Monday, February 6, 2017

You Are Wanted

Jesus, I am Your's; You are mine.

Growing up, there were many Valentine’s Days I wished would have never happened. In elementary school, it was the year with the long walk home from school. My red paper-covered box, which contained no Valentine from my favorite crush, felt heavy for being so empty.

Maybe when I am a teenager my love life will get better, I hoped.

My hope was in vain. In fact, if I had known how my first Valentine’s Day in high school was going to play out, I would have just stayed home. Our student council decided Valentine’s Day was the perfect time to host a fundraiser. Students could purchase flowers to be delivered: yellow to your best friend, red to the one you love and white to the one you wanted to ask out.

First period — the predictable yellow carnation arrived with a note from my best friend. Not the color I was looking for. Second period — no flower. Third period — no flower. Is there any way I can get out early? I asked myself as my nemesis waltzed in, arms loaded with flowers.

By fourth period, I was begging for the day to end when in came the delivery girl. “Lynn Martin.”

Me?

I sprinted to the front, grabbed the white flower and glided back to my seat. The base drum of my heart pounded through my blouse while my mind spun: Who could this be from? My eyes quickly scanned the note: “I’d like to ask you out. -Scott.” Scott? As in a senior?

My excitement lasted only long enough for logic to set in. He’s a senior somebody; I’m a sophomore nobody. This has to be a joke, I told myself. Shoving the flower and note in my bag, I shoved down my broken heart too. I just hope nobody saw me was all I could think.

That was the year I began to ask a lot of questions, my heart crushed by my crush: Why doesn’t he ask me out? What does she have that I don’t? Why doesn’t he want me? Answering the question, What’s wrong with me? became my mission.

Whether it’s a memory from long ago or a pain as fresh as yesterday, we’ve all experienced rejection in one form or another. We’ve all wanted to be wanted — whether it was by a boy, a club, a friend or a group.

However, the truth is we’ve always been wanted and always belonged … to the Lord.

In other words, we belong to Love Himself. As Song of Solomon 2:16 tells us,

“My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies.” Song of Solomon 2:16 (NIV)

While others have rejected us, He wholeheartedly accepts us. Let that soak in for just a moment. Say it out loud. I am His.

What we have longed for and still want today, we already have. Friend, we belong.

The truth that I didn’t have to search to belong, or struggle to find love and be loved, completely changed me.

Jesus, I am Yours. You are mine. Thank You for loving me and filling my heart with exactly what I have always wanted — to be wanted. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Valentine’s Day is hard on many, but especially young women who so want to experience being loved and cherished. They desperately need to know that they are!

In  His Revolutionary Love: Jesus’ Radical Pursuit of You and Devotions for a Revolutionary Year I teach young women how Jesus’ unchanging love changes absolutely everything. They don’t have to wait to be chosen or belong; they already do!

Maybe this is exactly what that young women in your life needs to hear this Valentine’s Day? Will you make an invest in her heart?

Tomorrow, I’ll share a few verses you can tuck into that Valentine’s Day card to let her know she is absolutely loved!

 

Lynn

Friday, January 27, 2017

Unite Don’t Fight {GIVE AWAY DAY}

 

Live Full; Walk Free - Unite Don't Fight

Earlier this month, I shared with you some steps I was taking to change up my quiet time each day.

Cindy Bultema‘s new Bible Study, Live Full; Walk Free has been a part of that change. I wanted to give you a sneak peek at Chapter 2 of Live Full Walk Free and give you an opportunity to win a copy of the Bible study plus the DVD teaching {see below}.

 

Unite Don’t Fight

 

Bullying stinks!

I don’t know about you, but when my kids are the ones being picked on, Mama feels all the feelings. I’m talking anger, hurt, and, in this particular case, bafflement, at who was doing the bullying and who didn’t step in to stop it.

My youngest daughter had a bit of a lisp, and some of the boys on the school bus were making of her. They would tease her, call her names, and mimic her talking with her lisp, of course exaggerating. Spit actually flew from their middle school mouths to my little girl’s face!

