Just A.S.K.

In the first few sleepy moments of my day one morning, I began to summon the Lord for guidance and direction in what I felt He had given me weeks before. I know Him enough to know that nothing He initiates remains forgotten or left unfinished, but rather He utilizes every precious moment for His glory and our benefit. Yet, I felt as though He left a strong box in my possession, and forgot to leave the key. 

He answered with this verse. 

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7).

I realize that oftentimes what appears as silence from God is actually a hidden blessing, provoking us toward a deeper level of hunger. And this morning, like a baby who missed her middle-of-the-night bottles, I awakened with a d-e-e-p hunger.


I had sought the Lord on occasion for an answer, and even asked others to pray, but had become so distracted with family matters, personal concerns, and health issues. I had not eagerly, fervently, or persistently asked, sought, or knocked for answers. I was hoping that maybe when I least expected it, the "key" would appear as suddenly as had the “strong box”. 

Hebrews 12:1 reminds me that “since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”. 

God graciously marked out the race for me, and I had allowed myself to become distracted, not by sin, but just by the entanglements of my personal engagements and activities. I failed to faithfully, consistently engage the physical (quiet time, study, personal prayer) in order to experience the spiritual,  leaving it solely to the occasional, even unenthusiastic prayer.

Sometimes, we can move so fast and get so distracted doing even good things that we don't give life or God the chance to do anything with us. For me, I was distracted with what "could be", rather than allowing God to instruct me in the present in order to prepare me for the future. 

There have been times I've waited on God, and then times I've been guilty of procrastinating, calling it "waiting on God", when in reality, I simply needed to be taking action. 

Just as Jesus asked the  man with the withered hand to "stand" and "stretch out" his hand (Mark 3:3 NIV), I needed to stand on God's promise of long ago (Phil. 1:6) and stretch my faith toward the area of God's calling. (Heb. 11:1) 

Asking, seeking, and knocking “engage” the physical to experience the spiritual. God desires our determination and resolve. It is not a matter of whether or not God is willing, but rather  of how available, how hungry, and how determined we are to receive. Deep hunger drives us to ask, seek, knock, walk, run, speak, stretch, show up, throw off, drive out (Mark 11:15), persevere, etc.

God desires our activity, not our activities. (1 Cor. 9:24) Let us not get so busy looking for God's purpose for our life, that we forget to spend quality time with the One from whom all blessings, guidance, joy, peace, and understanding flow. 

Being hungry is good . . . when your hunger drives you to the throne of God.

Friend, what has God marked out for you in the way of your personal faith walk or ministry? Perhaps you sense a new stirring and increased fervor from deep within, but are not quite sure of the direction God is truly leading. Ask, seek and knock, and then trust that the doors of heaven will be opened unto you, and those not meant for you, He will close.

God does not call the equipped; He equips the called, and He will equip you, for His glory and praise. (Heb. 13:21)  

Does this post resonate with your spirit? Let me know in the comments section below.  

Is your perception of me merely a reflection of you?

“They think you are stuck up.”  
The words of a friend cut through me like a searing knife. 

“They said you snubbed them when you walked by.” 

She was talking about a group of girls from the opposing team we were playing at a high school basketball game in 1976. I walked by the group while on my way to the concession stand. The thing was—I didn’t snub them. I was actually completely intimidated by them, so I kept my eyes on the path directly in front of me, trying my best not to trip over my fear.

Our perceptions of others, we learn, are not always reality. Perceptions can be biased, often skewed by factors such as our background, culture, past experiences, misinformation, attitudes and even emotions, and are often the very reflection of our own messed-up selves.

"We see the world, not as it is, but as we are." -- Talmud

In Christ Alone

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding”.  Col. 1:9

Do you remember the feeling you had when you first received Christ as Savior? Perhaps it was a combination of exhilaration, joy, and maybe even a little confusion as you wondered, "What am I supposed to do now?"

Grace Savors God's Love

I am delighted to introduce to you a woman I first met at a writer's conference, author and speaker, Nancy Grace. Since then, she has finished a labor of love and grace so appropriately entitled "The Grace Impact". Nancy stops by today on her Blog Tour to share a portion of her soon to be released "The Grace Impact". It is an honor to present to you... Nancy Kay Grace. 


