Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Learn, Pray, Act

“Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.”~ Josh Whedon, author, screenwriter, director

When I was a little girl, I’d trek alongside my father as he worked in his garden that spanned an acre or more of our property. The soft, hot Florida sand squished between my bare toes, and sweat streamed down my little cheeks. Sometimes I ran to keep up with his long strides. Sometimes he slowed his step and took my hand. If I had one word to describe my father, it would be the word “doer.”

God calls us to be doers of His Word (James 1:22). How do we prepare to be a doer? Or do we merely allow the Spirit to guide us in certain situations through divine appointments?

Both.

Imperative to Christian life, ministry effectiveness, and spiritual growth is learning—absorbing God’s Word and other Christian books and resources—in order to share with others. If we really want to be led spiritually, immersing ourselves in scripture is the first step.

And we should want to do this, right? I’m the first to admit I have trouble wading through genealogy, or details of the building of the tabernacle and outlining of the law in Exodus and Leviticus. But hidden in those genealogy lists are Bible heroes—their stories are ones of persecution, hope, deliverance, and ultimately, the birth of our Savior. Instead of skimming over, think of the sacrifices of Ruth, the failure and forgiveness of King David, and the obedience of Obadiah. Somewhere among these stories is our story, as well.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
We also want to be led by the Holy Spirit. Actually, this is the ultimate goal. It’s only possible by coupling learning with prayer.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2

Think about it. Which friend do you count on the most? The one you regularly interact with, knows you intimately—the good, bad, and the ugly—and still loves you? Or the one you exchange pleasantries with occasionally?

The same is true of our relationship with God. When you know Him intimately, learn His nature, and are able to trust Him completely, this resonates in our message to others. We can’t possibly share a God we don’t know on an intimate level. When the Bible says we are made in His image, His handiwork, we can believe it. He longs for a relationship with us. Spending time with Him is the most important part of our lives. 

Learning and praying alone isn’t the endgame for a Chrisitan. Yes, we want to draw closer to God and become more like Christ for eternity. But, we’re saved not only for ourselves but for others.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
That’s good news. God has prepared work for us to do. He wants us to act! It’s not enough to learn and pray, if we don’t use it to help someone outside ourselves. Humans are not static. Relationships are not static. God has placed us in family and friendships He deemed important. Whether it’s your neighbor, brother, or co-worker, God has a message to relay through you. We may not even be aware of what the specific message is, but God knows what that other person needs. You may be the one He has chosen to share it.

Explore whether God wants you involved in missions outside of your inner circle—foreign or domestic—physically or financially. We all have talents and spiritual gifts to share. Seek God’s wisdom in this. We are His workmen here on earth. May we always be one “who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18 
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9 
Learn, Pray, Act.
  • Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you ~Thomas Jefferson
  • Never confuse movement with action. ~Ernest Hemingway
  • Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe. ~Mitch Albom, author
What’s your favorite Bible verse that motives you to act? Is there one that caused a turning point in your life and called you to action?

If you have a prayer need, please leave a comment or email me confidential requests. I’d love to pray for you!

God bless,
Laura

© Laura Hodges Poole

Recommended resources available online for comprehensive Bible study:

BBN Radio Bible Institute. Free online classes in Bible doctrine, Christian living, Bible books and characters, and more with 117 divisions of study and multiple classes within each division. Certificates are offered with each completion of a division. I have taken a few of these classes and can highly recommend them.

Thru The Bible Radio. Tons of free resources including study guides, notes and outlines, and downloads are available to help you with an in-depth study of the Bible in five years. Even if you don’t listen to the audio, the other resources will provide you with tremendous study potential. I’ve listened to Dr. J. Vernon McGee for years on the radio and have downloaded and printed many of his resources.

Bible Gateway Scripture Engagement. “This section of Bible Gateway, created in partnership with the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement, outlines a set of practical exercises and activities you can undertake to interact more meaningfully with the Bible (Bible Gateway).” Many links are available to teach you how to successfully approach reading scripture. 

“Bible” image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
“Young Woman Praying Sincerely” image by David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“Action Screen Show Motivation” image by Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Live from The Cove (Billy Graham Training Center)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately, but my posts have been few and far between. Whether you call it a rut or just plain exhausted and stretched too thin—my ability to write dissipated. Not completely, but I’d sit at the computer, start a devotion, article, or even a blog post and after a paragraph or two say, “That’s junk,” and walk away. I’m sure those of you who artists and writers can relate.

