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    Old & New Testament Bracelet!

    Feminine version w/ Hebrew charmsThis Christmas I made several of what are called "Jesus Bracelets" for family and friends. One morning in prayer I was bemoaning the fact I couldn't make one for a dear Jewish friend. God whispered to my heart, "It's the same story." My mind started spinning.

    I'm a very non-artsy-craftsy person so ya gotta know these are simple in concept although the meaning is profound. (Blame that part on God)

    Items needed:

    1. Stretchy clear craft cord: Mine is 8 mm

    2. Assorted beads to tell the story: We have a fantastic shop close to us called The Bead Source that is all about jewelry and beading. Before them I was running into a wall trying to obtain specific beads. Save yourself the trouble and search out a store likely to have a great selection. (Learn from my mistake of running all over town and wasting time: Michaels, Target, Jo Ann Fabrics, & Wal-Mart did not have enough variety.)

    3. Superglue to dob on your final knot to make sure it's secure.

    Helpful tips:

    Measure extra on each end for easy tying. Tie a double knot to begin and leave at least a 2 inch "tail." Be careful to vary the size of beads so your bracelet doesn't come out too long or short. Have a variety of each type of bead. That way each bracelet turns out unique.

    The more masculine version we made for hubby--no bling or dangles  The Bible Bracelet Story scroll that accompanies each bracelet. About 4" long. 

    I used a half sheet of paper for each double story. This means I had to make the font as small as possible (8 pt.) to make it fit. Smaller is cool too but make sure folks can still read it.

    Happy beading!

    Child of the One True King, wife to the best man alive, mom to four VERY unique human beings & author of two bestsellers:

    The Fall

    One Night With a Rock Star

    with more on the way.

    Please join the 30/30 Prayer Challenge


    3 Tips for Powerful Prayers

              Micah's pet alligator lizard, Bettie, winking for the camera  About ten years ago our family was wading through some of the most trying, exhausting circumstances of our lives. One of our kids was going through a very painful era and, to help him in the only way possible at the time, we began homeschooling. Now I felt like I was trapped with a lion in a cage every day without even the break of packing him off to school for a few hours. The accusing voice in my head was relentless. “Chana, you have TWO important jobs, that of wife and mom. You’re failing at both."

                In the midst of this turmoil, my hubby brought home a book, Red Moon Rising, about the start of the international 24/7 Prayer movement. I read it. I re-read it. My husband read it. We ordered boxes of copies to hand out to family and friends.

                Though my passion for God and prayer was renewed, things with our child were still pretty horrible. I purposed to pray every day, without fail, first thing in the morning for an hour. I didn’t know what to expect, didn’t feel “trained” to do this but I was gonna show up.

               Here are some prayer tips that took me about a year to learn. Ten years later, I still need reminders.

    1. Say What's True

                I would come to God with my list of grievances. Why me? Why is my son acting this way? Am I being punished? "Good grief, God," I would complain, "Jesus came to live, die, and rise from the dead so I have this IV drip of faith that barely helps me survive? Where’re those 'rivers of living water?'"

                God let me rant. My prayer language was primarily groans and tears. Many of those mornings, the hour was just lots of saltwater pouring from my eyes while God seemed kinda silent.

                One morning as I recited my woes, something in me got quiet. I felt God say, “Are you saying what’s true, or just what you see?”

                God reminded me of our prayers over our child before he was conceived, while he was in the womb, when he was small and displayed such a keen connection with God. God was very clear, “You say what’s true regardless of what you see or how you feel.”

                My hubby and I developed this little mantra. “Our son is a mighty man of God who seeks good and not evil all the days of his life.  Our son will lead millions to Christ through his passion for God.” On and on we would state what God had tucked into our hearts over the years.

                Was there an immediate change? No. Did we often have to state God’s truth through clenched teeth and feel like big, fat liars? Yes.

                But slowly, like a seed that had lain dormant until the conditions were right, we saw evidence of those prayers.  Our son discovered he had a way with animals, particularly reptiles. His alligator lizard, Bettie, loved me and would sit like a little statue on my leg while I worked at our kitchen computer. Yea! Some common ground.  Strangely enough, it seemed our son healed as he cared for these creatures most would see as frightening. We could tell he related to them. If they could be loved and seen as beautiful, perhaps he could too? (I wrote a short bit about this that was published in Guideposts called, One Scaly Godsend.)  

    Also, my prayer times started overflowing into writing that turned into a novel, then two. Our son loved being read to and loved the stories. More common ground. Slowly the ratio of smiles & hugs from him began to outweigh the raised voices.

    2. Only God On the Throne

                One other hard-learned lesson. No matter what we face, that person or circumstance must stay OFF God’s throne. Whatever we talk about the most, whatever we think about the most, whatever controls our emotions; that is our god.*

                Time and again, God would stop me during the day (when I would listen) and point out that our son was on that throne where only God belonged. I would have to choose to forgive and get the focus back where it belonged. The only way to do this? Say it. Worship, even if it was the last thing I wanted to do. The ol’ “sacrifice of praise” not due to feelings but because God always deserves it.

