Inspirational

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Posted 10/5/17 at 10:50 AM | Audra Jennings

Find God’s power in the deepest places

Part 1 of an interview with Micah Maddox,
Author of Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World

Abingdon Press
Anchored In by Micah Maddox

The world is rife with global and personal crises. News outlets report one troubling development after another. Within the home, studies reveal half of Americans feel financially insecure, more than half are unhappy in their jobs and divorce rates escalate with each subsequent marriage. When problems abound, it can feel as if God is far away. However, as Micah Maddox explains in Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World (Abingdon Press), these same trials can bring us closer to God if we change our way of thinking and focus on Him.

There are a lot of people in the world who seek power in the human form, but Anchored In is about spiritual power and learning to live in tune to God’s voice, direction and desire for our lives. Maddox hopes readers will realize God’s power is available and accessible to each of them. She does not attempt to resolve the adverse circumstances of life; rather, Maddox offers a different approach to those circumstances, giving readers a new strength to manage them, rise above them and ultimately conquer them with a power that exceeds humanity’s grip.

Q: What does it mean to live Anchored In?

Every day, we all anchor our lives in something. Sometimes we anchor our lives in our work, mothering, goals, desires and sometimes even our problems. I’ve learned I often allow my problems to take the center stage of my thinking and my life. Anytime we allow anything other than God to take the focus of our hearts and minds, we are not living in the power God has provided for us to live in. God is teaching me that living anchored in His presence is the only way to experience His power. Living anchored in means we willingly set aside every circumstance and problem of our lives and fully focus our hearts, minds and souls on the Savior, the Anchor.

Q: What does it mean to live a power-full life in a problem-filled world?

There are a lot of people in the world who seek power in the human form. This book is about spiritual power. It’s about learning to live in tune to God’s voice, direction and desire for our lives. I believe God has a purpose for every single one of His children, and we can know that purpose and live confidently in the power He freely offers us.

The problem is many people struggle to experience God’s power when life is crazy or tragedy strikes, so they begin to believe God’s power is reserved for someone bigger and better than them or someone who has an easier life. However, I know God’s power is available and accessible to each of us. When we experience it for ourselves, we learn what it means to live a power-full life. It’s a life where we choose to be emptied of our selfish ambitions and desires, and we learn to be filled with God’s promises, protection, providence, peace and ultimately His power.

I want to encourage women that God’s power is not reserved for teachers, leaders or pastors. God’s power is reserved for every person who is willing to receive it. Be encouraged that God is waiting for you to experience His power! It’s available and accessible to every single person. My prayer is this book will help many people learn how to experience God’s power like they never have before.

Q: You write, “The power of God is not about avoiding the deep waters of life. It’s about diving into them.” How do we do that without feeling like we’re drowning in our circumstances?

When I say dive into the deep waters of life, I don’t mean we saturate ourselves in a sea of our problems. I mean we face the facts. It’s not so much about becoming absorbed with the problems; it’s more about having the courage to look eye-to-eye with the reality of life rather than turning a blind eye and pretending it away.

Q: Tell us about the “Praying God’s Power” prayers you include at the end of each chapter. What part does prayer play in experiencing God’s power?

Prayer is huge, and so often we don’t pray because sometimes it’s just too hard to verbalize what we are feeling or what we are really thinking—it’s too painful to say out loud. However, I’m learning to focus my prayer on Jesus rather than on myself. When I pray with Him as the center, the focus, I find Him so very near. Praying God’s power is praying with faith, trust, and assurance God is going to carry me to the other side of the storm.

Micah Maddox, author of Anchored In

Q: What wise words did your son tell you one night as you were tucking him in to sleep that resonated with you as you wrote the chapter on listening to God’s voice?

When I pulled his covers up and leaned in to give him a goodnight kiss, he acted like he was having a dialogue with God. As he and God had a conversation back and forth, I asked him what God was saying to him. His answer was, “God speaks quiet to us. He loves us.” That moment for me was an a-ha moment, one I hope I never forget. The still, small voice of God is powerful, and the simple truth that He loves us is something we can always cling to.

Q: How do we allow God to define our dreams?

This is a loaded question. There is so much I could say, but I’ll try to sum it up. We all have dreams. Some we go for and act on, and some we just imagine—some we never speak of because we are afraid of failure. However, I’m learning God has dreams for us we never can even imagine. Allowing God to define our dreams means we completely surrender every single thing in our lives to His control. What I mean is we strip away everything in our lives and pare it down to just us. We get rid of the fluff and the American dream of cars, kids and a nice home, and then we expose ourselves without all of our stuff. When we begin to strip away the sparkle and shine of life and get down to the reality of who we are and whose we are, we begin to find a new dream. We get it so mixed up and can never really experience God’s power when we are constantly seeking a picture-perfect family, home, job or success. God’s dreams don’t require success. They require surrender. We surrender everything.