This weekend, I’m attending a writers’ conference at The Cove in Asheville, NC.  Arriving on “the mountain,” each year is like stepping into the presence of God. Don’t get me wrong. Every day I live in His presence. He’s in everything I see and experience. But here…words don’t exist in the English language to describe the tranquility and holiness of this place.

I first stopped at the chapel, slipped inside, and sat on the back row while the guide talked to a couple near the front. When the guide finished, I moseyed up as she took their picture and then offered to take mine as they left.

She asked if I played the piano, which I do. She insisted I play the grand piano at the front of the chapel—the one played by George Beverly Shea. If you know me, performing in public scares me. Actually, performing in front of anyone makes me anxious. I made some lame excuse about not being able to play without music, and she pointed me to a stack of hymn books. To my surprise (and relief) I was totally at peace as I picked up the hymnal and flipped through, settling on the great Billy Graham crusade invitation hymn, “Just As I Am.” The music reverberated through the chapel, a beautiful tone like no other piano I’ve ever played.


When I finished, I strolled through the chapel by myself, spent some time in prayer, and then took a few photographs. You’ll notice from the photos there are no stained glass windows. The Grahams wanted God’s nature to show through the windows instead. Wise choice.





My desire and zeal for writing has been rekindled. I'm excited about writing and feel so blessed that God has gifted me to share His message through the written word. 

As I sit here at my laptop overlooking the beautiful landscape, a few snow flurries flutter by my window, I wonder—is this what Moses felt when he went onto the mountain to meet God (Exodus 24, 33-34)? Based on the radiance of his face when he came down off the mountain, certainly his spirit was renewed each time he fellowshipped with God in that special place and time.

The peace and tranquility I’m experiencing for this finite time is only a slice of what heaven will be like and what Moses experienced, but I’ll soak up as much as I can and return home with a renewed spirit to do the work God has equipped me to do.

Thanks for joining me on my journey.

God bless,
Laura


©Laura Hodges Poole

Thursday, February 12, 2015

True Love?

Certain holidays, like Valentine’s Day, bring joy to some and sorrow to others. Though the holiday has traditionally meant expressing love to those we hold dear, if you’re not in a relationship, the mushy romance displayed can be both irritating and heartbreaking. Marketers tell us it’s the best day of the year to show love in a tangible way. Hmmm. A billion-dollar industry, Valentine’s Day, instead, should emulate love in its truest form.

But what is love?

Love is difficult to define. We know it by feelings, by the actions of those around us, by the longevity of those who choose to be in our lives, and sometimes even by the actions we refuse to tolerate in others—tough love. And sometimes we know it by its lack—between relationships, waiting for the “right one” to enter our lives.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Wow. Can you think of another love equal to this expression by the Apostle Paul?

To say Paul’s life was difficult as a follower of Jesus is an understatement. Some of his persecution is recorded in 2 Corinthians 11. Yet, he never whined about his hardships, nor did he blame them on God. Instead, he embraced the idea of hardships as necessary to a Christian’s life. James continued this theme in his ministry. In doing so, their lives embodied the idea that, in spite of our trials, God is still present.

So then, how can Paul—despite his willingness to endure hardships and concede God’s presence in them—take it a step further and equate the totality of his life with God’s love? There’s only one logical answer.

It’s a love that never separates. How could love be defined any better? There’s not a human equation that even comes close.

No matter what unknown tomorrow brings, God’s love will be present. I don’t know about you, but that’s a tremendous comfort to me.


Reflection: Being alone during any holiday is tough, but especially on Valentine’s Day. You may have experienced this and prayed for someone special to spend your life with. Yet, how does God’s love manifest itself in your life? Is there a way for you to show it in a tangible way to others in your community—either through volunteering your time or resources? Spend some time in prayer asking God to show you how His love can flow through you and into others. While you’re doing this, you might discover that soulmate you’ve been praying for. 

If you'd like prayer, please leave a comment or email me confidential requests. I'd love to pray for your needs. 

God bless,
Laura

This post is a selection from my new devotional, While I'm Waiting, available for 99 cents on Amazon.com. This devotional offers encouragement to those waiting for an answer to prayer. 

