, like coriander seed.
  • It
    came with the dew and when the dew lifted, it covered the ground
  • Moses
    said, “This is the bread of which LORD has given you to eat.”
  • And
    it came with detailed instructions.

They had to gather it every morning. When?
Every. Morning. Why? Verse 21 tells us that when the sun became hot, it melted
away. We’re coming back to that.
with me, I know this post is long.
what does this have to do with us today? Many of know that Jesus represents the
Manna. This OT account is a foreshadowing of Jesus. And God is in the details.
I want you to see it. And I want you to long for the Word of God….for the Bread
of Heaven. Let’s dig into some scripture.
1:1-5 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were
made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the
light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did
not comprehend it.
1:14 goes on to say, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we
beheld His glory…”
go back and insert the word JESUS in every place you read “Word.” Did
you do it? Well, go do it!
is the Word. Now, lets’ pick up in John Chapter 6. Jesus has just fed the
multitude with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. A miracle. Then he walked on water
to the neighboring town. Cause He’s Jesus and He does stuff like that. I chose
the MSG translation for this next passage because it packs a punch.
22-24 The next day the crowd that was left
behind realized that there had been only one

boat, and that Jesus had not
gotten into it with his disciples. They had seen them go off without him. By
now boats from Tiberias had pulled up near where they had eaten the bread
blessed by the Master. So when the crowd realized he was gone and wasn’t coming
back, they piled into the Tiberias boats and headed for Capernaum, looking for

25 When they found him back across the sea,
they said, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking
for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs—and for free.
27 “Don’t waste your energy striving for
perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that
nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does
are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”
28 To that they said, “Well, what do we do
then to get in on God’s works?”
29 Jesus said, “Throw your lot in with the
One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”
(NKJV says, Believe in Him whom He sent; believe in Jesus)
30-31 They waffled: “Why don’t you give us
a clue about who you are, just a hint of what’s going on? When we see what’s
up, we’ll commit ourselves. Show us what you can do. Moses fed our ancestors with bread in the desert. It
says so in the Scriptures: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32-33 Jesus responded, “The real
significance of that Scripture is not that Moses gave you bread from heaven but
that my Father is right now offering you bread from heaven, the real bread. The Bread of God came down
out of heaven and is giving life to the world.”
34 They jumped at that: “Master, give us
this bread, now and forever!”
35-38 Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life.
The person who aligns with me hungers And once that person is with me,
I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own
whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.

no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have
told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you
don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes
running to me.

39-40 “This, in a nutshell, is that will:
that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single
detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put
together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees
the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will
enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of
is the real Manna. Jesus is the Word. Jesus is the Bread of Heaven. Jesus holds
onto you and does. Not. Let. Go. Ever. He puts you on your feet alive and
whole! He expects us to fill up on Him.
the Spirit drove him into the…what? WILDERNESS, and Satan tempted Him, He
replied with ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”
And we know that the Word is Jesus himself from the earlier scripture in John
26:26, Jesus is instituting a new covenant, “And as they were eating,
Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My
body.”  This is symbolic, just in case
you got grossed out or thought, “She really needs to lay off the show
Jesus taught us how to pray he said in Luke 11:3, “Give us day by day our
daily bread.”
How often are we to have bread? Daily?
16:4 The people were to go out and gather it according to their need daily.
up and gather what you need for the day. Before the noon heat comes–the
trials, unexpected circumstances, grumpy co-workers, rebellious teens wake
up–they ain’t getting up before noon–financial crisis, bills come in the
mail, rent is due, the car breaks down or runs out of air, the babies get sick
and you lose your insurance. Heat of the day. Before the hot noon sun beats you
down. Before all of this comes, gather your daily bread. Be filled. Be ready.
Be content. Satisfied.
when the heat comes and you haven’t gathered your bread for the day, you’ll

melt. You’ll melt.