Learn more at www.micahmaddox.com. She is also active on Facebook (@micahmaddoxencouragement), Twitter (@MrsMicahMaddox) and Instagram (@mrsmicah).

Posted 10/2/17 at 6:46 AM | Dylan Moran

Nursery Songs for Children, Toddlers and Babies & Kids Finger Family Songs

Nowadays, children do not take the time to sing nursery rhymes anymore. Technology has taken over, we all probably know toddlers that can operate laptops very well. Things are obviously different than when we were kids but singing of nursery rhymes is a tradition that must continue. Singing of nursery rhymes to children is something that has been done for centuries, I believe if we think hard enough, we can remember the nursery rhymes we sang as kids if, I can remember a few nursery rhymes I sang as a child. This shows how potent nursery rhymes are to the upbringing of a child.

Johnny Johnny yes papa and five monkeys jumping on the bed are the rhymes I chose to use as a case study to show how educative nursery rhymes can be as opposed to the myth that nursery rhymes are just a pile of mumbo jumbo songs that kids sing with no valuable lessons.

Johny johny yes papa is a traditional nursery rhyme that educates your Toddlers, babies or children as well as educates them. The song teaches kids not to lie as well as teaching them how to identify colours. In the song, papa asks Johnny if he ate the sweets and he lies, he gets a big colourful nose as punishment kind of like pinnochio with a twist. This rhyme teaches the children a valuable lesson about how lying is bad, as children retain things they hear and see more. FULL POST

Posted 9/27/17 at 6:47 AM | Boris Dzhingarov

Is meditation a Christian practice?

There are countless ways to connect with God, but as Christians, we tend to emphasize traditional forms of prayer, reflection on scripture, and practices like walking the labyrinth. One activity we rarely talk about, though, is meditation. Is meditation a Christian practice? Or do its roots in Eastern religion exclude it as a tool of spiritual development? For some Christians, this is a significant point of contention as practices like meditation and yoga come into broad cultural acceptance.

Though some will always object to meditation for reasons of origin, there are plenty of ways to bend the practice to Christian purposes, as well as countless examples of how meditation has been used by devout Christians for centuries. When aligned with the power of Christ’s Word and sacrifice, meditation can be as powerful as attending church weekly or going on a pilgrimage.

Meditation or contemplation?

To understand where meditation fits within the broader world of Christian worship, it’s helpful to hold meditation up alongside contemplation.

Contemplation is widely associated with various Christian religious orders, particularly monastic traditions. Monks and nuns spend a significant amount of their lives engaged in silent reflection on God and the Word. But does sitting in silence automatically make contemplation into meditation? FULL POST

Posted 9/27/17 at 6:31 AM | selwyn perry

She has a dream

Where she left her kiss

She has a dream before she leaves this world
To fly to unseen lands,
To wander in the wild woods
And splash her feet in seashore sands;
To let her hair blow in the wind
And sleep beneath the stars;
Climb mountains, rocks and heights’
Be free of ties and many
chores
That make her fretful
Ties like cleaning windows and floors.
Oh to be free of knives and forks, table tops and ironing
Boards,
Dusters, stands and sore cracked hands’
She has a dream before she leaves this world
That she can remember in heavens bliss
Where she left her kiss.

Posted 9/18/17 at 8:06 AM | Yvonne Perkins

Rising Above Disappointment

Rising Above Disappointment. In this life, there will be disappointments. There is no way around it. Everyone will experience it at some point in time during this journey called life. Disappointment defined by Webster as defeated in expectation or hope 2)sad or displeased because someone or something has failed to fulfill one’s hope or expectation. Disappointment can have devasting results on a person’s life if not handled in a positive manner. It can cause you to lose hope, or not believe anything good will come out of your life. It can hinder your growth, naturally and spiritually.

Rising above disappointment. Life is full of ups and downs. We do not always achieve everything we set out to do. Things don’t always go the way we envision it to go. Two people can look at a glass of water and one will see it as half empty and the other as half full. What difference does it make? The perception will impact your thoughts, your thoughts will impact your feelings, your feelings will impact your behavior.

Rising above disappointment. A person perceives the glass to be half empty. This person thought pattern about life is more likely to be one filled with negative thoughts i.e. nothing goes my way, everyone is against me, if it wasn’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck etc. If that is the thought pattern the feelings attached to that thought more likely include sadness, anger, and/or frustration. These feelings will more likely result in the person engaging in negative behaviors that will only enforce those beliefs, i.e. not pursuing dreams, not giving their best efforts etc. FULL POST

Posted 9/11/17 at 1:03 AM | Lynn Joesph

Technology Can Bolster The Church – Within Limits

As a Christian community, our worship is rooted in ancient traditions, yet in an attempt to stay relevant, many churches have begun to adopt modern – and even outrageous – new practices. At Embassy Church International in Atlanta, for example, worshippers are treated to fog and aerialists, while many neighborhood churches have built up worship bands and introduced high-tech media displays. All of this has faith leaders wondering, when is it all too much?