What people are saying about While I’m Waiting:

“Hope. It’s a foundation of our faith, but a difficult concept to live out. Author Laura Hodges Poole understands that, and this devotional gives us the roadmap for the path from despair to hope. She writes from the perspective of someone who has traveled that road. Her honesty and humility draws us in, while her wisdom shows us how living in hope truly is possible. This book will have a coveted place on my bedside table and will be a resource that I return to again and again.”

~Edie Melson, Co-Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and author of Prayers for My Soldier

“Author Laura Hodges Poole knows first-hand about the power of love and the gift of faith. With every inspirational word, she generously shares her innermost self. Laura openly writes about her personal trials and tribulations…the grief of losing her dear sister to suicide and the deep abiding love she has for family and friends. No matter the circumstance, Laura manages to draw from a well of love and hope. She eloquently expresses the depth of her faith and her very intimate relationship with God. Laura has “died to self” and trusts in our heavenly Father to guide her every step of the way. While I’m Waiting gives witness to Laura’s commitment to our loving Creator and her heartwarming devotion to Him.”    

~Dolores Ayotte, inspirational author of Up The Down Ladder: Simple Ideas to Overcome Depression and book reviewer

Click HERE to purchase


“Hearts Background” image courtesy of Feelart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
“Love Puzzle on Laptop” image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

When The Going Gets Tough

We all know the cliché: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Right? This implies, if we have enough moxie, we can endure anything just by being tough.

Well, there’s a reason hardships are called that—they’re hard.

God doesn’t allow trials in your life to determine your mettle—He already knows. Trials show you what you’re made of and strengthen you as a Christian.

A building inspector goes over new construction step-by-step, to uncover deficiencies or weaknesses that could jeopardize the entire structure. In the same way, our weakness of spirit needs to be exposed in order for us to become stronger.

The oft-quoted Bible verse, “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength,” (Philippians 4:13) shows us that God doesn’t expect us to walk alone in trials, but this verse is validated only by suffering hardships.

You might shake your head and say, “But I’m already a strong follower of His. My faith is solid. I’m compassionate. Why should I have to suffer?”

The apostle Paul had a few things to say about this.

Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea … I have labored and toiled … I have known hunger and thirst … I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches … If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 2 Corinthians 11:24-30

Most Christians look to Paul as a standard bearer. If we are to grow to his level of commitment, the commitment first has to be tested. He didn’t develop strong faith outside of being shown his weaknesses.

James took the concept a step further. He said, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Not only do we develop perseverance, we become blessed through the trials.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trials, because having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

In turn, we’re able to bless others because of our trials. Take comfort in the knowledge that God knows the trials that lie ahead. He’s waiting in our tomorrows, ready to strengthen our spirit, our faith, and our mettle, and to bless us with the joy whose depth only comes from suffering first.

How can we consider trials pure joy? How do we persevere? Trials are exactly what they sound like—something to be avoided.

Instead, I challenge you to:

Count your blessings. It seems elementary, almost too simple—and at the same time difficult—to do in the midst of a storm. But even finding one or two small things to thank God for will drastically change your perspective and ability to persevere.

Find a Christian friend or family member to share your rough times—someone who will listen and pray for you, perhaps even offering practical advice when asked. Part of the reason God doesn’t shield Christians from hardships is to force us to grow together and carry one another’s burdens. Trying to be self-sufficient in this fallen world not only leads you away from other Christians, but from God. Often God puts someone in our path who has struggled with the same issues.

Reflection: Ask God to help you learn what He wants you to learn from your trial. It may not be readily apparent, even for years, but your willingness to be molded will have the desired effect—becoming more like Christ.

How can I pray for you today? Please leave a comment or email me confidential requests. I'd love to hear from you. J

God bless,
Laura

This post is a selection from my new devotional, While I’m Waiting, available for 99 cents on Amazon.com. 

What people are saying about While I’m Waiting:

“Hope. It’s a foundation of our faith, but a difficult concept to live out. Author Laura Hodges Poole understands that, and this devotional gives us the roadmap for the path from despair to hope. She writes from the perspective of someone who has traveled that road. Her honesty and humility draws us in, while her wisdom shows us how living in hope truly is possible. This book will have a coveted place on my bedside table and will be a resource that I return to again and again.”