She came home in a puddle of humiliation.

I wanted to climb aboard the yellow bus like a mildly deranged mama bear and have a swipe or two at those hooligans, but of course, I restrained myself. (I aspire to be sanely involved with my children’s conflicts.) I prayed for grace, forgiveness, and wisdom, because the main instigator was the son of a friend. Yikes!

And my son was a witness to what had been happening to his sister.

“Sweetie, what did you do when those mean boys were picking on her?”

My usually reliable son averted his eyes and lowered his head.

“Nothing.”

Sweet Molasses! I wanted to jump out of my skin. But motherhood is all about gulping those deep breaths and praying those ‘Help me, now!’ prayers. “Nothing? You watched your sister get spit on and you did nothing? Help me understand.”

Before he could respond, I kept going (as moms do):

“Honey, we belong to the same family—we are Bultemas. We stick together. Family doesn’t stand by and do nothing when our sister or our brother needs help. Family members take care of each other.”

I was trying to teach my son about family, about unity and how to pursue it in our broken, hurting world.

The bus drama with my daughter sparked negative emotions in me, but it was also an opportunity to remember I am called to pursue unity, with bullies and moms of bullies, and with my siblings in Christ.

“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” I Corinthians 1:10

“Unity” is kind of a churchy word, but like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:10, it just means agreeing with one another, with no divisions, no conflict. (“Division” in ancient Greek has a connotation of ripping or tearing fabric, so literally Paul begged the church members in Corinth to not be ripped apart.)

But…drama and conflict come up all the time—can I get a witness?

It pops up with friends, kids, siblings, and between husbands and wives. It flares on the playground, the workplace, the big yellow school bus.

We can’t avoid conflict, but we do get to choose how to deal with it. Do we make the rip worse or do we do all we can to mend, to heal?

When he wrote his letter, Paul knew the local church in this Greek city was a hot mess of overblown drama and bitter contention. Four cliques had formed—Team Paul, Team Apollos, Team Cephas (or Peter), and Team Jesus, a group which boasted that they were above all the petty squabbling. Each was sure they were right and everyone else was wrong. (Sound familiar in our current culture?) Church members were even suing each other!

I love how Paul writes his letter with a pastor’s heart, using family language. No less than twenty times Paul addresses his “brothers and sisters,” his “adelphos” in Greek. His loving yet firm tone is one we might use if we were going out for coffee with a sibling or a friend who had lost their way. “Oh, friend…I love you, but this has got to stop.”

Let…“there be no divisions among you,” Paul writes.

No drama.

No he said/she said

No spitting on each other.

No hurting each other!

“…be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Build each other up.

Gently, patiently, kindly.

At peace.

Get up ev’rybody and sing!

Okay, so that last line is not technically in the verse, but this whole discussion of getting along in the family of God gives me a flashback to fourth grade. The roller rink, my Shaun Cassidy satin jacket and bell bottom jeans. And “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge:

“We are family

I got all sisters with me

We are family

Get up ev-rybody and sing!”

Great song, and even greater message.

By the way, the instigator in my girl’s bus drama? With his mom’s encouragement, he came over and apologized, giving my daughter a bookstore gift card he bought with his own money. Grace ruled, and harmony was restored.

Life delivers many reasons to be at odds with our sisters (and our brothers). Let’s look for ways to be at one with them, instead. Let’s also look for ways to be family to each other, to stand up for each other as dearly loved daughters and sons of a Good Father. Because family takes care of each other, always.

Lord, forgive us for believing the lies of the enemy that tear us apart as your own children. Help us be peacemakers, drama diffusers, and restorers in every way. Thank You that you designed us for unity. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Cindy Bultema's live full; WALK FREE

Cindy’s latest Bible study, Live Full Walk Free: Set Apart in a Sin-Soaked World was released in December 2016 at Thomas Nelson. For a sneak peek of the DVD teaching that enhances chapter 2’s study watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4AfjzaDYxQ&t=156s. Visit Cindy on her blog to download a FREE sample chapter of Live Full Walk Free, along with a set of A-Z scripture cards: http://www.cindybultema.com/live-full-walk-free/.

