Fresh Air Blog

Help, I’m Dying!

Help, I’m Dying!

In speaking of Ema McKinley’s amazing modern day miracle, people ask, “Why did God wait eight long hours before appearing to Ema to heal her?  For that matter, why did he wait eighteen years?” Who knows… The point is, Jesus showed up and healed her crippled body from head to toe.  After hours on the floor, I’m sure she wondered if she might be dying.  Then Jesus suddenly showed up and stood over her helpless body, saying, “Ema, give me your hand.” With her hands in his, He raised her to her feet. Rivers of love passed between them.  Just when she thought she was dying, she became more alive than ever. Did she ask him, “What took you so long?” No.  In that moment, she was too smitten by his glory.  When we’re engulfed in the captivating, mesmerizing, transformative power and presence of God, questions, fears, and doubts slip away, melting like candle wax.  Time becomes timeless…  Fear becomes fearless…  And hope resurrects us. Do you want to be immersed in that sweet awareness of his Presence today?  Surrender to him completely and die to yourself in the wait. You may not see Jesus with your eyes or feel him with your hands, but you better believe he is with you and in you—ready to move heaven and earth on your behalf. You are his precious child. “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”  2 Chronicles 16:9 Abba Father… Lift our spirits ‘til we’re free and tall…  Unshackle us from the weights that bog us down…  Make us aware of your presence… Keep us hopeful and faith-full as we wait for your pick-me-ups. What are you waiting for, living for, dying for? What is he whispering to you...

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What is the Object of Your Courage?

What is the Object of Your Courage?

Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:26 What in the world doesn’t take courage?  You need courage to get up in the morning.  You may even need it to look in the mirror. But what do we really know about courage? When was the last time you told a stranger about Jesus, faced an angry mob, got arrested for your faith? The disciples faced death and persecution daily, but in their commitment to truth, they grew in courage. They knew the truth and truth had a name. They saw Jesus, the one who had been nailed to the cross, alive and well three days later!  Seeing Him alive transformed them to become alive. Suddenly they didn’t care about the opinion of man. Jesus was the object of their courage. They now had living proof stirring something inside, making them living proof—right to the end. You can have that kind of courage too.  But first, it takes courage to ask for it. Dear God, thank you for being our Glorious Living Proof. Please help us be your living proof...

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Don’t Go Green

Don’t Go Green

Has it happened to you lately? The moment your joy meets another person’s envy?  The time your happy heart collides with someone’s self-pity? A friend waxes green behind a tight-lipped smile and a reluctant shake of the head… “Must be nice…” She may even toss God into it. “Boy, I sure wish God would do that for me…” Self-pity, self-seeking, comparison-making, false-fronts. Yuck, yuck, double yuck. But who hasn’t tasted the sour-stomaching fruity effects of the flesh? So we ask God for more love! Indeed, our flesh screams in protest when we work to attain something, only to watch it plop smack into someone else’s lap. Ker-plump!  In that shady moment, our self-seeking souls want to resist the choice to deliriously enter into another person’s joys. I mean, to truly, completely, whole-heartedly enter in and celebrate with uncorked delight. So we ask God for more love! Life offers oodles of opportunities to practice love from all angles. For example, when others look less than ecstatic about our own blessings and golden eggs, we can choose to become serious pros at showing mercy. In so doing, we can watch grace-seeds hatch wild and swing right back around to kiss us! God eagerly waits to empower us to take the high road of unconditionally blessing others—even the most undeserving—with kind thoughts, words, actions, and prayers. It’s called partnering with God and becoming more Christ-like. So we ask God for more love! Our refusal to go green can actually color our world and lift our spirits to new Kingdom heights. So what do you say we stir up God’s love-pot today? We’ll be all the more blessed for it. And so will everyone else! “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”  John...

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Love to the Brim

Love to the Brim

In Home with a Heart, James Dobson tells a story of a mother who got the flu. The woman’s little girl, in an effort to play nurse, fluffed mom’s pillows, brought her a magazine, and surprised her with a cup of tea. “I didn’t know you knew how to make tea,” said the mother, taking a sip. “Oh, yes,” said the little girl, sweetly. “I learned by watching you. I put the tea leaves in the pan. Then I put in the water, and I boiled it. Then I strained it into a cup. But I couldn’t find a strainer, so I used the flyswatter instead.” “You what?” said the mother. “Don’t worry,” the little girl assured her. “I didn’t use the new flyswatter. I used the old one.” We’re being watched. By little eyes, big eyes, even skeptical eyes. I know we’re not supposed to worry about what others think of us. We’re supposed to be God-pleasers, not man pleasers. But God also wants us to be mindful of those around us. We’re salt and light, called to live lives worth emulating. As God’s representatives who bear his name, we’re to glorify him and make him look good. This is our divine privilege. God wants us to make a positive Kingdom difference wherever we go. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5 …So that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders. 1 Thessalonians 4:12 Little acts of kindness like friendly smiles, kind words, and caring cups of tea can show God’s love. Lord, we want to be filled with your love to the brim and overflowing. Help us live lives worth imitating. Lives that say, “follow me as I follow...

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Peace of My Mind

Peace of My Mind

Like all couples, my husband and I disagree on various issues, but God in his goodness has been coaching us about keeping the peace, no matter what we believe. Peace is the oil in my day.   When I feel it, it makes me a whole less squeaky. Peace Depends on Me Even if someone acts like a doofus, I can always choose inner peace, while at the same time praying and seeking outer peace with that other individual as well. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 That’s why God says: Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  2 Timothy 2:23 “We even need to be wise about debates,” I told my son who attends a Christian school. An innocent debate about Arminianism versus Calvinism turned into a long-standing argument that wounded and separated close friends. Yes, people can fight about anything.  That’s why we need to ask ourselves:  Why do I need to win this?  Is this really worth fighting for? Peace is Worth Fighting For Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalms 34:14 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:11 So God spells out this wise instruction both in the Old and New Testament, from David and Peter:  we need to put off evil and put on and pursue peace. That’s why we fight for peace on our knees. This morning my husband and I prayed for a more peaceful day, and we hope you will too: We choose to rest in you, Prince of Peace.  And we ask you to make your truth more and more clear to us so we can become as like-minded as possible.   May your peace rule our hearts.   Rather than arguing when we disagree, may we continue to humble ourselves and pray together, trusting you’ll give us the love, wisdom and unity we need to feel your peace about each particular issue until it’s resolved exactly the way you want it to be:  In Jesus’ name. ...

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