                As that unhealthy focus on our son weakened, my sense of failure, and his sense of “I can make or break the mood of this day” (too much weight for anyone) began to fade.

    3. Learn God's Voice

                Our enemy is the accuser. Condemnation is NOT God’s voice. When the voice in your head pushes toward hopelessness, like my inner litany of failure, slam some worship down that particular throat. Again, say what's true, focusing on God's goodness and power rather than your feelings of helplessness. (See #2--kick yourself off God's throne)

               Big God.

               Little devil.

              That’s the way things are even when circumstances scream otherwise. As we stay in awe of Whom we serve, Satan’s power to pull our chain weakens.

               And as we practice speaking God's truth, keeping only God on the throne, and recognizing God's voice, our prayers--the words coming from us toward God--can reflect His glory and agree with His plan. Those are prayers that pack power.

    Child of the One True King, wife to the best man alive, mom to four VERY unique human beings & author of two bestsellers:

    The Fall

    One Night With a Rock Star

    with more on the way.

    Please join the 30/30 Prayer Challenge



    What Prayer Is Not. What Prayer Is.

    "Peace in the Midst of the Storm" by Jack Dawson jackdawson.com (look for hidden images) Based on 1 John 4:4

    What Prayer is Not:

    1. Me convincing God to see things my way.
    2. Me pushing hard enough until God finally gives me what I want.
    3. The last resort.
    4. Passive Inactivity.

    Prayer is:

    1. Spending time learning God’s character.
    2. God turning up the heat so poison rises to the surface.
    3. Laying life’s strife at His feet so none of it is on His throne.
    4. Driving me out of my mind and into His.
    5. Willing surrender.
    6. Work.
    7. Warfare.
    8. The moments of the day that set life’s course.
    9. Speaking God’s Kingdom, God’s will & God’s life as God directs.
    10. Being still & knowing He is God.
    11. Mind-boggling.
    12. Transforming.
    13. Unfathomable.
    14. The Greatest Adventure.
    15. Never Wasted Time.
    16. The only place to go in this world where you can drink of something so refreshing & fulfilling.
    17. Gazing at Jesus until I reflect Him.

    Child of the One True King, wife to the best man alive, mom to four VERY unique human beings & author of two bestsellers:

    The Fall

    One Night With a Rock Star

    with more on the way.

    Please join the 30/30 Prayer Challenge





    Get Rid of the High Places

    30/30 Prayer: Day 4

    Get rid of the high places.

    In the records of the kings of Israel in the Bible, there would come along a king who served God. If he really meant business, he would even get rid of the “high places” of worship. What were those? High places were where the people would go to pray to other gods. They were the secret places of idolatry.

    This morning, God put His loving finger of one of those in my life.

    I like being healthy. I like looking healthy. Those are good things, right? Yes, they’re good but they can also be idols if I feel like junk when I’m not on top of my game.

    What makes me worthy? Health? Vitality? Youthfulness? Strong healthy teeth & fresh breath?

    Honoring the body as God’s temple is one thing but depending on the body to define worthiness is just plain skewed.

    I can usually avoid thinking I’m out of line on this issue until there’s a challenge. Sickness, injury, a few extra pounds, and self-worth takes a nose dive.

    Depressing situation or opportunity? Time to choose.

    God, please tear down this high place of idolizing health and looks to define self-worth and even usefulness to You. Thank You for revealing a place in my life where I rely on me rather than You. I choose to kick self off that throne and worship only You, precious Father. Not because you’re selfish, but rather because You desire only freedom and joy and to keep my feet firmly planted on solid rock that cannot be shaken. You are the only foundation that never fails.

    In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen.

    Child of the One True King, wife to the best man alive, mom to four VERY unique human beings & author of two bestsellers:

    The Fall

    One Night With a Rock Star

    with more on the way.


    Please join the 30/30 Prayer Challenge


    The Great Exchange

    30/30 Prayer Challenge: Day 3

    I stumble out of bed. Fatigue and nagging pain scream this is silly, that my time, especially in such a helpless state, would be better spent asleep. Yes I’m weak. Yes, I’m needy. Yes, I’m aware there’s no good in me to face the day. My need is raw and vital. There is nowhere else to go. No one else has the words of life. No one else Is life.

    Already I’m grateful. Grateful for the pain? Yes, because it leaves no doubt where strength lies. It leaves no doubt that without Christ, I am an empty shell. With Him filling this broken, leaky vessel, life has meaning, I have hope even in the pain. I am useful because I yield myself to His loving hands. Not my will but thine be done. Not my kingdom, all for Yours. Please take my nothingness. Thank You for giving me Your faultless, loving, powerful life in place of mine. I give everything—all of me, all I have, every breath, every desire, every failing, every love—this thimble-full of substance—and find that the Almighty God gives me, in return, all of Himself. Life for death. Hope for despair. Strength for weakness. Selfless love for self-centeredness. Peace for strife.

    I’d call that a great exchange.

    Child of the One True King, wife to the best man alive, mom to four VERY unique human beings & author of two bestsellers:

    The Fall

    One Night With a Rock Star

    with more on the way.