Fresh Air Blog

5 Heart-Softening Words

5 Heart-Softening Words

Little Josiah, from my recent book, Josiah’s Fire: Autism Stole His Words, God Gave Him a Voice, inspires thousands with his great wisdom. I especially love one of the things Josiah shared with his mom, my coauthor, Tahni: “If you love the child you have, you’ll have the child you love.” The more I considered it, the more I realized this same truth truth could also apply to marriage. If you love the spouse you have, you’ll have the spouse you love. Dwight and I recently had an opportunity to give marriage counseling to a guy on the phone who was at the end of his rope. It still amazes me that God would lead us to help others at a time when we were enduring the most difficult test of our married life. In September I was diagnosed with spasmodic torticollis (cervical dystonia), which is why you haven’t heard from me in awhile. Well, that and the fact I was finishing Josiah’s Fire and a devotional called The Good Gift Giver (which will be offered across the globe when Tahni speaks on Sid Roth’s March broadcast of It’s Supernatural.) Dwight and I talked with the hurting man late into the night. After we talked about how years ago God brought resurrection life into our own suffocating marriage, we told him a story we heard somewhere along the way: Matt thought his marriage was over until someone presented him with a simple idea that might help. “Every day I want you to ask Tina, ‘how can I serve you?’” Feeling like he had nothing to lose, Matt decided to give it a try. When he asked his wife the question, it took a minute for her to get over the shock. Finally she piped up, “Ok… how about doing the laundry?” He did it without complaint, and the next morning when he asked his still-surprised wife the same question, she answered, “how about clean the garage?” It took him two hours but he did it. This went on for several days with him asking, her answering, and him lovingly stepping up to the plate in a way he’d never done in the past. Finally she couldn’t take it anymore; and the next time Matt asked his new favorite question, she shook her head. “No, no, it’s my turn. How can I serve you?” Change had already begun. What had started as words on his lips...

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Swing Wide

Swing Wide

We look for God to open doors for us, and so we should, but let’s not forget how God wants us to open each door of our heart to Him! What door does He want you to swing open today? Listen and discern the knocks. Open wider and wider to His Kingdom ways. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20 Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Psalm 24: 7, 8 King of glory, thank you for being strong and mighty in our lives. We swing wide the door of our heart to You, each room. We give you all the slamming arrows of cares and concerns for our health, safety, and family. We give you our hopes and dreams and ask that You make them all about You and Your perfect Kingdom-expanding plan in our lives. Make us conscious of our Your constant presence in our temples that we might be aware of Your connectedness to our thoughts and how everything is laid bare before You. We give you complete control. Step in. Right now. Take over. We give you 2016 and make YOU our New Year...

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

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Shining Among Christians

Shining Among Christians

Today I read an awesome and vulnerable blog post by author and speaker, Michele Cushatt, who shares about shining her faith to those who don’t yet believe. Yesterday, my husband told me he heard Dave Ramsey shine on his radio show that reaches a large secular audience. Ramsey recently interviewed an actor friend who played in the new box office hit, War Room. (Awesome movie, by the way. It shines!) Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:3 Christians applaud believers who fear God and love others more than fearing man. Since the beginning of creation God designed light to govern darkness, not the other way around. But let’s launch this thought in a slightly different direction with this question: As Christians, is God pleased with how we shine our light among other Christians? I think it’s safe to acknowledge that we all want to be accepted and liked. Peer pressure doesn’t stop post-middle school. Even the best Christian leaders don’t enjoy rocking the boat. They want to go with the flow, sail those smooth safe waters. And writers and speakers don’t want people to think we’re “out there” either. So what if God calls us “out there”? Are we willing to go? For example, what do you do if God calls you to keep your lamp burning bright when you’re around lukewarm believers, or Believers who have forgotten their first love? What if He calls you to humbly speak up to those who believe differently than you about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, for example? What if God tells you to say or write something you know will be criticized by other Christians who you respect and care about? Are you willing to SHINE BRIGHT for Jesus even though it may cost you something? In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify you Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 It’s time to adorn ourselves with those white bright bride clothes God has provided for us. This may not come as a surprise, but not everybody wants to shine Jesus. They may want to shine somebody else or even themselves—but Jesus? One of His biggest obstacles came from religious leaders who enjoyed their old religious ways more than...

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The Freedom Challenge

The Freedom Challenge

What do wayward children, difficult coworkers, and emotionally distant relatives have in common? The true simple answer: Each one of these needs our prayers, understanding, and kindness. (But the true simple fact is: we can’t love one of them even one iota without God’s help.) Our freedom cost Christ His life. Doesn’t it make sense that we now follow the call and bring freedom to others? That’s why I invite you to join me in taking the freedom challenge. I promise it’s better than the coca-cola challenge and the ice bucket challenge, and you’ll feel a lot warmer. To be conduits of freedom we need to walk with a new freedom mindset. Know the Truth Let’s face it: As Christ-followers, we’re bursting with Jesus potential. Satan will do anything and everything he can to blind us, distract us, or cause us to just plain ol’ forget who we are. But we’re all like a cell phone with room for hundreds more powerful apps than we ever dare to use. God gives us gifts galore. We’re hardwired to hardcore love hard-to-love people. Offer them a fresh drink from our wellspring. As you connect with a difficult person this holiday week, why not strip off your self-consciousness and pride (who needs it?) and take the freedom challenge! Ask God to empower you with His love and use you to sow seeds of freedom into someone’s life. Want it so badly you can taste it. Picture yourself praying for someone’s freedom, then pray for an opportunity and intentionally step into it. Remember, the Big Guy will help you. We all have hurts and struggles, but praying for others is a powerful effective way to start showing God’s courageous over-the-top love. I’ve prayed for people who were once bound in sickness, fear, rage, lust and all kinds of vices—and I’ve watched God bring healing and freedom. I personally know people who have been set free from Satanism, witchcraft, homosexuality, pornography, fear, and alcoholism. I even know people who have been set free from legalism. (collective gasp.) Bottom line: No heart is too far from the transformative power of Christ’s love. Be Set Free! Prayer point for others: Pray blinders fall from people’s eyes, so they can taste and see the Lord is good, that His mercies endure forever, and that He makes ALL things possible. Prayer point for yourself: Examine your heart and...

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