~Edie Melson, Co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and author of Prayers for My Soldier

“Author Laura Hodges Poole knows first-hand about the power of love and the gift of faith. With every inspirational word, she generously shares her innermost self. Laura openly writes about her personal trials and tribulations…the grief of losing her dear sister to suicide and the deep abiding love she has for family and friends. No matter the circumstance, Laura manages to draw from a well of love and hope. She eloquently expresses the depth of her faith and her very intimate relationship with God. Laura has “died to self” and trusts in our heavenly Father to guide her every step of the way. While I’m Waiting gives witness to Laura’s commitment to our loving Creator and her heartwarming devotion to Him.”    

~Dolores Ayotte, inspirational author of Up The Down Ladder: Simple Ideas to Overcome Depression and book reviewer

Click HERE to purchase
While I’m Waiting

“Hard Times Ahead Means Risky Sign And Warning” image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
 “Difficult Sphere Means Hard Challenging Or Problematic” image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Is Venting Biblical? - Unity Within The Body of Christ

I’m honored today to welcome fellow Christian author, Jennifer Slattery, to share a relevant message about unity within the body of Christ. Jennifer has recently released her second novel, “When Dawn Breaks.” Information about this book is at the end of the post.

Welcome, Jennifer!

When wronged, it’s tempting to tell the world about our injustice, although in the Christian community, we like to cloak it as a prayer request, venting, or “seeking wise counsel.”

But is venting biblical or could it, in fact, lead to destructive division in the body of Christ?

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

According to this verse, we need to guard our words carefully, speaking only words that “build others up” and “benefit those who listen.” We must remember it is not about us—our feelings, rights, or vindication. It is about knowing Christ and making Him known.

The greatest way we make Christ known is through love and Christian unity.

Why does Paul urge us to guard our words and purify our hearts? To answer this, we must read a few previous verses:

3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called. (Ephesians 4:3-4) 

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit.

When we vent, our goal usually is not to seek peace for the situation, as verse 3 commands, but instead, to make ourselves feel better. But at what cost? Our listener only hears one side, and most often, the “offending party” isn’t given a chance to defend themselves. Because of this, our listener is likely to develop judgments based on what they hear. Unfortunately, the “offending party” often learns of this and becomes uncomfortable around all involved. This creates ripples of disunity that lead to distrust that may be irreparable.

This might be why Jesus laid out clear instructions on how to handle conflict in Matthew 18:15:
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”

He didn’t say, “Gather your prayer group and rehash the situation.”

Nor did He say, “Vent to your friends so you can ‘get it off your chest’ and feel better.”

No. He admonished us to keep the matter “between the two of you.”

According to Scripture, when wronged, the first thing we must do is address the individual, keeping the matter between us.

If the matter still isn’t revolved, we are to move to the next step.

But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses’ (Matthew 18:16) 

Basically, we are to keep the issue between as few of people as possible, making sure to include the individual. That’s not to say we can’t ask others for prayer nor that we can’t seek advice, but when doing so, we should keep things on a “need to know” basis. Our prayer group probably doesn’t need to know the story. In fact, most times you don’t even need to mention names.

In everything we do, may we put unity and love above all else, guarding our tongue so that we speak words that build up, encourage, and inspire.

What are some ways you’ve put this to practice in your own life, and what were the results? Have you been privy to a prayer-group gossip chain? How did that feel, and what were the results? Share your thoughts in the comments below so we can all learn from each other.



Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud. 




When Dawn Breaks:

As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?


You can buy a copy here:


On Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-dawn-breaks-a-novel-jennifer-slattery/1120694122?ean=9781596694231

On CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/when-dawn-breaks-a-novel/jennifer-slattery/9781596694231/pd/694231

Thursday, January 15, 2015

While I'm Waiting

In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” I Samuel 1:10-11 

Do you ever have days where you feel like Hannah—praying God would remember you in your misery? Then waiting…and waiting…and waiting for an answer.

You might even wonder—Does God hear me? Is He ever going to fix my situation?

Just as God came through for Hannah (1 Samuel 1:19-20), He will come through for you. His timing is perfect.

Corrie Ten Boom once told a story about asking her father questions that weren’t appropriate for her to know the answers at her age. Her father replied with a question of his own: “When do I give you your train ticket?” She said, “Right before the conductor asks for it.” Her father, in his wisdom, said something like, “Then trust me to give you knowledge when the time is right.”