God’s love comforts, strengthens, and restores our weary hearts. He reaches us in our despair and brings peace and a new perspective.  Below is an excerpt from The Grace Impact, p.37-40.

    Everyday blessings are easy to take for granted—blossoming trees awakening in the spring, bright sunshine warming the air after a chilly rain, laughter shared with friends. Each of these gifts needs to be savored and enjoyed, but all too often we overlook them to rush to the next event on our calendars.
Disruptions of our fast-passed life can force us to slow down and notice the simple joys. A phone call from a doctor’s office can disrupt a quiet day and change your life, as it did mine.
    ”I have some good news and some bad news.” The doctor’s calm voice sounded serious. He had my attention. I sat at the kitchen table and picked up a pen to write what he would tell me.
    “The bad news is that it’s cancer, but the good news is that we got it all and it’s very treatable.”
    He explained the diagnosis, but my mind froze on his first statement. Cancer? I choked back tears. Tongue cancer? Because of the stitches and swelling in my tongue, I struggled to form words as my mind flooded with questions.
    After hanging up, I thought about how I had gotten to this point. It had begun with a sore on my tongue that would not heal. Eventually the dentist referred me to an oral surgeon who removed the affected tissue. Because I didn’t fit the profile of one at risk for oral cancer, he almost didn’t send it off for a biopsy. Although all the tissue was removed, I had to face the fact that I had cancer.
    That evening I plopped onto my bed in despair. Desperately I called out to God in my spirit with tears streaming down my face. Weary and restless, I move to my piano where I played hymns and prayed through my fingers. In those moments of worship, a gentle but powerful exchange occurred in my heart as I released my anxiety. God gave me special assurance—a deeper peace than I had ever known. The Lord accepted my “what if” questions and replaced them with the precious affirmation of His love. The grace of God’s love would sustain me in this health crisis. I had found an inner sanctuary that became my refuge.
    In the following weeks, I had to retrain my tongue to say some words, for a while my name was “Nanthy Gwathe.” I pulled back from my church activities to sort out the confusion of the unexpected diagnosis. My speaking ministry was put on hold. Jesus became my safe hiding place. Intentional time spent reading Scripture, praying, and journaling brought steady healing to my soul. I gained perspective that God would use this trial for His Good. God’s love was shown in the kindness of family and encouragement for friends. In my uncertainty and despair the God of the universe did not remain far off, but gave me His peace and assurance in the shelter of His love. I again realized I didn’t have to do anything to be loved; I could only accept God’s love. Resting in the refuge of God brought a deeper awareness of His love for me.
    As a result, I have become more aware of the need to slow down and treasure the everyday blessing like a cardinal’s song, a butterfly on a flower, or the hug of a child.
    The cancer experience has also strengthened my resolve to use my faltering tongue to proclaim the good news and hope of Jesus Christ.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3b
    God sent His son, Jesus, out of love for us, to bring us back into relationship with Him. He loves each of us with an everlasting love. Nothing can separate us from His love. Even in hard times His love carries us.
    Savor the impact of grace when you take time to allow your thoughts to linger on God’s awesome love. Bask in the truth of knowing you are loved more than you ever thought possible.


Nancy Kay Grace is captivated by God’s grace and love to share about embracing it is everyday life. She has contributed stories to several anthologies and published magazine articles. Nancy is married to her best friend, Rick, who is a senior pastor in northwest Arkansas. They have served the Lord for more that forty year, seeing His grace at work in many countries. Now they enjoy the stage of life with two married children and an increasing number of grandchildren.
 In a few months, Nancy will be hosting an online Bible study using The Grace Impact. If you are interested in more information about this opportunity, please sign up for her GraceNotes newsletter at http://www.nancykaygrace.com.

Find speaker and author Nancy Kay Grace at:

Paul's Powerful Prayer

It’s been said, “We live forward but understand backwards.” 

For many of us, that means we can look back over our lives and see all the stupid things we’ve done, knowing there is nothing we can do to change history. 

It also gives you the opportunity to look back and see God’s protection, His providence, and His promises specifically and purposefully woven throughout your life even when you were completely unaware. 

I have assigned labels to the seasons of my life, arranged in decades. It gives me a snapshot of my life and demonstrates the sovereignty of God regardless of the stupid decisions I made.