 

Cindy would like to send a copy of Live Full; Walk Free plus the DVD teaching to one of my readers!

To qualify for the drawing, you need to do TWO things:

#1. LEAVE A COMMENT below.

#2. SHARE THIS POST on social media.

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place on February 1st,  so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US & Canadian readers only.}

 

*************The winner is Noelle who posted on 1/26/17 at 4:46 p.m. Congratulations, Noelle!******************

 

Lynn

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Prayers for Your Girl {Day 9}

Prayers for Your Girl {Day 9}

Day 9: Self-control

Father, may my girl practice self-control, not allow feelings-driven thoughts to overrule Your wisdom-living words in her life. Amen

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians12:9–10) (NIV)

 

Thank you so much for joining me here for the past 9 days of praying for our girls.
I’ve put together all 9 in one beautiful download. Written as a part from the heart of your girl, this would make a gorgeous gift, investing in her heart as she grows in her relationship with the Lord in 2017.

To get your’s free “9 Prayers to Pray Over Your Girl”, just follow this link to find this freebie and more for freebies for investing in your girl!

http://www.lynncowell.com/freebies

Lynn

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Prayers for Your Girl {Day 8}

Prayers for Your Girl {Day 8}

Day 8: Gentleness

God, teach my girl to lean into Your gentleness learning to become gentle with herself so she can be gentle with others. Amen

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:1–2) (NIV)

 

 

If you would like to get these prayers directly to your email box, just sign up here.

Lynn

Monday, January 23, 2017

Prayers to Pray for Your Girl {Day 7}

Prayers Day 7

Day 7: Faithfulness {Prayers For Your Girl}

Jesus, may my girl fight to be faithful in all she does, not quick to quit one thing in order to snatch something “better.” Amen

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. (Proverbs 3:3) (NIV)

If you would like to get these prayers directly to your email box, just sign up here.

Lynn

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Prayers to Pray for Your Girl {Day 6}

Prayers to Pray for Your Girl {Day 6}

Day 6: Goodness {Prayers For Your Girl}

God, may my girl choose goodness and stand strong, not just go along with culture. Amen

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:3–4) (NIV)

 

If you would like to get these prayers directly to your email box, just sign up here.

Lynn

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Prayers to Pray for Your Girl {Day 5}

Prayers to Pray for Your Girl {Day 5}

Day 5: Kindness {Prayers for your Girl}

Jesus, open my girl’s eyes to see opportunities for kindness and choose putting others’ needs and desires above her own.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

“This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am
the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:23–24) (NIV)

 

 

If you would like to get these prayers directly to your email box, just sign up here.

Lynn

Friday, January 20, 2017

Prayers to Pray for Your Girl {Day 4}

Prayers to Pray for Your Girl {Day 4}

Day 4: Patience {Prayers for your girl}

Lord, train my girl to be patient.

Teach her to wait; not manipulate a situation or person for what she thinks is best.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” (Proverbs 14:29) (NIV)

 

 

 

If you would like to get these prayers directly to your email box, just sign up here.

Lynn

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Prayers for Your Girl {Day 3}

 

Prayers for Your Girl {Day 3}

Day 3: Peace {Prayers For Your Girl}

Father, teach my girl to go after peace;

looking for prayers to pray instead of words to say.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14) (NIV)

 

If you would like to get these prayers directly to your email box, just sign up here.

Lynn

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Praying for Your Girl {Day 2}

Prayers to Pray for Your Girl {Day 2}

Day 2: Joy {Prayers For Your Girl}

Jesus, empower my girl to look for joy all around her instead of looking around her for what is missing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

“and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10) (NIV)

 

If you would like to get these prayers directly to your email box, just sign up here.

Lynn