The secret to using technology in worship settings is that less is more. Your choices should foster engagement, but technology shouldn’t be a barrier to engaging with God. It’s also beneficial if the technology serves multiple purposes in our community.

Supercharging The Sermon

Smartphones are a point of contention in many churches. They can be a distraction, ringing during prayers and interrupting the sermon, or they can supplement worship, allowing parishioners to quickly look up references or take a few notes. Regardless of how you think about smartphones in the pews, though, the reality is that everyone has them, so you might as well put them to holy use. And many churches are doing just that by adopting the YouVersion Bible app. FULL POST

Posted 9/8/17 at 2:19 PM | Mark Ellis

A God of inches and seconds saved couple in freeway plane crash

Defy Media
Fireball on the 405 Freeway next to John Wayne Airport June 30, 2017 after the Pisano's plane crashed

By Mark Ellis

Shortly after takeoff from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, pilot Frank Pisano heard a sputtering sound in his right engine. Then the engine went dead. His wife Janan was sitting next to him and didn’t hear the sound through her headphones, but she heard his anguished cry to air traffic controllers: “Mayday!”

In their brief, four-minute flight, and the horrific fireball that consumed the plane after they crashed on the 405 Freeway, God displayed his awesome power to save their lives in a cascading series of intricately timed and perfectly sequenced miracles.

They took off at 9:30 a.m. on Friday June 30, 2017, the start of an extended Fourth of July holiday for many other travelers plying the busy freeway situated next to the airport. The Pisanos intended to fly to Scottsdale for a three-day vacation. FULL POST

Posted 9/6/17 at 7:40 PM | Karen Farris

I’ll Stand Too

Labor Day’s celebration of American workers is well-deserved because hard work defines us.


The little church near the restaurant was ideal—she could attend the early service and go right to work afterwards. She noticed a man standing up in the back pew.

He stood the whole service.

As church ended and she was making her way out the door she realized the man who’d been standing was her boss, Pat Sullivan, owner of the restaurant where she waited tables.

She asked him why he stood throughout the service.

“I hire people who have to stand on their feet all day long in order to make my business prosper.

So whenever I go to church, I stand to remind myself how it feels.

I hope it keeps me from being too bossy and makes me remember not to push my help too hard when they are tired. Most of all, it makes me grateful for the labor and loyalty of my employees, who have made my restaurant a success.” FULL POST

Posted 9/1/17 at 9:22 AM | Marvin Thompson

What if You Do Not Get What You Pray For?

If you have ever prayed for something and were disappointed that it did not come when you expected it, or not at all, then you may have pondered through your doubts whether faith in Christ isn’t merely a state of mind with no causal influence, and that we are really at the mercy of a dispassionate fate.

It would seem that whatever concerns us the most, must surely be of concern to God. And if we are overcome with anxiety about our most urgent cares, why wouldn’t God grant our petition? What if our most urgent care is a matter of life and death?

Think, you are the sole breadwinner for your young family including infants; or you are the sole caretaker of your aging and physically challenged parents. Perhaps you are the custodian of a disabled sibling. In any event, there are those who depend totally on you for their care, wellbeing and survival.

Now think, you are staring in the face of a gun being held by someone intent on killing you. Is God obligated to deliver you from death at your request? What would be going through your mind?

We do not often think about our Christian walk in such stark terms. Indeed, it would be an ugly sight if Christians go about weighed down by such thoughts – it would make Christianity truly unattractive, and reflect poorly on our Lord who gives us, not mere hope, but a lively hope at that (1 Pet. 1:3). However, it is necessary at times to recognize that our disappointments are for a purpose – His purpose – and to reflect upon what that means. FULL POST

Posted 8/15/17 at 11:15 AM | Karen Farris

Where Summer Once Belonged

My earliest vacation recollection was the kerosene lantern on a red night stand. My mother sat reading in its glow.

I was bundled on a cot next to my sister. I couldn’t see the lake, but through the screened porch, I could hear the gentle lapping of water along the shoreline.

Every summer thereafter, we traveled back to my grandparent’s cabin in Northern Idaho. No electricity, telephone, or bathroom.

Cooking and heating dishwater were all done on the woodstove. It was the kind of rustic living a kid dreamed about—at least back then.

Life happens and so does progress. First it was a road, making it possible to reach the cabin by car instead of a boat.

Soon power lines crept along, mile by mile, until in the early 1970’s it reached the cabin. The kerosene lanterns retired.

A new water system eliminated the need for the outhouse—the final adios to our summer experience. FULL POST

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