Our heavenly Father is similar in that we think we have the answers to our problems and in our prayers often include those answers. We’re mystified when the answer doesn’t come in the way or timing we expect. We grow impatient during trials and maybe even start despairing, when all we have to do is trust God to get it right!

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you: therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18 

My latest book, While I'm Waiting, delves into waiting on God to answer prayers. This book originated from some of my blog devotions over the past few years, put together for the first time in a collection. This 31-day devotional will inspire the reader to wait on God patiently and reverently to answer prayers according to His perfect timing. I share some of my struggles, hopefully in a relatable way, to encourage and bring hope even in the most difficult circumstances. The devotions show that it is possible to walk through the valley and not despair while praising God and choosing contentment during trials. As Jim Elliot once said, “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.”

While I’m Waiting Kindle version is available on Amazon for 99 cents. A print version will be available in a few weeks. 

Click HERE to purchase.

Endorsements for While I’m Waiting
“Hope. It’s a foundation of our faith, but a difficult concept to live out. Author Laura Hodges Poole understands that, and this devotional gives us the roadmap for the path from despair to hope. She writes from the perspective of someone who has traveled that road. Her honesty and humility draws us in, while her wisdom shows us how living in hope truly is possible. This book will have a coveted place on my bedside table and will be a resource that I return to again and again.”
            ~Edie Melson, Co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and author of Prayers for My Soldier

“Author Laura Hodges Poole knows first-hand about the power of love and the gift of faith. With every inspirational word, she generously shares her innermost self. Laura openly writes about her personal trials and tribulations…the grief of losing her dear sister to suicide and the deep abiding love she has for family and friends. No matter the circumstance, Laura manages to draw from a well of love and hope. She eloquently expresses the depth of her faith and her very intimate relationship with God. Laura has “died to self” and trusts in our heavenly Father to guide her every step of the way. While I’m Waiting gives witness to Laura’s commitment to our loving Creator and her heartwarming devotion to Him.”    
              ~Dolores Ayotte, inspirational author of Up The Down Ladder: Simple Ideas to Overcome Depression and book reviewer

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

No Freedom of Speech

I have the honor today of welcoming guest blogger and Christian author Lori Hatcher to share a devotion from her new book Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women. 
Facetime: God, I can’t believe she just said that to me! Why shouldn’t I respond the same way?
As we exited the Metro station in Washington, D.C., my daughter and I stumbled upon a crowd of 300 to 500 people huddled under umbrellas around a stage bigger than their gathering. In an article I saw later, Huffington Post reporter Kimberly Winston estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people attended the “Reason Rally” Largest Gathering of Nonbelievers.4
One of us miscounted.
As we made our way to the Tidal Basin that ringed the city, the voice of the rally’s speaker carried clearly across the largely empty grassy area. I only had to listen for a moment to realize two things. First, he was angry. He was railing at people of faith—so angry in fact he was cursing them. I wondered, ironically, what power he felt he had in damning people in the name of a God he didn’t believe in.
Second, as I observed the uniformed police officers with fierce looking canines encircling the staging area, I realized they were there not to censor his speech but to protect it. His right to speak—even hateful, damning speech—is guaranteed by the First Amendment to our Constitution.
This unsaved person was exercising a freedom I as a Christian do not have.
I can’t curse those who don’t believe as I do. I can’t express hate or disdain for those who criticize what I hold dear. I can’t outshout, bully, or taunt them. I can’t exercise the liberty of free speech because I answer to a higher law.
I answer to the Word of God. Jesus told me, bless those who curse you (Matthew 5:44, NKJV), speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
I can choose to say angry, bitter, destructive words to those who disagree with me, but should I? The love of God compels me to do otherwise.
James 3:17-18 reads, But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
That day, walking away from the “largest gathering of nonbelievers,” I chose to exercise my God-given freedom of speech. I chose to pray for those who were despitefully using my fellow believers and me (Luke 6:28, NKJV).
And I did it out loud.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29


This devotion is an excerpt from Lori Hatcher’s new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God is the nutrition women need to get through the day.
Lori knows what it’s like to be busy. And what it’s like to struggle to make time for God. Her passion is helping women connect with God in the craziness of everyday life. A Yankee transplant living in Columbia, South Carolina, Lori uses her speaking and writing ministry to equip and empower women. She’d love to connect with you on her blog (www.LoriHatcher.com), on Facebook – Hungry For God, and Twitter @lorihatcher2.



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