Fresh Air Blog

Spiritual Caulking

Spiritual Caulking

Ooo… Ahh… We have a brand spanking new bathroom. After gutting our old one, we put in a new one with the most beautiful floor to ceiling tiles and clean white vanity. That’s probably why our hearts hit the floor this morning when our son took a shower, went downstairs, and discovered a major leak from the new bathroom above. “No!!!” Morning Surprise We opened the closet, shone a flashlight on and around the pipes behind the new tub, and everything was drenched, especially our new so-called “drywall.” How could this be, Lord? Don’t we have enough fires to put out today? Yes, I know this isn’t of earthquake proportions, but still, God. It’s just soooo disappointing. My husband and I prayed both together and apart. As I watched my big guy press into the light and push back the darkness, something struck me, so I let it slip off my lips: Prayer is like bathroom caulking. We put prayer covering over every area of our lives because we want to prevent leaks and seal old ones. Yep, prayer is our spiritual caulking.  After my husband who’s used to me gave me a brief smile, I cracked open my prayer journal to spill my leaky thoughts. Ok, Daddy, here I am again. Good morning! Hey, I’d like some of the usual, please. Could you kindly bring my family closer to you? Help us make wise decisions. Help us with our hearts, our schedules, our relationships; oh, and please heal our bathroom!!! Prayer Gift Prayer is our armor and war. It is both defense and offense. It is intimate Spirit-language that reaches heaven and is bigger than any conceivable freakout. Have you ever wondered what would happen if we could see the invisible under-workings of prayer? Or what it would be like to closely examine the before and after results? We’d see pictures more dramatic than my cushy bathroom, because prayer is that radical. No wonder why Satan tries to get us to doubt, forget, get busy, fall asleep, and leak, leak, leak. Satan sniffs around for the slightest trace of mold and weakness, the tiniest nook and cranny opening where he can reap, wreak, and leak destruction. Satan hates our motion to pray, because he knows it ushers angels to action. No Fear If we forget to cover ourselves in prayer, we don’t need to worry because Christ is still our...

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Falling Down Safe

Falling Down Safe

Sometimes in the pruning, little homes get toppled.  Creature comforts get turned upside down.   Fear.   Sometimes warm hands reaching out feel cold and foreign.  Sometimes they just want to love.   Sometimes we need to climb higher.   Have a holy huddle.   Sometimes we need to see down times as opportunities for more closeness.   Sometimes loving touches speak louder than words.   Sometimes we’re blessed to make a new friend.   We can taste and see the goodness of God.  In everything.   Everything can be a learning experience…   When we’re open and brave…   To give and receive.   If it’s worth receiving, it’s worth sharing with others.   It’s worth seizing the moment.   It’s worth enjoying God’s gifts and surprises.  Because in God’s hands… We all fall down...

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The Ugly Wife

The Ugly Wife

When I hear Jacob tell my father how much he loves my sister, my heart sinks. I’m second place because of my sister’s good looks. Passing by, I can’t help but notice the twinkle in their eyes as they hold each other in their gaze. Him, tall and ruddy; her, bright and curvy. I couldn’t possibly feel any more plain or invisible. I almost choke when my father wants me to slip me into Jacob’s tent and marry him secretly. What a horrible trick. Am I that ugly that I need to lower myself like this? I do as he asks, but it isn’t pretty. Even as I marry Jacob, I wonder: How can I be a happy bride when my new husband is all ga-ga over my little sister? He loves her so much he asks my dad if he can work for him another seven years—just so he can marry her too! What could be worse than being loved so much less? Than getting the raw end of the deal? Where are you, God? In the middle of my mess, God speaks to me in strangest, most amazing way. Clearly, he must have seen how much more Jacob loves my sister—because, of all things, he closes her womb and opens mine! In the midst of rejection, heartache, and unfairness, God steps in by balancing the scales and making things fair.  He comforts me in the midst of my lack by giving me the treasure of treasures. Babies! My tears of sadness turn to joy as God makes my crooked path straight. Things might not feel right to you at the time—because we only see a small piece of the puzzle—but God’s justice breaks through in the end. “For God does not show favoritism.” Romans...

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Raging Seas

Raging Seas

Shaken Heart Waves ride high, licking the sides of your boat, toppling inside. Water deepens, clawing tightness in your chest. Jesus had snatched this boat at the end of a long, crowd-saturated day, so he could reach the other side of the sea. With Jesus asleep now, you feel abandoned. Must you and your friends battle this storm by yourselves? In a howling gust, your boat couldn’t be more tossed and you know you’re going to drown. What in the world? Shouldn’t Jesus at least see this mess he threw you into? Winds roar so loud you can hardly hear your own voice. “Jesus! Wake up! We’re going to die!” Your teacher rubs his sleepy eyes and you wonder:  doesn’t anything rattle this dude? This is the storm of all storms. You’re about to go under—and he’s clueless! Breathless, you try telling him this, but he only shakes his head, mumbling something about the size of your faith. Rather than going on about it, he simply raises his arm and talks to the storm like nobody’s business.  And just like that, he puts the raging storm in its place. Your jaw drops as you watch the waves bow low. As you watch the ripples flatten like glass and nature obey, powerless to the sound of his voice. Your mind spins, the only thing out of control now. Sure, you knew this man was extraordinary, but this is insane. Defies human reasoning. Changed Heart Your admiration for Jesus shoots sky high. More than ever, you want to be like him:  powerful, fearless, bold. Then you see it:  He wants this for you too. Your teacher wants to teach you to trust him. To stop marching to the beat of fear.  To know whose you are. All along, he wanted to do the biggest miracle inside your soul. He wanted to help you face this new storm with more victory than the last. And you know it’s possible now with God’s Spirit breathing deep inside you. You know the King of Kings who calms the raging sea can also calm your raging heart. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans...

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U.S. Son on Malaysia Flight

U.S. Son on Malaysia Flight

News Video: Grieving US Mother Clings To God Grievous disappearance How does a mother respond when crisis strikes? Sondra Wood had just seen her son, Philip, the week before he disappeared on the Malaysian aircraft, flight 370. Philip had visited her Texas home and shared about his IBM job-move from Beijing to Malaysia. “He was excited about his new adventure,” says the devastated mother. “Only people who know God can survive things like this in a good way. I know in my heart I will get through this.” As a Christian, Sondra knows God doesn’t spare us from trouble. He does, however, keep us safe in his eternal hands and never lets us go. “I know in my heart that Philip is with God,” she continues. “And I plan to be there with him because I have a deep faith in my God.” Her faith shines as a beacon in this dark time. I hope I would shine as brightly. Trials are opportunities to turn to God with passion and determination. To sink our broken selves into his love with child-like trust. When we look to Jesus in the midst of grief, he gives us supernatural strength in exchange for frail, human weakness, and out-of-this-world peace above our lack of understanding.   Mysterious   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about how life doesn’t make sense from our earthly perspective. We only see part of a rainbow–until we’re flying high above it. Then and only then can we see how it connects into a full beautiful circle. Right now, though, separation from our loved ones feels like a severed limb. We feel broken and incomplete. One of the things I loved about watching Sondra’s news story was seeing others gather around her for hugs and support. Times of brokenness are opportunities for others to rise up and be an extension of Jesus’ hands and feet.   But God…   No matter what you’re going through today, I pray God sends the right people to love and support you. And may you feel God’s presence in an extra deep, personal way. He wants that for you. As someone familiar with the worst pain and suffering, including separation from his Father, Jesus not only understands what you feel, but he also deeply desires to restore and to lavish you with amazing, mind-blowing things he prepared for you since the beginning...

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