is where I beg you to do it early! And for sake of word count–too late–I
can’t give you dozens of scriptures about seeking God early and God Himself
meeting you early, but… look up the keywords: early, morning, seek in
Biblegateway. Do it early!
that’s not to say God won’t meet your needs if you don’t get up early. His
mercies are new every day and His compassion fail not. Any time with God is a
great time for God. But for the love God, literally, do it! If for no other
reason. If you can’t come up with some good motivation other than, “I’m a
Christian and I’m supposed to.” Which I cringe at but have said. How about
this, for crying out loud!
is it! Right here!! Pay attention!
revisit Numbers 11:8-9. Let’s breakdown this Manna together. I want you to see
the God of details. I want you to feel the love Jesus has for you! And here it
had a part to play in receiving this bread of heaven. What does it say they
then they ate of it. It’s taste was sweet like a pastry with honey. Exodus
does this have to do with Jesus?
Gathered: John 18:3 tells us, “Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief
priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.”
And in Luke 22:54 we see,  “Having arrested Him, they
led Him and brought Him into
the high priest’s house.
They went out and found him. They gathered Him up.
Ground: In the Hebrew this word is
“tachan” (tah-han) and it means to crush.
says, “But He was wounded
for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The
chastisement for our peace was upon
Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
 The word bruised in Hebrew is:
“daka” (duhah) and it means “to be crushed.” ” to be
He was crushed, ground just like the coriander seed.
Beat: Matthew 26:67 tells us, “Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others

struck Him with the palms of their hands… Luke 19:2-3 “And
the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on
Him a purple robe. Then they said, Hail, King of the Jews! And they struck him
with their hands.”

Where were
the Israelites when God rained down bread of heaven? What environment were they
in? The Wilderness of Sin–a place of thorns. Here is the Bread of Heaven,
being gathered, ground/crushed, beat–prepared with thorns upon His head.
This is no
coincidence. This is the mastery of our Lord. The details. We can trust someone
who works things out down to the minute detail…down to thorns.
Cooked: They took a cat of nine tails, filled
with bone fragments, and they tenderized his flesh. (Matthew 27:26)
Then they
cooked him on a cross. They watched as he baked. John 19:30 “He said, It
is finished!” And bowing His head (even humble in death) he gave up His
Death on a
cross was like a crock pot kind of death. Slow. And sometimes they would hurry
the process by breaking the legs of the criminals, but when they came to Jesus,
he had already died. But just to make sure he was done. John 19:34 tell us,
“But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear. And blood and
water flowed.” As if sticking a fork in him–the juices running out.
But that’s
not the end! It had to be this way in order to get to this next part!
Sweet to taste: 
Exodus 16:31  lets us in on the
fact that the Manna, “was like
white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like
wafers made with honey.”
19:39-42: “So he came and took the body of
Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came,
bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they
took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the
custom of the Jews is to bury.”
those key words: myrrh, spices…aloes.
 Song of Solomon is a symbolic description of
the lover of our souls–our beloved, our savior, our king. In chapter 5:13 the
spouse, the bride, says, “His cheeks are like
a bed of spices, Banks of scented herbs. His lips are lilies,
Dripping liquid myrrh.”
chapter 3:6 of the same book, she sees her Beloved. Look where He is coming
from. And what He is like.
 “Who is this
coming out of the wilderness, Like pillars of smoke, Perfumed
with myrrh and frankincense, With all the merchant’s fragrant
He has been in the wilderness–a place of thorns. And He reminds her of pillars
of smoke, the very way He led His beloveds those forty years. And see how He is
perfumed? With what? Myrrh.
are talking about Jesus! We are taking about the Word! Spiritual food.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Psalm 34:8
sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
 Psalm 119:103
judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be
desired are they than gold;
Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover
by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm
is the Bread of Heaven. He is the Word. He is sweet to taste. Oh He loves it
when we fall into His word and lap Him up. When we’re so full of Him. So much
so, He says in Song of  Solomon 4:11 to
His bride, “Your lips, O my spouse,
Drip as the honeycomb; Honey and milk are under your tongue.”
you want to drip His sweetness when you open your mouth? Don’t you want others
to know what you’ve been eating? Don’t you want to ooze with the sweet taste of
Jesus. Just wallow in His goodness.
not just reading your Bible. Your immersing yourself in Jesus Himself. And when
you’ve spent time with Him–the sweet Bread of Heaven, expect to drip with
goodness. Pour it out all over those around who are hungry.
hope you stuck out the lengthy teaching today. And I pray that He moves you to
sacrifice some time (preferably in the still of morning before the heat comes)
and love on the Word.

ya’ll next Wednesday! Also, are there any topics you’d like me cover over the summer? I’m open for study/devotional ideas! If you want to message me privately, my email address is on the CONNECT page at the top right corner of the site. 
What is your favorite sweet treat? And what do you think holds you back from diving into God’s Word?